A site about my crafty, adventurous, london life. Things that I make, things that I like, things that I do. And my attempts to find my own London. All the while trying not to be too homesick for California and the Bay Area.
2 weeks in and I already forgot to friggin post the next interview. It's been a pretty crazy week.
This week is the lovely ladyJill!
She's a Jack Jill of all trades. Especially in the art world. She creates, curates, organizes, slices and dices. You name it! Plus she's a happy homemaker with a mean sewing machine ready to handle any project that stands in her way.
She's a crafter like me but on hiatus to rekindle her artistic romance. You can go to her shop and ask to be updated if she graces us with her etsy presence again though.
Do you consider yourself an artist? If not then what would you call yourself?
I consider myself to be an artist among many other things. It's interesting how we identify ourselves and I think that I am many things, an artist, a business owner, a music/art/media junkie, a part time smoker, an animal lover, a gallery curator, a helpful person, impulsive at times and other times quite contemplative, a meditator, a lover, a friend...but one thing has always been constant and that is I love to create!
When did you realize that you were an artist? Or that you wanted to be one?
When I was little I lived with my mother's family for about 4 years. It was a full house which held not only me, my sister and parents, but 2 aunts an uncle and grandparents. During that time I marveled at my Grandmother's crocheting and gardening, my uncle's drawings and vinyl collection, my aunt's sewing and design skills and my grandfather and father's wood working. The arts and culture became an integral part of my life from that point on. One one hand art acted an easy escape, entering an imaginative and strange world on a whim...and on the other it took care of my antsy side by constantly using my hands. Later on after high school I took a break and worked in the "real world" for a while. It left me uninspired and stressed out so I went to college not knowing what I wanted to be, but that I had to be involved with art somehow.
You have multiple things that you do to earn a living, do you ever wish for a single nine to five, five day a week kind of job?
YES! But as with anything there are pros and cons. Part of why I even ended up as a small business owner with my husband is that the economy is so bad that no one is hiring in our fields. So we capitalized on our freelance work and made a business to assist artists with their own juggling acts. I love the fact that I did not settle for a job I did not want just to buy me time. It is a struggle though and my biggest challenge is making enough money to take time off. In a regular gig you usually have some vacation or sick leave. Since I have no one to tell me to take a break, let alone pay me to do so, I am somewhat of a work-a-holic because I am constantly looking ahead for more work. I am still dreaming up a life that let's me do what I love and will pay me to take breaks. I hope someday that a regular weekday job will fit in somewhere and these days I am considering going to graduate school for art therapy.
What is something that you've always wanted to do?
Travel to Europe--Germany in particular since that is my mother's heritage and all my life I have felt attracted to all things German. Travel somewhere not in North America at all would suffice. I did get to Tahiti once and that was wonderful! However, when I returned it was very apparent to me that I have been missing out on the real experience of culture. I feel like most of my cultural experience has been a bit watered down, especially living in America where we get a version of something like Chinese food. I seem to live vicariously through books, music, theatre, and education than actual experience--almost more imaginative than real at times.
How would you describe your work? Or at least your most recent things you're working on. What ARE you working on right now?
A couple beautiful pieces from Jill
I would say my work has no real voice yet because I am at one of those in between stages. I took time off after college and crafted away, making whatever I felt like--a great relief after plugging away on an art degree for nearly 8 years! The break was good and although I enjoy crafting and sewing, I have recently put down the fabric and scissors in favor of painting again. I am picking up on some recurring themes that appeared in my undergraduate portfolio but giving them new life and a more deep and honest look at what it is I am trying to say. I have two paintings in progress, one oil and the other mixed media. I am planning a series that will be shown in October at the Oakland Professional Development Center. The series is vaguely about my ancestry and memory. I am tying in American Indian and German symbolism and staging scenes where animals are the main characters and act out fragments of memories that I have from childhood. I have always been very interested in how memory works-or doesn't. Part of this series, that I am in the planning stages of, will actually incorporate my families memories. I have asked them to choose an image, family related or not, and write about a memory. Then I will see how my own memories tie into their's and make a piece of art based on it. It's exciting to be back in the studio working on something that is so far outside of an academic environment!
What do you think popular art will look like in 5 years?
Chaos. Pandemonium. The thought actually makes my head spin. I think the art world is so vast and full of emerging artists right now that whatever you can dream up there will be/already is a home for it. Old hats, new hats, brown hats, blue hats. On a fine-art-trendy-level I think the trend of craft meets fine art world is just lovely and I can see it holding strong in 5 years. I also see older processes of film, such as cyanotype or alternative darkroom techniques like scratching the negative being more in the lime light. In general I think artists are reacting to the overly digitized world we live in... so here's to handmade everything and subverting mainstream anything!
Some cross stitch pins at her craft fair booth
These interviews are going great! But I still don't have a title for this segment. Jill's significant other Phil suggested "You Gotta Date Wednesday, Baby"... Mmm it's close but not there yet.