Paperbullet. I love Lisa's use of colour, her commitment to using all found and reused materials and bright vibrant style. Enjoy!I've mentioned often here that I am interested in not just the finished product, but the process. I love seeing the middle and the why's and hows of why people create. I love the messy details and being challenged and inspired by learning about what drives people in doing what they do. So I'm really excited to be starting a series of interviews with artists and other creative types to get a bit of insight into why, how and what it is they do and what motivates them. First up, one of my favourite Twitter pals, fantastic artist Lisa Romero of
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? The journey you took to be where you are and what you're doing at the moment?
I’ve always loved to draw, and when I was in high school I really wanted to be a fashion illustrator. I went to art school, but I can’t sew and I’m not a very good student (I’m really more comfortable teaching myself things) so I dropped out and kind of forgot about art for a while. About six years ago I needed a hobby and sort of fell back into painting. I picked up clients here and there and after I had my kid two years ago decided not to go back to the nine to five. Now I don’t think I could go back if I tried.
At the moment I am doing things for private clients on the web, blog graphics, print work for an online scrapbooking company and printer, and collaborations with other artists. I’ve done a tee shirt collaboration with Locomotive, that should be out soon, and the new Artful Agendas were just released with one of my cover images.
That and spending time with my lovely crazy two year old and my wonderful husband Isaac.
Why do you create? What is it about being creative (in whatever sense) that makes it something important for you to do?
It’s a weird craving. Almost like something I have to do instead of want to. Something in my head is always thinking of how to make something out of something else. Even when I mess something up I see something else that can be done with it. So I start painting over it and going in a new direction. If I don’t paint or draw for a few days I get really cranky. I’m super lucky I live with someone who understands that. What my daughter is going to think of it when she gets older I don’t know.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Thrift stores! I love finding things that give me ideas that I can pick up for a dollar or two and put in my studio to inspire me. Old things, cracked and peeling. Wood. Glass. Very elemental and primitive things. Happy things, kiddie things, primary colored things. Bright, smiling, friendly faces. People who go to thrift stores are usually there because they have the same mentality- why buy new when there’s so much out there that can be had for half the stash? And it already has that lived-in cushiony feel.
Following you on Twitter I've been lucky to see many of your works in progress and I'm sure to most of us it seems like it always flows easily but I imagine this isn't always the case! Are there ever times when being expected to be creative for work feels overwhelming? How do you work through those feelings?
Yes. I think everyone who has a creative job feels that way at some point. Here, monkey, dance. Dance, I said! But I like to dance, so I dance. Sometimes I try to remind myself not to think so much. Pushing hard is the best way to stop up my creative process. I pause, pour a cup of coffee, out on a good movie and pull out a magazine. I try to let things I enjoy saturate my sponge and then start to let things flow. The more I do something, like working under pressure, the more my brain is able to repeat the process. I try to remember that even though I may not feel I can do it, I CAN. I just have to believe in myself.
What are the most rewarding and most difficult parts of your job and your creative life in general?
Totally easy question. Working from home after so many years of working a 9-5 I see how easy it is to forget about having a life outside of work. Those worlds are so intertwined for me I know that I’ll never be able to pry them apart- what I do is who I am. It is the reason I could never go back to the “straight job” world. It is hard to have time for yourself when you work this way but I’ve realized I’d be doing this regardless. I do feel that being immersed in it has made me grow more as an artist- that really looking at it from this perspective has made me realize what is really important to me and what is totally superfluous.
If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you like to be doing?
I’m really interested in set and production design. Because I’ve been thrifting so avidly for so many years I’ve accumulated a nice conglomeration of things and a real feel for staging. I wish I had a bigger house, I’d play dress up with it all day.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Darling Heart yesterday and I thought I would snap some shots of a few new things around our house I've collected or been given and are brightening up these long grey days we're having. Checking the weather at the moment kind of makes me want to cry a little, rain, rain and more rain! Oh well, I thought I'd perhaps bought my Hunter Boots for nothing with the mild winter we had, so I guess now is my chance to bust those out!I was taking some photos for
Friday, May 28, 2010
One of the things I'm really going to miss about this city are the Coast Mountains. It's not as if New Zealand is lacking in the dramatic scenery department, but there is something so beautiful about sitting at the beach and looking across at snow capped and mist enshrouded mountains. It is somehow completely overwhelming and totally peaceful at the same time.
Last night as I was heading to a prenatal meeting near Locarno Beach, I took a quick moment to snap some photos of the mountains. The sky was so moody, just about to rain, and I love the way little pockets of clouds seem to get caught in folds of the mountains. As much as I might complain about how fickle the weather is here, and how much I hate wet feet, I have to admit I love that heavy calm before the storm that we so often get here. It looks like the greys and rain are going to stick around for the weekend, so I imagine we'll be spending most of it inside cozying up. We've got to get ready for upcoming markets, I have some sewing projects I'd like to work on, and I'm going to try and do a bit of a blog redesign. I want space for bigger pictures!
Hope your weekends are lovely. Any plans?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Ever since visiting an Amish community in Wisconsin when I was 5, I have been totally fascinated by their way of life. I'll say perhaps this could be in part due to being able to choose from the largest selection of homemade pies I have ever seen when we visited, but also perhaps because I have a lot of love for whitewashed walls and rolling fields. There is something so perfect to me about to combination of dark muted toned clothing and the green and white of the environment. I'll admit that I once had a secret fantasy that I would somehow be accepted into an Amish community, but would act as some kind of mediator between them and the outside world. All the pie I could eat, yet still internet access. Natch.
Now that I'm older, I feel a little uncomfortable about this slightly othering view, but I think as a kid seeing something so drastically different from your own way of life is pretty thrilling.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I'm so excited to have my dear laptop back and running! I felt kind of terrible how antsy I was without it, addicted much? But really, it was mostly just because I had a bunch of work related stuff on here that I'd planned to work on over the weekend and apparently I don't react well to change? Either way, it's back and nothing is missing and I'm happy about that! And just as I was thinking when people were making fun of people for watching Lost and being very, very excited for the finale (and perhaps just generally talking about the ins and outs of the show), I'm not going to apologise for things that make me happy. Even if those things at the moment only amounted to a show about a magical island, and a more streamlined keyboard.
But also, ice cream! Well, sorbet but still so delicious. We took advantage of the sun making an appearance on Monday to take the first stroll of the season to La Casa Gelato for some sorbet and waffle cone goodness. I got lemon raspberry, and Richard lemon ginger, but I also tried pomegranate and lemon tequila which were both also pretty amazing although I'm not sure if I could handle a whole scoop full. I'm all about the samples, and I think there's over 200 flavours so I'm pretty sure you'd never run out of things to taste!
Oh, one last thing! Now that I have my computer back I was able to do the draw for the bunting giveaway! Thank you all again for entering, as much as I love doing giveaways I'm always a little bummed that I can't give something to everyone! The three winners are Chrissy, Diana and Francesca! I'll send you gals an email over the next day or so to get your info, colour choices, etc and I'll have your bunting and treats off to you quick smart.
Monday, May 24, 2010
new camera was pretty excited to show you some of the photos I'd taken with it over the weekend, but I think uploading them could be the death of me. So here's the very first two. I love the colours in that top one. We live in pretty much a giant pink apartment complex, and I love the reflection of the sky in all the windows. In the second one you can see Ursula doing her most favourite thing, rolling around and around on the balcony. I swear it is all she does out there, for hours! It was cracking me up as each photo I took she'd twist in to a new pose. Super model cat!
I'm sorry I haven't announced the winners of the bunting giveaway yet, but the mighty desktop isn't really down with the whole more than one window open at once thing so I'll try getting to that tomorrow if I can sneak a moment at work! Fingers crossed our laptop will be back and healthy by then, also!
Hope you're all well. Get up to anything exciting over the weekend? I'd love to hear about it!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I caught a glimpse of these paintings earlier today via my lovely friend Anna (who will hopefully be joining us here on the blog soon, hooray!) and was totally drawn to the shape and movement of them. And the colour! You would not know it by looking at my wardrobe (I really do try to break free, but I just love black and stripes so), but I have found myself more and more drawn to vibrant colour and pattern lately and this Crystal and Lasers series by Matt W. Moore totally fit the bill. If you click through and read a little more about the series you'll some of the awesome inspiration he found while visiting Paris for the installation. I love that he went there with no previously made art or idea of what he was going to do and then came out with this beautiful and cohesive body of work. I also love/am in awe of the fact that it's all done with spray paint. People using spray paint never cease to amaze me, I just can't imagine how you have enough control to come out with anything looking even halfway decent, but the crispness and precision of these pieces is stunning.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Powell's Books, Voodoo Doughnut, many brew pubs, the Laurelhurst or Hollywood theatre and many other (surprise, surprise) food related places. I'd love to hear your thoughts on places to check out if you've been to or live in Portland, the more tips the better! Keep in mind we won't have a car, so easy-ish places to get to please!
Monday, May 10, 2010
I bought myself some new shoes as a bit of a birthday present to myself, the black Toms I'd been thinking of. Definitely not a super glamorous shoe purchase but cute nonetheless and so comfy. Oh man, if you're in search of a comfy shoe for general walking about then look no further. I'm completely smitten. I'm really terrible for buying cheap and easy shoes but with the amount of walking I do with the kids and not being a driver I really needed something that was going to hold up a bit better than a pair of flats from Army & Navy (I did say cheap and easy) and I'm pretty sure these are going to do the trick! I will say that it might pay to try some on before buying these as they do fit a little narrow for those of us blessed with wide feet, but they've worn in so quickly and now fit my feet perfectly. Hooray!
It's New Zealand Music Month at the moment, so I wanted to make a kiwi mixtape for you all. It was much harder than I imagined! I knew NZ music might be a little obscure but I didn't expect things to be so easy to find, and that it would be pretty much lady free. While there are a lot of amazing female musicians from back home it was nearly impossible to find them online, and when I looked at Nature's Best, a compilation of the top NZ songs of all time, there were only 5 female tracks in the top 30! Shocking. I've decided to split it up into two mixes, one being the oldies and the kiwi music I grew up on, and the second being some of the more recent stuff to come out of the New Zealand music scene. I've tried to include as many ladies as I could, but I sadly couldn't find this gem that I enjoyed dancing around to as a young gal, or this one with the extremely questionable lyrics but secretly fantastic video clip (I was obsessed with their outfits), or even this one where none of them look at all like rock stars, but man could Jenny Morris sing.
Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!
Friday, May 7, 2010
image via bonjour celine
It's Friday, it's sunny and it's my birthday weekend! I'm hoping to spend the weekend meeting up with friends, drinking a cocktail or two, eating cake and soaking up the sun. I have been totally smitten by this cake up here (made by Nikole of Herriott Grace) ever since I first saw it back in February. One day I hope to have a cake as fanciful and dreamy as that! Like Jeannette, I like to make my own birthday cake so it's exactly how I want it, although Richard did make me a rather delicious one last year. I've got my sights set on the Salty Sweet cake that she mentions, although vegan-ising it looks pretty much impossible, so we shall see!
I hope you're all gearing up for lovely weekends! Here's my Five Senses Friday...
Fresh, home made salsa on soft tacos for Cinco De Mayo.
This song on repeat on my bus ride home from work.
:Seeing (and swooning over):
Lilacs. Possibly the best part of Spring.
The sun on my back. Sigh.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping on top of things at the moment, just a general feeling of being overwhelmed, you know? Funny coming right off my last post of excitement, I know. I'm not sure if I need to top up my iron levels, or get some earlier nights or what. Sometimes I fall into the bad habit of letting my thought life get away on itself where I think and plan and think and plan and dream and then all of a sudden I've thought up a million things to work on or worry about or get excited about and it's just too much. Gotta bring back the focus to the now a little bit and remember to be in the moment.
One thing that has captured my attention lately though are these beautiful letters by Anja Mulder. I could stare at them for ages, there's so much hidden in there! Do you see the little cat in the 'B'?
Hope your Thursday is going great!