Artists with their work inspire us all... they touch our souls, make our hearts leap, and sometimes make us think or question the way we see things. Art is, among many things, evocative. We wonder... what did they use, what was the inspiration, how did they get this from mind to matter and then how did they get it from mind to matter and eventually to market.
Here, in this series about current artists, I'll ask a series of questions and allow the artist to take their direction with the interview... you'll be surprised where some of these go!
The FIRST artist in the Arist's Spotlight Series is someone I was sure about from the first time I met her a few years ago. Life is hers! She laughs OUT loud, is enjoying the journey and is one with nature. To say that she inspires in many ways all by herself is a bit of an understatement.
She shares recipes and healthful tips, teaches how to make cool mixed media journals and knits scarves. This power house has been making jewelry for over 20 years and when the mood is just right she paints dreamy paintings. Her sites are popular with readers, students and fellow artisans. This woman does it all and she does it all in the most colorful way imaginable!
She even has a theme song and produces her own show, check out Living In Color's own Stephanie Jordan! She'll be a house hold name, mark my word!
1) Steph, when you think about your first inkling of being an artist is there a story that comes to mind?
Truthfully, to me I've always been an Artist. So I don't remember a specific story, but I do remember thinking I was different from kids around me because of my Artistic nature and their reactions LOL. And honestly, I liked it. I wrote poetry no one understood, tried to sing, dance (and still remember the couple of dances I learned in school and dance class LOL). If it was Artistic I went after it. This did tend to set me apart because at the time most kids just wanted to play with dolls and I wanted to make them shine! Sing dolly dance! LOL
2) How or where do you work best and when? Any stories connected with how that works for you?
Life generally sets the stage when I’m going to get creative. Pressure + product = collages and funky colorful art. Serenity + Good stuff = paintings, frilly art and Nature related art. I just realized that recently LOL.
I work best when my brain says ‘Art and that’s all there is’. It’s just like putting on a pair of shoes. I know I need them to go outside so I do it instinctively before I leave the house. I know I need Art so I just do it and I never know what the outcome will be.
3) Will you share with our readers about how you get the juices flowing, where you draw your daily inspirations from and or overcoming the inner critic?
I’m an animated person in many ways so it doesn’t take much to get my creative juices flowing. I still want to see it all, craft it all, laugh at it all. A sound, a smell, a color, even my own art, because I paint imagination scenes, gets the energy moving.
I always talk about finding Inspiration in the most overlooked places and that works for me too. If I really want to create but can't seem to reach that zone I look outside of myself. A short walk, a creative show (love PBS and HGTV), even glancing over old photos can spur Inspiration. Paying attention to and appreciating things around us can be very inspirational. I used to make it a point to get up every morning and look outside before I even had coffee. Just a fresh view to get the day started would change my outlook and inspire me to create.
I personally think we can control and shut up that inner critic by showing who is boss. I wanted to paint for years. I am a big Bob Ross fan and would watch his show and think how amazing it would be to be able to just do it like he did. With love and passion and Happy Little trees. I couldn’t draw and kept telling myself that because I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t paint. One day I decided maybe I could paint without knowing how to draw LOL. So I started painting. No sketches or ideas, just a brush and a vision of some colorful energetic thing. I can’t even explain how good it feels to go into that Art and come out of the other side. Each piece consumes a small part of my soul while I’m creating it. And if you look at them you can draw your own message or dream from them. That’s what I came here to do!
A blank journal is a good way to begin to overcome the inner critic. Feeling Artsy, write it down, draw it, note it, every time. Keep that journal all about you and your artistic thoughts. You’ll be surprised what you learn about yourself. And most of all remember, Art is a precious gift. If you feel it, use it. It will definitely add color to your life and that’s a good thing.
4) Are there any artful challenges that you overcame that inspired you to move in a new direction?
I’d say the biggest one was going all in and putting fears and negative thoughts aside! I’ve always wanted to do nothing but my Art and Artful things with my life and career. When I decided that I was going for it with no holds it was scary and something that I’d put off for years and years. I was doing way too much and Art had begun to be swallowed up by the daily grind.
Now that I’ve taken the road there’s no turning back. I want to Live Art, share Art, Teach Art, Talk about Art, you name it Art! And for the most part I do. Getting to the point of ‘do or die’ was the hardest part. I’m here now and just have to keep going and see where the road leads me. This year I’m concentrating more on getting into the media with Art. And without the challenges I’ve faced before now I don’t think I would have ever been ready to take the next steps.
5) How do you market yourself? Do you have a marketing or press package? If you have an "elevator spiel" or "cocktail party" response to "So, what do you do?" that inspires people to want to know more, will you share it with our readers?
Ha! I do have a “cocktail party” response. It’s “I’m an Artist!” works every time. It’s my passion and hopefully that comes through. I love talking about Art so I’m always ready when people want to talk about it. As soon as someone says “So what kind of Art do you do?” the party really gets started.
One day when the funds find me I’ll have myself a fancy new Marketing Rep. But in the mean time and in the real world LOL I do all that I can to keep my name flowing. I take advantage of free Marketing like Facebook and Blogging and have my own website. I have a newsletter, I visit Artful venues, meet people and give out lots of cards. I personalize everything I do. If I give you a business card you’ll remember its mine without really reading it. I put my stamp on me. No one should ever be able to represent you better than you can represent yourself.
6) What's up for you in 2011 - anything you'd like to share? Photos? Videos? Promos?
I’m so excited about 2011. The year started great with Artistic people contacting me and wanting to collaborate on things. I’ve got some great interviews lined up and the show is taking a fantastic turn. It’s going to be more professional, colorful and full of fun. I’m hoping to finish my book and get in the media stream with guest spots etc. I’d also like to get into doing more workshops for Artful teens. At the time of this interview I’m working on the first show of 2011 and can’t wait till its done. So much fun.
Art is such a personal thing first. It comes from within and only you can visualize and create what you see in your dreams. It can be lonely but that’s ok. That’s what makes you unique. If you’re a lonely Artist reach for some stars, the kind that think like you do and love art just as much as you do.
Steph's websites are:
The one stop ALL DIVA SHOP is:
Steph's Facebook Page is: Living In Color With Steph Jordan
and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
"I always love to hear from Artistic people." Steph Jordan
Thank you so much to Steph for being my first interview of the Artist's Spotlight Series! She NEVER disappoints in the Inspiration arena. Don't forget to find her online collection through her Etsy shop Steph Jordan Originals if you're lucky you'll scoop up her ROCKIN' ipad shoulder bag or that inspiration deck before I do!
You won't believe who's up next week! I'm so excited! *rubs hands together*
Now, gO Get YoUr cRaFt oN!!