Day 10/29 Days of Giving is… + An Interview With Suzi Blu
friends, i feel so badly i missed yesterday ...
...technology just wasn't on my side
but rather than dwell there ...
...and get mighty annoyed again
i just want to dive head first into today's....
.... absofriggnlutly fabulous giveaway
Oh. I'm not telling quite yet. You have to read to find out! It's soooooooooooooooo worth it though.
SOvery worth it.
“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”
A few months ago, I placed (what I thought was) a seemingly innocent phone call to my friend Lia; little did I know it would turn out costing me money I didn't really have to spend! If you don't know Lia (artjunkgrl) ... she has this amazing sense of contagious enthusiasm that just ...well, it ignites you! Really. Her passion catches you, wraps you up within it's folds like a cozy blanket on a brisk day... You're enveloped in her spirit and before you know it - you're whisked away onto some whimsical artsy adventure that you never expected! I love that she knows how to immerse her soul in whatever creative venture she has taken on - but in the few years I have known her - I can't quite recall a time she was quite THIS excited.
"The most potent muse of all is our own inner child."
Enter Suzi Blu & her incredible Les Petite Dolls Class! Lia had gone to Suzi town, and was taking with me with her. Within hours of that call I had signed up - hesitantly at first if the truth be told - but man, I haven't looked back once yet. Before I knew it, I was drawing faces, girls, and experimenting with them like a mad woman. I was inspired - in the truest sense of it ... that awesome kind of inspired you felt as a small child. Where time didn't have meaning and you could get lost in this magical world all your own. I was using colors I almost never use. Playing with styles I rarely dabble in -- and I loved the freedom I gained as a result. I love the subtle changes I have seen in my work since, and I am enjoying taking what she taught me, and making it my own.
"Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of one's chosen form."
The pics you see scattered on my post here, are all part of my practicing. I could barely do a face prior. I have a few journals now filled with girlies, and am slowly working on getting them all scanned in.
Check out what I do have posted:
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Suzi & I have exchanged a few emails since I signed up, and I am genuinly enjoying getting to know her. We are kindred spirits where creativity comes into play, and both believe there is no wrong, no excuse for holding back, and to enjoy - really enjoy the process. She is remarkably comfortable in front of the camera, and her videos will assuredly coach anyone through any of those annoying lil self-doubts we get. She's an authentic personality, larger than life, and quite possibly creativity's biggest cheerleader - and she'll make ya laugh. I'm a sucker for folks who can make me smile, and know how to laugh at themselves.
"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Anyway, you will be able to draw face when you are done. Really. I didn't think I'd get any decent ones, I just wanted to play. Play without deadlines, without worrying if it's up to par for a sale ... just to play. Lo & Behold, I am doing faces. Addicted to them too. And I'm a tough cookie to please when it comes to being taught, and getting my hard-earned money's worth. I shouldn't overlook the rest of the class - it's great for mixed media virgins, or experienced artists - lots of layer love (my fav as you well know)... beeswax tips, and a whole heck-of-alot more. If you take this fantabulous online course - you will get 10x your money worth. I want to go on, and on and on... but I think you'll enjoy hearing from Suzi herself more than me....
Don't worry there are still prizes to be had, but you still need to read on!
True to her generous nature & without hesitation Suzi agreed to contribute to the giveaway and to an interview... so without further delay ...
I proudly present you with Ms. Suzi Blu herself!
(and yeah... the black, bold questions are mine... the colored responses are Suzi's anwers... do I really need to explain this?)
You are (to my knowledge) one of the first mixed-media artists to develop a(well-deserved-cult-like!)following with video blogging. You are wacky, wonderful -- and oh-so-open with yourself as well as your knowledge! What inspired you to start video blogging, and what advice can you give to those who are afraid to open themselves up in that way?
I've always been a down to earth person and sort of fragile in the world. I still am when I go places, Im pretty shy. Not when you get to know me of course but alone, in the supermarket, Im scared of everyone. ha. Of life. But on video I can be anything I want to be. I can be my true self. As if Im talking to my best friend in the world and she approves and loves me completely. I started making videos out of boredom and necessity. I was finishing my BA through online classes and spent the majority of my time alone in my aparment with my cat. I lived on student loans and when my money ran thin I put up paintings on ebay. You Tube was new to me then and I saw how a few other artists would film the making of their painting in their auction and I thought that was a fantastic idea. I've always had a video camera and so I just did it. In the beginning no one knew me or watched and not all of my paintings sold. But I still made one video a week no matter what, doing whatever I wanted. I WAS FREE! it was awesome. puppet shows in my kitchen, I could be as corny, as happy as I wanted. I could spew my own brand of spiritual art happiness and there was no one there, no parents or friends, to roll their eyes at me (which is what happened in my 'real life.' The fact that anyone would really watch was completely not in my thoughts.
If you could pick one person, living or deceased to spend a day creating with -- which lucky soul would be your top choice? Why?
Oscar Wilde. For sure. I love his philosophy and the fact that he loved words. He understood decadance and how art is the best part of life. I would like to sit with him in a cafe while he thought up a fairytale and I'd illustrate it with creepy puppets and shabby paint peeling sets.
Most ridiculous object within your view right now?
My new flip flops on my feet. they are covered in fake fur but they are summer sandals. giant and black. Makes my feet look like sasquatch. (chrysti's note: she obviously doesn't know about my huge aversion & distaste for...ick..feet.)
You seem to have an affinity for bright feather boas, accessories, Neon wigs -- i think i already know the value in those things - but would like to know how you see them - What's the deal there?
I love color. and in real life I dont get to 'live' that very much. The self I want to be is much bigger than the little self I've been up untill now. I also am not happy with my hair. Its in the process of growing out too short layers in the front and instead of stressing over it on camera, hey heres a wig. And Im instantly in another character. Im able to climb out of my role of all of my lables -italian girl from new jersey, etc etc... I just want to be something bigger, you know? Not that I want attention - I want everyone to be bigger. I want more than just hey when ya gonna get married hey why dont you want a kid. I want a big giant life. I want to play. I want costumes and theater in my everyday.
Does anyone ever have a valid excuse for saying they can't create?
Watch My Left Foot. True story, guy only had control over his one foot and the toes. and he painted amazing portraits. Although people are born with different levels of mechanical dexterity and imaginations, drawing can be taught, color theory can be taught, design, composition, all taught. And if you are very clear and very honest, everyone has something to say. Expression is part of being human.
Through the giveaways, we've had some incredible discussions -- some funny, some soul searching, and many focus on the role creativity plays in our life. What role does creating, and the creative process itself play in your life?
Perhaps Im insane which can very well be true, but I cannot live withought the creative process being a big part of my day, every day. Ive had ooh, quite a few jobs. None lasted more than 2 weeks. If its not art and painting I am not interested and I'll do whatever I can to avoid having to do what I don't want to do. I've made it this far in my life and so far its worked out. Granted, I've lived with cardboard boxes as tables and hand me down clothes for a very. very. long time - but during all that time I spent painting so what was around me wasnt important. Even now, I've lived with my parents since March, before that I was on my own since I was 19. I can afford to move out and go to an apartment somewhere, but I dont want to waste any time buying food, paying bills, any of it. I just want to write my Petit Dolls book. I like giving my dad my bank account and saying please, you take care of it. Make sure my student loans get paid. heres money for food. Just let me sit in my room and paint and write and deal with my students. And so thats how I live my life. And will always live my life. I give up a lot for this, I really REALLY want a place of my own, but if you are clear about what you want what you really want, then it wont feel like a sacrifice. I want to publish the best book ever. I want to design the best classes ever. The rest doesn't matter. Thats how important creativity is in my life.
What is one skill you hope to cultivate in the next year?
Les Petit Art Dolls in clay. I want to take my paintings and bring them into the 3 Dimensional world.
I have to ask - are you totally insane?(I only feel comfortable asking this, because I am! Ha!) Really, The Les Petite Dolls Workshop is A M A Z I N G. I didn't think i could do faces, like ever... and I'm getting pretty darn good with them. Love that! But you don't only teach how to do that - you teach collage, painting, some texture methods, one on one advice, beautiful and inspiring handouts, and a helluva lot more -- at an incredibly low price. I love that you are so generous, and it's part of why I so badly wanted to include you in this - you give back daily, and it's refreshing. But I still want to know if you have lost you proverbial marbles!
The most important thing is to have a good product. If you are going to sell something, whether its a thing or a service, you want your customer to feel like they have more than they can imagine. It is easy to put up a workshop. Write a pdf or make a video and there you go. But it can be cold. And if there is one thing I stand for its the fact that Im very good at making people feel wanted. Im a crappy hostess in that I can't cook and I don't like cleaning much, but if you were to come to my home you'd feel like a queen, each time. I respect women highly and I want them to feel special. So thats why there is so much. This is also very new - a workshop can be A N Y T H I N G we want it to be. There is no limitations and so much potential. Why not put the effort into it and make it a worthwhile experience.
Also, a lot of the women in my classes are beginners when it comes to drawing in fact, in much of the mixed media community it seems there are scrapbookers and there are fine artists. For the trained artists it is easier for them to make the leap from pure collage to drawing a face and figure but for crafters, they are intimidated. Thats why I put in so many encouraging pdfs about positive affirmations and things. The crafters need to know that with just a little practice what I do is not that hard. Although I do put in a lot of time into my paintings, I put in lots and lots of layers, they can too. I cant stand elitist artists who say Well, you need to have a masters in Fine Art and some hoity toity pretencious artist statement before youre considered a real artist. Its crap and Im sick of it. So its my mission to turn all the crafters who want to make faces to be able to do so.
Also, as a business person - I know the value of an affordable workshop. Up until August of this year I could never afford to take a workshop. They are about 200.00 and often in far away places where i need to pay for a plane and hotel. Way out of my reach. But 55.00 is something most people can afford. And if enough people join for that price it equals to the same amount I'd make if half the people joined for 100.00. I want it to be accessable to anyone who is willing to learn. And its my philosophy that what is good for all is better than just whats good for me.
Do you have a favorite medium to work with? A least favorite?
My problem is I want to do everything, which is why mixed media is fabulous. You CAN do everything. you can mix fabric with paper and sewing and painting. How incredible. The least favorite thing I like to do would be...painting something entirely with paints. I dont like to do that. I like to do detail with pencils and then glaze paints over it. If i had to just use paint 100 % I would cry. I cant get fine lines like i do with pencil and that frustrates me. when Im frustrated art isnt fun.
Since I'm a random question junkie – Roll the toothpaste from the bottom, or squeeze it in the middle?
oh god, squeeze from the middle.
I put my toothpaste tube next to my moms and she rolls from the bottom and I always think oh, shes so perfect. there must
be something wrong with me that I dont care about rolling and neatness. although I like things neat and to be around order, I
wont give up my dreamy thoughts for long enough to take the time to roll, or fold, or iron, etc... I need to be less harsh on myself.
Can you give us a peek at what else you have going on, and what suzi blu goodness is to come?
This is a painting Im making for my friend Jared. Its a Petit Boy!
Is it true you are giving away one membership to your Les Petite Dolls class workshop?(hell folks, I even hadda pay for mine -- aren't you lucky!!!) Are registrations still open for those who may not win? And it's tradition here, that the guest gets to pick one of the questions the readers have to answer to win - so what would you like to know/read about from my readers?
Yes I am giving away one Petit Dolls Membership to one of your readers! Their membership will be active from now unil March 2009, plenty of time to download the videos and PDF's and email me for personal one to one help. Since all of the videos are up registration is open until the day the workshop closes. Its easy to download all of the video lessons and keep them on your computer to do at your convenience.
The question I would like your readers to think about, is what is there art goal for 2009? What is the big dream - even if you cant make it come true this year, even if you are miles away from being able to do it, even if it seems impossible, what is it you want most to come true? Its really not as impossible as you think. And 2009 could be the year you begin!
Ok Lucky Creative Ones! To Enter Today's Amazing giveaway:
- Answer Suzi's question: "what is your art goal for 2009? " and/or answer mine.. "Roll the toothpaste from the bottom, or squeeze it in the middle?" ...
- If you are already enrolled for Suzi's workshop, I'll send you a free print of mine, and you can give the class to a friend - so no excuses NOT to enter kids!
- Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
- PLEASE keep Spreading the word! Blog it, Tell your friends -- the works!
- Check out the first batch of winners! - Some haven't claimed their gifts! -- ya better, fast!