I met Liz at a local business meetup a couple years ago...hard to believe it's been that long! We quickly became friends, and I fell in love with her ideas and work. Her current collection is based on scenes from the movie Bye Bye Birdie (1963). All of the pieces from this collection are done on 40" by 30" raised canvas. The black & whites are acrylic, and the rest are watercolour.
What does Creativity mean to you?
After staring at a blinking cursor for five minutes, all I can say is if I lost it I would feel like I had been cut in half, but it's not something I think about often. It is a huge component of who I am.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
I read, I play, I try new things. Play is very important.
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
From a very early age I was exposed to art and music. My mother has always had varied taste in music and I think we, my brother and sister and me, really benefitted from that. My mother and grandmother were always very encouraging.
I've evolved a great deal. When I was younger I only did things that I viewed as socially acceptable. After being exposed more of my brother's illustration I got a little more comfortable with the uncomfortable.
What inspires you most?
Struggle. But also, I like to paint things just to paint something pretty. Sometimes art doesn't have to have a meaning. It took me a while to accept that.
What turns you on creatively?
Music. Movement. Body Language. Flirtation.
Do you have any gratefulness practices?
I do. With my family I make it a priority to express the things we're grateful for on a regular basis. I also like to make sure that the people that are important to me know for certain that they are important to me.
Do you daydream often? If so, does it inform your work?
I used to, but I don't as much now that I'm spending my days doing the things that I really want to do.
How does a relationship and/or children affect your creativity?
I used to be in a relationship with someone that would complain any time I took some time for myself. Having children made that unacceptable to me. Having children sort of kicked my butt into gear. I never wanted my daughter to grow up thinking that she shouldn't put herself first - her pleasure, her joy. I was very lucky to find a man that is incredibly supportive. He not only encourages my art, but helps to teach my children that following your own passion is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When you're happy it's easier for you to help others.
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
Edgar Allen Poe. He would write while I paint and we would just bounce ideas off each other in the candlelight.
How do you care for yourself to ensure you’re available when ideas present themselves?
I make it a practice to accept ideas as they come, write them down, and give them some time to roll around in my head. I never shrug off an idea. I swish it around. I absorb it. I play with if until it takes the shape of something really good.
But I'm lucky in that I have a few good friends and family members that I can throw stuff at.
How do you balance life and art effectively? Or, do you?
I do crafts with my kids. They're creative people, too. They are understanding when I say, "give me a minute to work this out" because they know what it's like to focus on an idea and they know that when I'm done they'll have my full attention.
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
Pinterest! No. I don't know. I take it as a sign that I need a break. Im currently not making a living off of my art. When I do I'll accept the responsibility of constant creation, but for now I'm really just enjoying myself.
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
I've been blessed with a twisted sense of humor.
How does criticism affect you?
Like I said, I've been blessed with a twisted sense of humor.
How important is self compassion to your creative process?
It's not as important as just knowing to walk away. Perfection is boring. Mistakes I can handle, but if I overwork a piece I can't fix it.
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
Needle and thread.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
I've never had the opportunity outside of art class in high school. I'd love to try it.
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
Both. I have a garage space that I work in, but sometimes I like to sit on the floor in front of the TV or draw in bed.
Is it important for you to have a creative, inspiring environment?
Not really. It is important to have noise, though.
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
I've done both. Sometimes the ideas come so fast I have no time to plan. Other times it's absolutely essential.
Do you have a preferred way of cataloguing ideas?
Nope. I'll write them on napkins. Take photos. Sometimes it's three words in a text message to my husband. If I am working on a collection I'll attempt to keep all ideas on one sheet of paper.
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
I figure the more social media I use, the more opportunity for people to see my stuff.
What is your typical day like?
Oh. Wow. During the school year mom stuff comes first. Kids dressed. Kids to school. Breakfast with husband. After that, it's completely up in the air. Sometimes I paint, sketch or sew. Sometimes I have coffee with friends. It depends on my mood. But as soon as the kids are home it's dinner, play, baths, bedtime.
Do you have any rituals that help to set your creative time and/or space?
Not really. I do really depend on music or movies to set a mood.
Does spirituality and/or culture play a role in your creativity?
If I said no I'd be lying. It's not anything I'm aware of.
Do you believe art can change the world? If so, how?
Anything can change the world if enough people take notice.
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
Oh yeah. But on the other hand, Hitler was a painter. So it really relies on the Creator.
Are you active in your local art community? If so, how do you help and support each other?
I try to be. If anyone gets enough notice it's good for the entire art community. It is incredibly important to me to support and promote other artists.
Do you surround yourself on a daily basis with creative, inspiring people?
Yes. My kids. And then there's coffee with my good friend Nichole. And I check in with my mother and brother Chris as often as I can.
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
I just want to make people smile. If I can improve someone's life just a little I'm happy. Even if it's just a semi-nude zonbi on a canvas.
What music, if any, plays while you work? What are you listening to at this very moment?
Currently, I'm enjoying a movie, The Sandlot, with my kids.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Do what makes you happy. Fuck everyone else.
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Make yourself happy. Everything else in your life will just sort of fall into place.
Also, don't give up.
Do you have any upcoming projects/collections to share?
I've got a few ideas.