Tell us about blogging and how it’s worked for you.
I started blogging in November 2007. At the time I intended to be a food blogger, but as I was (ironically) struggling with a devastating eating disorder, the topic of my blog soon changed. I blogged about my battle with disordered eating until 2011. Writing about it helped me to process many of the undealt-with emotions that had led to the eating disorder in the first place, and helped me to find my feet again.
In March 2011, I discovered mixed media art, and by God's grace that fully freed me from the clutches of the eating disorder that had kept me trapped for so long. No longer wanting to keep a blog about the disease that had lost its hold on me, I began an art blog at http://epiphanyart.blogspot.com/. I continue to write at my “general life” blog, http://www.bethmorey.com/. My daughter was stillborn on November 20, 2011, and my hope is that blogging will again prove to be a healing medium as I grapple with this grief.
Through blogging, I have met incredible writers and artists, forged precious friendships with people around the world, and been inspired more times than I can count. It has been a way to invite others into my life, and to walk alongside others in their lives. Blogging has been, in a word, a gift.
How did you discover your favorite art medium?
How did you discover your favorite art medium?
In March 2011, I randomly happened upon Suzi Blu's (http://suziblu.typepad.com/) online mixed media art classes. Once I drew my first stylized face, I was hooked! I never thought I had any artistic ability at all, but taking her classes blew my creative life wide open.
What inspires or influences you artistically?
My art flows out of my life. Most of my creations carry a theme of healing, which is informed by my eating disordered past and my present grief. I also am inspired by my faith, and so many of my pieces flow out of that.
How do you go about the design process? Do you work to a design or theme or just go with the flow…or something else entirely?I typically start a piece by drawing a face or a girl. As I draw, I usually get an idea of what colors I'd like to use. I start to apply those, and go with the flow until the piece feels finished. I almost never have an idea of a finished product in mind before I start – and when I do, I feel stifled. I love to simply start and see what happens! The adventure of the process is one of the aspects of art-making that I love most.
Is/was there a significant turning point or defining moment in your style of work?
I am not sure. I do wonder how the recent traumatic loss of my daughter will affect my work long term. In general, though, my art reflects my life, and so when my life changes, so does my art. When I was grappling with the eating disorder, my art featured struggling women clutching onto hope and healing. When I was enjoying the incredible gift of pregnancy, my art was joyful and celebratory. Now that I am wandering through deepest grief, my art is bittersweet and soulful.
Which aspect of your art do you enjoy most?
The process! I love seeing how a piece takes on a life of its own, becoming more than I ever could have planned or imagined.
I also really love sharing my work. Many people have told me that my art is healing and soothing. Because art is healing for me, healing flows out to the viewer as well. I am so grateful for that. Knowing that my art affects others is a great gift.
Can you tell us a little about your methods and/or techniques?I am a mixed media artist – so basically, anything goes! I usually begin by drawing the central figure, mostly girls and women's faces. I then work on the background, using whatever techniques feel right in the moment – collaging pretty papers, painting, dripping ink, gluing down fabric or lace scraps, and so forth. Next I work on adding color to the central figure, and then finish up by adding meaningful words to the piece. Glitter is often involved.
How do you see your future work and style developing?
Right now I am focusing on learning new techniques – drybrushing is a particular favorite right now. I am also investigating how I can take the methods I use to create backgrounds on other substrates. For example, I recently refinished an old jewelry box, covering it with paint and drippy ink. So my plan for the future is to continue to try new things, explore new methods, and blossom in unexpected ways.
How do you manage your time?That is a present struggle! I am easily distracted by chores and other obligations. Right now I am focusing on sitting down everyday to make something. Even though I love making art, it's hard to get my butt in the chair sometimes. So I have made a pact with myself to limit my time browsing blogs and Facebook, and to spend at least two hours everyday getting messy on my art table.
What have you done this past year?
This past year I learned to make mixed media art, then began to grow into my own unique style –this has changed my life more than I can say! I went on to open my Etsy shop, Epiphany Art Studio (http://www.etsy.com/shop/epiphanyartstudio), in July 2011. In October 2011 I sold my originals, prints, and cards at my first live holiday craft fair. In January 2012, my art and words were featured as a part of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope's healing creativity month (http://facesofloss.com/2012/01/4427.html).
What are your artistic highlights?
One of my favorite artistic projects has been the identity portrait (http://www.etsy.com/listing/80862508/custom-identity-portrait-an-original). I create a unique, one-of-a-kind portrait specific to a particular person. The portrait resembles that person, and highlights the qualities that make that person so special. I started this identity portrait project in response to the many ways that our culture tends to glorify qualities that have no lasting value – such as looks, weight, money. My portraits help to remind the recipient of the true reasons why they are precious and gifted.
Have you exhibited work or taught classes?
Right now I am working on my first online classes on creativity and healing. I will be announcing details on my blog soon!
This year I plan to investigate exhibiting my work in local art venues. I also am working on securing a permanent table at my city's summer outdoor arts market. In addition, I will be teaching courses both on my own website and as a guest teacher for other mixed media sites. I have also challenged myself to begin submitting my work to print and online publications.
Do you have any ambitions or goals you’d like to see fulfilled in the future?
My dream is to have an art studio where I can host art nights and teach classes about the exquisite meeting of art and faith and healing.
Would you like to be interviewed for Creatively Featured? If so, please contact Heather.