For this edition of Creatively Featured, we welcome Michelle Mathey to tell us about her creative life. Her beautiful faces are the results of her experiments with painting and art journaling!
1. Tell us about blogging and how it's worked for you.
I was an instructor for a rubber stamp company and started my blog 4 years ago to promote my cardmaking/papercrafting classes at a local store. For a long time my blog was strictly stamping and I enjoyed playing in several of the challenges found in the “blog world”. While I was comfortable with the “crafty” moniker, I never ever considered myself to be “artsy”. In fact one of my mottoes was: Those who cannot draw – stamp!
However, with time, I started discovering many amazing artists from all over the globe that generously share their art online AND their process as well. My visits to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog introduced me to the concept of an art journal and the importance of nourishing your creative self every day!
2. How did you discover your favorite art medium?
As of yet I don’t have a favorite art medium. I am still in the learning phase and seem to be tickled with just about all mediums. Simply using a graphite pencil with a stump for shading still gives me thrills - acrylic paint and Neocolor crayons cause me spasms of joy as well. . and markers, colored pencils – yup, I seem to love them all!
3. What inspires or influences you artistically?
Right now I spend a great deal of time being inspired by bloggers and Pinterest. In fact, if I am not careful all my time is spent looking at “stuff” instead of creating “stuff”.
4. Which aspect of your art do you enjoy most?
Since I’ve started my artsy endeavors I have been attracted to faces. Although most people seem to think that they are difficult I find that a face is one of the hardest things to “mess up”. Even if it isn’t a good face it is still recognizable as such and that seems to give me the courage to keep at it. Participating in the 29 Faces in September Challenge at Ayala Art cemented my love of portraits whether detailed or quite simple and in all styles and mediums.
5. How do you manage your time? Between my motherly/wifely/home duties and work I don’t have much time to devote to artistic endeavors so working in an art journal is ideal for me. I can finish a page or sketch at one sitting and it never fails to calm my busy mind when I am stressed.
6. Have you exhibited work or taught classes?
I was thrilled to have one of my first canvas pieces accepted this summer as part of an art exhibit at our Blick Art Supplies store. Another highlight was getting an art journal spread published in Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES (Volume 2).
7. Is/was there a significant turning point or defining moment in your style of work?
My whole life I’ve mistakenly thought that a person either “had it” or didn’t artistically. I was never a kid that sketched or drew or took art in school. I now realize that art can be a learned skill and that with practice and experience comes better work. The pages I create now are MUCH better than when I started less than two years ago and will continue to get better if I do the work and put in the time to improve. There was only one Michelangelo but I’ve found that focusing on enjoying the process instead of critiquing the flaws helps tremendously!
8. What artistic plans do you have for the coming year?My plans are to continue learning and experimenting! I hope that with time my little creations will develop a “look” of their own that reflects my growth and that someday I can feel as artsy as I feel craftsy!