I recently caught up with Flor from Sweet Bestiary for an interview. I love her work and she was kind enough to share her technique, thoughts on pursuing life as an artist, and even shares some ideas for promoting work online. Enjoy the interview...
-In three sentences or less, how would you describe your work?
I imagine characters, build armatures, sculpt bodies, paint faces, sew clothes and write stories. Or, I make dolls and puppets.
-I imagine the process to be time consuming. Can you take us through the steps involved in making one of your wall art or puppet pieces?
I start by building a structure. I use card, wire, polystyrene balls, cardboard… anything that can create a solid base. Then I apply paper maché and let it dry. Once it is dry, I hand-sculpt the face with air-drying clay, and let it dry once again. Then I sand, paint and varnish it. Sometimes I give my Singer a whirl and sew them a dress.
-How long have you been pursuing work as an artist?
To be honest, it would be easier to answer how long I have not been pursuing that: 20 years (I’m 32 now). I gave up being an artist when I was 12. It was for two reasons: I saw a lot of people more talented than I was -and- I knew my intellectual skills were better than my artistic ones. Both arguments are true even today. But: instead of comparing myself with those enormously virtuous artists, I admire, learn and am inspired by them. And I feel happier making puppets than teaching Semiotics at University.
-What advice do you have for other artists who may be just starting out, or are struggling to be seen?
The best advice I can give is what works best for me: come up with something original. For me that means: something you've put yourself into. That's all I've been concentrating on for now. I still have the marketing issue on my "to do" list.
-In what ways do you promote yourself and your work online?
For now, I have three “tools”: my blog, my flickr and my etsy shop. I think a facebook page would work great because all the information about updates in your blog, flickr or etsy shop can be found in one place. I would add a facebook page in the future. I don't want to start anything I can't keep up to date and for the moment I have enough online stuff to deal with.
I use flickr to make my images public, follow my contacts' latest work, meet people, and have the sense of community that's sometimes missing in the virtual word. I blog to share all the things that happen behind the scenes, to open this solitary path to other people and get feedback from them, which is always much appreciated.
Lastly, I have an etsy shop to allow all those charitable souls to get some of my work (some of them are authentic patrons of the arts). And it’s another way to get in touch with people interested in what I’m doing and encouragement is always welcome.
...Visit Flor's online shop, Sweet Bestiary...
...Visit Flor's blog...