September 10, 2006
Misty Mawn - artist interview
It's time again for an artist interview - so I thought that I would pop one in about the very prolific and very talented Misty Mawn. It is Sunday after all and well, you always get a much bigger newspaper on Sundays, so why not a much bigger blog post as well?
I have been reading Misty's blog for awhile now, really enjoying the work that she posts there and deicded to contact her with these questions. I admire her sucess as an artist - she really puts herself out there and does so well at it! Her vast quantity of works have a style all her own without being all the same. She is one of the authors of "Inspire me Thursday" which is great fun and full of wonderful contributors. Below are a couple of photos of her studio and Misty hard at work! She has lots for sale at etsy and ebay, so check that out as well! Grab a cup o' ... and read on!
1. what is your first memory of making art?
I cannot say that I have a first memory of making art. Ever since I can remember I have been creating something out of something. I have always known I wanted to be an artist. The first memory of being creative would have to be when I was about six years old. I took all the dandelions I could find and created jewelry of all kinds from them. I then put up a makeshift stand in front of our house, trying to sell my jewels. I'm not so sure that would be considered art.
2. where there any significant pushes towards art in your youth? people? rituals?
My parents have always let me be creative, encouraging it by allowing me to swipe the magazines, pens, pencils, scissors, and glue whenever I could. I think the most significant push would be that my family has always shown interest in my progress, making me want to keep at it.
In high school my art teacher took a lot of interest in my ability as an artist and pushed me to keep at it. His name was Mr. Gettys, he was a photographer/artist. He could draw a horse that looked like it was going to jump off the paper. I then focused on photography with a strong interest in drawing. He would let me use all the available supplies and even wrote me a letter of recommendation for college. I can remember taking that letter to the office to be filed....wanting so badly to read what he wrote, but I didn't.
3. what was your training as an artist?
I don't think you can train as an artist. If it's something you feel you are, keeping at it is the best training. Schooling helps to push open doors that you may have not opened alone. I think a lot of people feel that taking a class will make them an artist, but I think you have to want to be an artist to really be one.
As for my journey, after high school I majored in Studio Art in college. I went to a state university and detested it. The art program wasn't so hot. When being lectured in my first drawing class, the professor told our class we would not be drawing the human figure due to the fact that we were not mature enough for it. The following year I transferred to Moravian College, a small private college with a great art program. I even had my own studio on the third floor of an old dorm building with a great view. I continued taking art classes mixed with politics, science, religion, and literature courses. The first semester I took a ceramics course, I fell in love. I spent every single minute I could in the clay studio: sculpting, throwing, and glazing. I had never loved anything so much in my life, well, except my soon to be husband at the time. After two years at Moravian college my husband graduated from Lehigh as an engineer and landed a job back home, where my family was. We moved back and I started my own pottery business, selling pottery at art shows. For seven some years I did this, but slowly it became a "money-making" job and I lost interest. I then turned back to creating mixed media...and here I am.
4. what have you done to make art your livelihood?
I learned the ins and outs of art festivals selling pottery. I learned that it's a hard earned living as a potter. Recently, as a mixed media artist, I have my work in galleries and sell online through ebay and etsy.
5. what are your favorite media of choice at the moment?
I cannot choose. I love all mediums, I really do. Anything that will stick onto what I am creating.
6. if you had to choose one favorite past artist and one favorite
contemporary artist who would you choose?
Favorite past artist...just one, would have to be Klimt.
Favorite contemporary artist... I do not have a favorite. I can say that the person that has inspired and encouraged my work the most would be Teesha Moore. It was her work that first saw in Somerset studio, while I was still a potter. I found her website and was just so inspired to get serious about creating with papers and collage. And now she is giving me the opportunity to teach at Artfest 2007!
7. do you take care of the business part of your art?
Um, no. Not the number stuff. My husband helps me. I do however, mail all my packages.
8. do you have any favorite venues for your art? are they close to your home/studio?
I have just started selling my mixed media work outside of online, so I don't really have a favorite venue, as of yet.
9. what does being an artist in today's world mean to you? (is there a bigger picture to be shown through your artistic lens?)
I feel that being an artist in today's world is just like being an artist in the past or future. An artist wants to release feelings through art. To provoke feelings in the viewer, even if the viewer is only the artist, themselves. For me, as an artist in today's world, I want to move people with my art, I want them to see more than what's there, to think about what it is I am trying to portray, to bring out feelings of their own. To wonder, in a world where sometimes there seems little left to wonder about.
10. what are your plans ... short term and then long term?
I try not to make plans; it makes for disappointment. Aside from becoming the most renowned artist in the world, having enough money to have my own chef in a kitchen with hanging sparkly pots and pans, in a house surrounded by nature with a spectacular view of the lake.
11. what three art tools/materials would you take with you to a desert island?
Good Paper, pens & pencils, sharpener.
Thanks Misty for sharing your studio and your world with us here today!