10 January 2012

Meet the Artist: Julie Criswell

Tell us a bit about yourself.
50 something, twice married, mom of three. Two older daughters that are almost 30 and a nine year old daughter, 2 grand daughters and three grand puppies. I've worked as an R.N. for over 30 years. I love the beach, I love the beach...did I mention, I love the beach?! I got into running in my forties when I adopted a fat lab. As fat as he was, he would drag me down the street. One day I just decided to start running with him. I started doing races and got hooked. I took tae kwon do kickboxing for three years, and I'm hooked on hitting and kicking things now. I have an eighty pound heavy bag and speed bags in my garage to work out with. I've always loved art, and get my creative side from my Dad.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work as a clinic manager for a non-profit community clinic. We provide free pregnancy testing and dating ultrasounds, and referrals for prenatal care and insurance enrollment among other things.

What would be the title of your memoir?
Smile and Wave

Where does your inspiration come from?
All different things. Ideas hit me at odd times. I spend a lot of time outdoors and I love nature. That's a big source of inspiration. I have a hard time working on commission because I want to run with my own ideas. Recently I've gotten into making lamps using digital images and forming collages for the shades.

What does handmade mean to you?
It means that an idea that started out embryonic, divided and multiplied, and took form with the ingenuity that an individual put into it with their own hands.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I love the ancient Roman and Persian mosaics. It's a dream to visit Europe and the Middle East and look at the works that have survived for centuries by the masters. I belong to several Flickr mosaic groups and get excited by work I see other artists do.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
My Dad was very artistic. He dabbled in photography, taught hand drawn animation classes, and could do uncanny caricatures. He encouraged me and told me a was an artist from an early age. You know you are an artist when creating something makes you feel super excited and satisfied.

How would you describe your creative process?
If I have a commission, I research the desired subject, search up photos, work out a design, and do a painted draft, or a pencil sketch. For my own work, I sometimes just have an idea in my head and sketch it directly onto the work surface and start breaking and cutting tile. I get tunnel brain on a project and tend to work like a fiend until I'm done. Sometimes my husband will drag me away for meals or make me stop and go to bed.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
As a teen, I was obsessed with Maxfield Parrish. Now it would be a tie between Salvador Dali and Parrish. Very dissimilar styles, likes dreams and nightmares.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Stuff that my kids have made over the years- A bright blue bird painting, a red paper mache heart necklace, a gold ceramic Egyptian cartouche.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
Pretty much where I am now, but with more money!

6 comments:

Rosebud Collection said...

Good interview and wonderful work..

Pili said...

Great interview and I love her work, amazing tiling!

mommajanjan said...

Beautiful work from a beautiful woman I have been deeply privileged to know for 30 years!

CastleQueen said...

Love the interview with one of my favorite cousins that I've known for all of those 50some years!

Tyla said...

Gorgeous Artwork and interesting artist! Thanks for posting!

Lynnef said...

Great interview, beautiful, inspiring work and a truly wonderful lady to work with!! We are blessed to call you friend!

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