{the interview series} Meghann Rader

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Hoje vamos estar à conversa com a artista Meghann Rader, a nossa última convidada antes da pausa que {the interview series} fará durante o Verão.
Meghann vive no Canadá e a sua arte é directamente influenciada pela natureza que a rodeia: as montanhas, as árvores, os animais. Combinando o desenho, pintura, colagem e técnicas de impressão, das suas mãos nascem, não só obras de arte únicas, como peças de joalharia que elegem a madeira como suporte preferido. Eu adoro e já tenho alguns favoritos debaixo de olho... e vocês?

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.] 


Today we'll be talking with the artist Meghann Rader, our last guest before the pause {the interview series} will be taking this Summer.
Meghann lives in Canada and her art is directly influenced by the nature that surrounds her: the mountains, the trees, the animals. Combining drawing, painting, collage and print techniques, from her hands are born, not only unique pieces of art, but also jewelry accessories that ellect wood as the favorite support. I love it and have already favorited some... how about you?

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Meghann Rader
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada


1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Meghann Rader. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Meghann. I live with my husband Tobias in Port Alberni, British Columbia on the beautiful west coast of Canada. I spend my days making art and trying to carve out a little space for myself and my work in the big wide world of handmade.

2. You graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and now you dedicate your time to your art. How and when was this creative passion born?
I have always had a love of making things and started taking art classes around 8 years old. I don't remember ever thinking of it as a career possibility at that time though. I wanted to be an astronaut or a scientist of some sort for most of my childhood. It's been a slow process to first realize that being an artist was an achievable goal and to second, get to the point where I could put my full time effort into it. Now I'm at the third stage which is to hopefully make it a success!


3. Your paintings are inspired by the natural world - both flora and fauna - and by geometric and chromatic compositions. How are these compositions born? What inspires you? Share your creative process with us.
I think that some of my art instructors would be shuttering at my choice of subject matter these days. But after finishing school I had a very hard time creating anything for quite a long time. I was so stuck on the meaning behind everything and found that I couldn't live up to the definition of “Artist” that had been taught to me. I certainly get the whole idea of having a thought provoking intent behind your work and I appreciate it when it's done well, but part of me also finds that whole part of the art world kind of ridiculous. It's just not for me. Only recently have I been okay with the fact that my work doesn't have a lot of deep meaning behind it other than the fact that I find joy in making it. I just like painting trees. I like drawing animals. I like collaging little landscapes out of bits of paper. Now I'm finding inspiration in so many places. I'm always pulling out my camera to take quick photos during walks or while out in the car. When I sit down to create a new piece I usually scan through these pictures and other collected images and sketches I've done, taking pieces here and there and combining them to create an outline. Then I decide which media I want to use and create the final image.

4. You use to paint on wood panels and often choose mixed media to express yourself. Tell us about your choices regarding materials and supports.
I like to say I work in mixed media because I can't make up my mind about which media I actually want to work in. There are far too many choices and I love them all! I spent several years working in an art supply store, where I learned a lot about different materials and how to use them. Sometimes I think I learned more there than I did at art school! I usually choose tools and materials that allow for small details, which I'm a bit obsessed with. The most commonly seen tools on my desk are a 0.3mm mechanical pencil, an x-acto knife and a size 000 watercolour brush. I like fluid acrylics and watercolours and I prefer wood panels and paper to canvas because they are flat and smooth with no distracting lumps or bumps.


5. You take your illustrations to the next level, transferring them to wearable objects like pendants or brooches – I especially love your “tree line” series! Would you share a favorite and a best-seller with us?
I started selling only artwork on Etsy and it was a bit of a struggle. I thought that giving the artwork a second use as a piece of jewelry might help make it more accessible to a wider audience. So far my Treeline pieces have been the most popular, and my favorite, followed closely by my sketched bears.


6. Do you consider yourself more as an artist or crafter? Do you think there’s actually a big difference or there’s only a thin line separating these two concepts nowadays?
I think the word artist is being used for everything creative these days, actors, musicians, crafters all seem to be artists. I usually introduce myself as a mixed media artist and to me that encompasses all of my art and craft work. Yes I love to paint and draw but I also love to knit, sew, embroider, and do anything else creative. In each case I am coming up with an idea and then producing it. I see no difference whether I'm using paint, yarn or fabric.

7. I’d love if you could share some of your favorite artists with us.
Paul Klee, Helen Frankenthaler, Peter Doig to name a few. There are also countless new artists I see online everyday that are so inspiring!


8. You have a recognizable style and through your work your name travels all around the world! What means do you use to promote it?
I think it's such an amazing thing that someone on the other side of the world can know my work or buy one of my pieces. At the moment I'm mostly selling my work on Etsy and so the most effective thing for me promotion wise has been good product photography. I've spent a lot of time trying out different ways of photographing my work, dark backgrounds, light backgrounds, props, no props, sunlight, daylight bulbs, homemade light boxes, and of course Photoshop. It's still not perfect but I'm constantly trying to improve and it has made a big difference.

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
It changes every day but usually I try to get up around 7:30ish have a cup of coffee or tea while checking emails etc. Then I get myself ready for the day, turn on the radio and get to work until about 4:30 in the afternoon. Most of my artwork has to be worked on in stages with drying time in between so I usually have several things on the go at one time. And of course there is the business end of things that needs to be taken care of as well. I also volunteer at our local Community Arts Council once a week, hanging shows and helping out in their gift shop.

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
Right now my space is a little spare room in our home. I try to keep it contained but sometimes it spills out into the rest of our place. I have my desk, my baby press and lots of shelving for all of my stuff, what more could I need? My favorite thing about it is that it's an actual room rather than just a corner.


11. Share your passions and hobbies with us.
I like to be outside. We go for a lot of walks exploring our neighbourhood and different trails. Port Alberni is in such a great spot for anyone who loves the outdoors. There's camping, hiking trails, lakes, and amazing ocean beaches only a short drive away on either side of us. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of some of that this summer!

12. You live and work in Port Alberni, on the west coast of Canada, where you’re influenced by a close contact with nature. Tell us about what you love most about it. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
Yes, my work is very much influenced by where I live. Port Alberni sits in a valley in the middle of Vancouver Island and we're surrounded by trees and mountains on all sides. I love that I can walk only a couple hundred yards from my front door and find myself in a lush green forest. There are certainly other parts of the world I would like to visit but I see myself always having my home on the Island.


13. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
I have thought about this before and always come to the conclusion that I don't think I would want to live in any historical era. There would be lots of interesting things to see and do in other eras, maybe being an explorer of some kind would be fun. But I really like having Internet access, my cell phone, going down the street to get a coffee, oh and of course being able to vote is great!

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become an artist?
Don't worry about figuring out your style right away and try not to be guided by what other people think, just start making stuff you want to make. Eventually you'll see patterns forming in the work you're making that will help you narrow down and define yourself as an artist.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I would like to expand my jewelry line into a few complete collections and start wholesaling to brick and mortar stores. I'm also planning on going back to school in the fall to learn joinery and cabinetmaking, which I'm pretty excited about! After that I would love to open a second shop selling my own home goods. We're also hoping to buy our own home soon which will be a big adventure! Unrealistically, it would be great to own a big piece of property in the middle of the woods, with a big old house (in perfect working order), a big studio, a garden, some dogs, a few sheep and maybe a goat or two running around. Also, there would be a pretty little lane that lead to a quaint little shop lined street where I could get my morning coffee and buy art supplies.


Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: The Birth House by Ami McKay
music: depends on my mood
movie: Love Actually
personality/artist: The person who inspires me is Tobias Rader
color: grey
object: my wolf mug
animal: dog
drink: tea or water
food: olives or chocolate
season of the year: Fall/Autumn
travel destination: UK
piece of clothing: jeans
secret: I can't stand them.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring art with us, Meghann!

3 comments:

  1. lindo...já não sei como cheguei à tua página Ana Pina, por umas escadas, ou como as pedrinhas de um riacho, a chegar daqui para ali, de página em página, de blog em blog,...foi um bom pé ante pé. bom verão. bom agosto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E ainda bem que cá estás :) Obrigada pelas palavras, bom Verão!

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