Posts about 'miniviews'

michele maule mixed media: miniview


i think i have mentioned before that my father in law has this awesome collection of old typewriters? they’re all black, which is perfect and fine of course, but just a tad heavy to be filling my eyes and mind, what with all the summery things that are pouring into my head at warp speed right now. the old brightly colored ones are perfect in a different way, a seasonal way, a now way, which is why i am sooo attracted to the most excellent artwork of michele maule. i love her free-spirited interpretation of these utilitarian objects, with their foxy colors and soft curves. there is some big love behind these pieces, you can just tell. and her other work, which includes original encaustic paintings, illustrations and screenprints, is a nice crusty contrast to those colorful jammy typewriters. that’s right, i said jammy. the point is, there’s all different kinds of plenty for people to enjoy in her prolific collection, and with all that said, wouldn’t you like to know just a little more about the brains behind the operation? me too!




q: where do you live and where do you make your collection?
a: i live in pontiac, michigan, a forgotten suburb of detroit. i mostly work in my house. i recently converted my living room into a work space, and there is also a small space in my bedroom where i work.




q: what inspires you to create?
a: i find inspiration in everyday objects. i love seeing the personalities that things like chairs, typewriters, spools of thread, and sewing machines take on. every time i draw one of these objects, it seems to take on a life of its own. each one has their own character, and i really enjoy seeing that.

i also find a lot of inspiration in nature, and in illustrated science books. things like the anatomy of flowers and our skeletal system really interest me.




q: what did you think you would grow up to be when you were a little kid?
a: well, i remember the first thing/person i wanted to be when i grew up was wonder woman. i thought she was rad. i even wore these blue rubber bands on my wrists for weeks and weeks. 🙂 later, i knew that i wanted to do something that would let me be creative. i didn’t know what exactly, and i don’t think i really figured that out until my junior year of college!


q: can we go anywhere to see your work in person?
a: yes you can!! i currently have work in the following galleries and boutiques: fact and fancy in brooklyn, 323 east gallery in royal oak, mi and the ddp gallery in fayetteville, ar.


see more of michele’s terrific artwork on her website, check out her flickr stream, purchase these pieces at her etsy shop, and be sure to stop by and say hi on her blog too!


thank you michele!

pillowmonster softies: miniview



i love these supercute couch companions from nichol brinkman, aka etsy seller pillowmonsters. i can’t say whether i am more charmed by the fun detailing on these pieces or the very interesting tales of these characters. there’s clementine, who boycotts broccoli, theodore the robot who, despite having been told he has no heart, felt himself getting worked up while watching beaches, and the whipped cream eating daughter of a window washer, polly suzanna. don’t you need to know more about the brains of this operation after reading that? yeah, me too.



q: where do you live and where do you make these great pillows?
a: i live in bloomington, indiana in an apartment with my husband, joseph, and dog, albert. i have a teeny tiny room all to myself where i make all of my pillow monsters.


q: what is your inspiration?
a: i am really inspired by other etsy artists and bloggers and flickr post-ers. i love the healthy competition that comes from being part of a like-minded community. i never in a million years thought there would be this extensive sub-culture related to plush dolls, but it is fantastic.



q: where do you do your best pillow-making thinking?
a: i think all the time about my pillow monsters and new designs for them. i do like to look at books of old circus posters at the library and that triggers lots of ideas.


see all this and more at nichol’s etsy shop, and be sure to stop by her blog to say hello.


thank you nichol!

tony forte photography & design: miniview



i am back in the saddle this week and today’s miniview brings us more insight into the projects of tony forte, a graphic designer who creates works through digital techniques and photography with strong urban themes. tony’s photography is striking and his rich mixed media pieces with glints of vintage influence intrigue me, so i thought i’d ask a few questions…



q: where do you live and where do you create your work?
a: i’m living in north new jersey, and all the creative workload gets done in my office/studio which is also in jersey.




q: do you have a formal education in art or design?
a: i have a degree: applied science in visual communication and graphic design. i’ve been drawing since I was a kid, and have always appreciated photography.


q: can you tell us a little about the backyard project you have founded?
a: backyard project was founded in late 2005. it was a venture that i had been trying to get off the ground for a very long time. it was tough with working during the day, and bar tending at night. (NO sleep.) me and dan puleo, a friend and artist who shared similar taste when it came to throwing ideas around, launched the backyard site. we had put some cash together to get the website up and running. it was a great way to finally get some more exposure, and also develop a t-shirt/apparel line, with one-color design concepts. the apparel mainly concentrates on simple designs that represent our everyday creative outlook in our neighborhood, that we can share with the world.


q: do you have a favorite piece in your collection?
a: um, i think one of my favorite pieces is “Yesterday” (below) which can be also viewed with many other pieces of mine on my website. i really do NOT get tired of looking at that piece, i feel that i get something else that pops out of it every time i look at it. it’s hanging in my apartment.


thank you tony!

sixth and elm wood accessories: miniview


we are circling back to some lovely burned wood boxes and frames i featured back in march for today’s miniview, since i loved them so and i think you all did too! these tactile pieces are made by toronto artist tellie finley. i think her collection is so pretty, collectible and timeless, and was curious to know more, so i asked three quick ones…


q: how did you get into this type of craftwork?
a: i got into woodburning as a child with a cheap kid’s woodburning kit and i was horrible at it. almost anything i am good at it seems that i have to fail at the first time, and it isn’t until i pick it up again that it starts to feel right. in a fit of boredom one cold winter i thought longingly of the cheap woodburning pen that used to burn my fingers after a while and, seeking some warmth since my husband refused to turn up the heat, i dug it out and started to burn a design on some scrap wood. then i burned on a blank wood picture frame. then our spice rack. soon my husband was hiding all our wooden items, sure that i was going to brand every piece of wood we own.

although i have graduated from the child’s wood burning pen, this was a recent upgrade and many of my original designs were done with nothing more than that children’s woodburning kit from 1989.


q: what inspires you to create these pieces?
a: i am inspired by anything lasting, timeless. the first (and most popular) piece i created was the french script box, which uses the text from love letters that are almost 900 years old. i love the lasting impression the written word can have and i try to create pieces that compliment the age of such.

nature is another thing that inspires me with it’s permanence. to look at an ancient redwood tree and try to imagine how many lifetimes of men it has stood sentinel is quite an experience. i think that is why i am drawn to wood as a medium, and woodburning as an art. i try to use wood from earth-friendly sources and i feel that i am giving wood a way to live on as art after it’s life as a tree is over. and i can’t deny that i love having my house smell like a permanent campfire.


q: do you have an arts background?
a: i did go to arts school, but it was for performing arts. i learned vocal, violin and drama for nine years, but i still think it was relevent as it meant i was surrounded by creativity. i don’t think being classically trained in a particular art is a requisite for being an artist, however.

every artistic technique i have ever learned was from the internet. a lot of great advice and some really bad advice all cobbled together to form the core of my “formal” training. a little success and a lot of failure has sufficed for my apprenticeship. time, more than formal instruction, made me the artist i am today. my official advice to beginners is simple: just keep doing it until you don’t suck at it anymore.


you can find tellie’s beautiful creations at her etsy shop, and see what else she is up to on her blog.


thank you tellie!

susan graham sculpture: miniview


i thoroughly enjoy the thoughtful construction and loose style of these metal animal sculptures from new york artist susan graham. her handmade menagerie is created from the idea of a three dimensional drawing, with a single continuous strand of steel or copper wire used for as long as possible for stability. special attention is addressed toward the character, gestures and expression of each animal, which makes it difficult to choose a favorite! ever curious to know more about the brains behind the operation, i asked susan three quick questions…


q: how did you get into making these sculptures?
i made a wire animal a long time ago as an art assignment. a teacher brought in a live rooster in a cage (this was in ohio, where i’m from) and asked us to use wire as a medium and capture the character of the rooster.


q: do you have an art background?
a: i do have an art background. i had started school in chemistry at ohio state university and then switched to art-sculpture and photography – because that’s what i had always wanted to do. i moved to new york city and started a degree at the school of visual arts, but did not finish. i was afraid of getting too much in debt and not being able to afford an art studio here. i have a whole other art career besides the wire animals – i show at a gallery in chelsea called schroeder romero.


q: what inspires you to create?
a: i am not sure what prompts my desire to create, but it is constant – a basic need. i do my art, i sew clothes sometimes, i make the wire pieces, i like to make cakes. it just seems to be built in.


susan will be exhibiting in future tense: reshaping the landscape at the neuberger museum from may 11th – july 20th, 2008. be sure to see her etsy shop for her wonderful collection (or to commission your favorite animal), and go here to see some of her photographs from a recent exhibition she had at the philip morris branch of the whitney.


thank you susan!

la pomme sewn toys and pillows: miniview



i am back from my weekend in nola, which was lovely (more on that later). equally if not more lovely are these soft linen and cotton pillows, sachets and toys from philippines-born, french-based artist apol lejano-massebieau, aka etsy seller lapomme. many of the pieces in apol’s dreamy collection are crafted from rescued and recycled materials and stuffed them with delicious dried lavender. each and every piece also has a wonderful and quirky story behind it. i wanted to know more of apol’s personal story, so i asked just three questions…


q: where do you live, and where do you make your lovely things?
a: i live in a little village in southwestern france, and i used to sew on my dining room table, until it stopped being fun finding pieces of thread in the salad. so i recently bought myself a little mobile home and installed it on the property, beside my dry garden. i painted the walls a shade called raspberry, and from march to mid-april i have a view of flamingos feeding in the marsh in front. it is wonderful to finally have a space for all my mess!



q: do you have an art background? how did you get into making these sachets and pillows?
a: what i am, mainly, is a writer, who had always had a deep appreciation for the visual arts and the fabric arts. sewing was something that i did on-and-off, and had always wanted to do more of, except that life had always been too busy.

when i was a child, my sisters and i would prepare for christmas by making handmade toys to give to cousins, although sometimes the toys were so freaky our cousins would cry. then at university i was part of the costume department of a theater group, and i got to make fun objects like a stuffed octopus and metallic dance suits. then i stopped for more than a decade as real life and a high-pressure job happened.



after a serious rearranging of my life, finally, after a long iI am able to again handle fabric, needle, and thread. this time, i have no plans of stopping.



q: would you rather sleep with lavender or eat it?
a: lavender in food requires a light touch, otherwise you feel like you’re eating a garden. so unless i really really trust the kitchen, i’d rather just sleep with the herb.

purchase these pieces and see the full collection at apol’s etsy shop, and say hi to her on her blog too.


thank you apol!

carrie pollard photography: miniview


there is so much strength in simplicity, and that is why i love the poetic composition in these terrific photographs from california artist carrie pollard. carrie’s pieces look like they’re full of stories and feel effortless and satisfying, like taking a walk with your best friend in the park on a spring day. ever curious to know more about the brains behind the operation, i decided to ask a few questions…


q: how did you get into photography?
a: my love of photography started in high school — roughly 10-12 years ago. at first, it started as a way to get out of class (lol) but then i really really started getting into it. i’ve taken many many classes on photography since then, and have done lots of portraits. i still love doing nature shots more than anything though.

i plan on being a full time photographer within three years.



q: what inspires your creativity?
a: blank walls! haha.

i would have to say that my creativity is inspired by nature. i love the outdoors and if i am inside you will find me looking outside. when i see a pretty scene, i want to share it with everyone!



see more of carrie’s collection here and purchase prints at her etsy shop.


thank you carrie!

iris schwarz illustrations: miniview


look at these enchanting and slightly surreal digital collage pieces, from swiss artist iris schwarz. there is something familiar about these delicate works which draws me to them, like i’ve seen them in a museum or maybe while i was daydreaming. iris uses ink, pencil and acrylic, and also draws upon a variety of vintage influences and imagery to complete her intriguing collection. even her shop name, which is called paulette edition, was inspired from her love of things old fashioned and very french! ever curious to know more about the brains behind the operation, i asked a few quick questions…


q: how did you get into creating these lovely illustrations?
a: after my graduation in graphic design and illustration i’m now self-employed for about ten years. graphic design always was more of a job, but illustration/drawing/painting is my real passion. i started with editorial illustration for several magazines and newspapers, today i work more as a freelancer, selling my art and illustrations online or direct to my audience.



q: what inspires you to make art?
a: art – contemporary, but even more the old schools (italian renaissance, the dutch school – i adore this accurate work), fairy tales, craft – i’m impressed by certain skills people have, victorian illustration. almost everything old… illustrated books, textiles, furniture (antique shops or flea markets are my obsession, especially in paris!), nature is very important to me, sometimes a conversation, beauty.



q: do you have a favorite medium to work in?
a: a pencil, a brush and paper. but, i must admit my iMac (photoshop) and me became really good friends too!


see the conplete collection, purchase these pieces and contact iris at her etsy shop.

thank you iris!

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