Cool Kid Spotlight: Paper & Wood

 

 

Tell us who you are.

I'm a self-taught artist, high school art teacher, mom, wife, and Arkansas native.

 

What was the first thing you remember making?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I made up a big-headed chihuahua named Eddie Big-Heady, and drew him everywhere. 

What inspires your current work?

Since the bulk of my work utilizes recycled scraps, I often find myself inspired by the material itself -- the pattern of a wallpaper sample might make a striking dress detail, for example. My husband sources all our wood, so occasionally he will bring home a piece that "feels" like it needs a particular subject. I'm drawn to punchy, vibrant colors and contrasting textures to interpret pop culture icons, animals, landscapes in sort of a "pop folk" style. I'm currently working on a series inspired by people, places, wildlife, and folklore of Arkansas.

 

What is your favorite part of your creative process?

My work involves a lot layering, so it feels almost sculptural in a way. It's fun to watch each piece evolve from start to finish.

 

How do you handle creative roadblocks?

Roadblocks aren't permanent unless you allow them to be. I think the best thing you can do is keep making, whether it's in a sketchbook, on a loom, with a Bic on the back of your junk mail...just stay creatively busy, even if you think the end product is garbage. Teaching art has really helped me accept this. I've been able to gain some perspective by looking at creative blocks from the other side and coaching my students through problem solving and the creative process.

What have you learned about yourself as a maker?

I used to spend a lot of time comparing myself to others, which caused a plague of self doubt. I have learned that I can, regardless of what other people are also capable of. 

What is your favorite project or piece to date?

While I can't possibly pick a favorite, I do love the Buffalo River landscape. I always enjoy working on new pieces in that series.

 

Do you have any side projects?

None to speak of at the moment. Stay tuned, though...you never know! Right now my side projects feed into my teaching job. It takes a lot of time to play with new media, create classroom examples, and plan for the school year -- it forces me to stay busy making things beyond my paper scraps. 

What do you listen to while you work?

I alternate between upbeat indie jams, the Punch Brothers, Kyle, and the Moth Radio Hour.