I was so happy to be able to interview Violette! She's been one of my favorite artists since I started blogging and found her youtube videos;) She has a brand new book out called Journal Bliss, check it out here! I hope you enjoy the interview and get as much from it as I did......
1. How did you get your start as an artist, and are you
able to do art full time, or do you have a "day" job also?
Well my journey as an artist was not a linear one. I
have always drawn and doodled ever since I was a little girl. When my
kids were young I drew cartoons and caricatures on a freelance basis - but
basically I was a stay at home Mom. My husband at the time was the
breadwinner. Now I make money creating art but do supplement my income
with a bit of savings every now and then. Mr. G lives with me, it
helps to have his income too. I plan on making more from my art career
this year - online classes, e-books, and workshops in my studio. My goal
is to have Mr. G quit his job and work with me - he's very good at managing and
taking care of details - things I'm not so great at!
2. Were your family and friends supportive? For those of us whose
family and/or friends just don't get it, don't understand the passion we have
for art, and just send out bad energy, can you give any advice as to how to not
let others negativity put doubts in our head? **(I'm not sure if I worded that
right, but I feel that my family just does not support my creative dreams, and
I hate having that negative energy pull me down)
Well I can't say that my family and friends have always been
supportive. My folks didn't want me to go into art because they thought I
would starve to death. Their fear was well meant however to someone who
really loved art it was devastating. Thankfully I have good friends who support
me in my artsy endeavours. Fortunately my grown kids have been very
supportive - my son Ryan is my webmaster, he created my website and my daughter
Jessica who is a graphic designer did all the graphics for www.violette.ca . I think though, very
often our family members want the best for us although of course, that is
according to their own beliefs and feelings? I believe it's important to
surround yourself with people who believe in your artistic dreams. When
you share your creations (your baby) with others make sure they are with people
who support you otherwise you will feel "shot down" and may stop
creating. I surrounded myself with friends who believed in me. I
called them my bohemian tribe. Find your tribe of people whether they be
in your life now or online. You can always find your tribe by posting notices
in cafes and online places such as Craigslist so you can meet up with
likeminded people. That's a powerful way to keep your creative mojo
going! Read an article I wrote about "Finding your Creative Tribe"
3.How long have you kept a visual journal? What are your favorite visual
journaling supplies (those things that you would feel necessary to take with
you to journal on the go)? Do you make your own journals, or do you have a
I think I started Visual Journaling around 9/11 - that's
about 8 years ago isn't it? It was a very powerful time for me. My
favourite supplies are twinkling H2O's (I'll have to find an alternative since
Luminarte is going out of business unfortunately), micron pens for inking in my
lines, watercolour pencil crayons, Mod Podge for gluing things down and
collaging a variety of ephemera to my pages. I also like Golden fluid
acrylics and glitter glue like Stickles. I always have the necessary basics of
a few Micron pens, water-color pencil crayons, mechanical pencil and a moleskin
notepad. At home I usually use loose cardstock pages for my journal pages and
then I bullclip them together. In the past I have used coilbound black
books in a variety of sizes.
4. Is there a difference between an art journal and a visual journal? Does
it just depend on what you want to call it?
I feel an art journal and a visual journal are the same
thing. You know the funny thing is I can't remember why I started calling
my journals Visual Journals rather than art journals.....all I know is that
when I combined visuals along with words powerful things began to happen in my
life. I did not stay stuck as long as I used to and moved much more
quickly through my "stuff"...that's why I'm such a fanatic about Visual
5. I'm a big procrastinator, and it really holds me back. I know that SARK
is a big influence for you, do you practice micromovements?
Oh you're so right! Sark has been my biggest
inspiration and influence! I just adore her and her inspiring
books. Yes I practise micromovements (but now I call them taking
"one bite at a time") when I get overwhelmed by life and
getting my art out there. Every now and then I'll ask myself "
what's the worst that could happen if I did this project or sent out that piece
of art to a magazine??? Would I rather dream about the possibilities or
"Live the dream"........the last few years it's been more about
"living the dream". Dreams do come true! Oh and just to
let you know I do still procrastinate.....A LOT however I do much more than I
used to. My partner Mr. G helps get on my case when I procrastinate too
much.....he helps to keep me on track and encourage me. I think you can
always find a friend who will call you and keep you on track like a
Coach. If worse comes to worse you can hire a coach (I have) to help you
achieve your goals.
6. Can you tell us a little about your new book? How you got started on it
and how it's different from other art journaling books that we've read? Would
you be able to give us a sneak peek inside?
*** If you can maybe send an image of a page inside? If not that's ok, I
understand-I just would love to see a peak:)
Well I do believe that my book is different in that it's
super duper colourful, full of a variety of different techniques - the styles vary
a fair amount, I think that way things don't get too repetitive or boring.
I wanted to show people that you can illustrate all kinds of happenings
in your life. My book is full of little vignettes - stories of my life
and how they tie into my art. Also I am happy to report that I was able
to sneak my philosophy into Journal Bliss here and there - about grabbing the
brass ring, creating your reality and a bit about "core
beliefs". I think the general message of my book is to follow your
dreams, one of the most powerful ways to do this is through keeping a visual
journal or art making in general. I have been wanting to publish a book
for quite a few years - I've met up with a fair amount of rejection over the
years.......part of what I have done though is to put myself out there in a
gradual way - first started having articles and art published in online zines,
then onto Creativity Portal.com then in actual print magazines, then into two
other author's books and then finally once the editors began to recognize my
name it was easier to pitch them a book idea. It's taken me many many
years to become an "over night success"! Ha!
7. How can we go about finding our own creative voice?
I believe you can do that by drawing or creating every day.
Try different techniques that speak to you, go online and visit the blogs and
websites of artist's that do what you would like to be doing. Sitting
still and listening to that still small voice within is a good thing. Now
you might think this is a bit weird but I often let the piece tell me what it
wants to be. That's where listening to the small voice within comes
in. Sometimes you get a prompting to draw....oh let's say Twiggy (she's
in my book) so you start to draw her and the next thing you know you get the
feeling you should journal about what it felt like to draw Twiggy as a
child. The piece unfolds from there. It's as if there is an unseen
hand guiding your art. It's pretty cool! Things will begin to
emerge - you will find a pattern - you'll find that you are attracted to
certain colours, styles (vintage? whimsical? Contemporary?). Look
at your magazine stash. What does it say to you? Are they all about
mixed media? What art makes you gasp with excitement? You will find
clues in all of that! It's like uncovering your authentic self, which is the key
- to be yourself and not a carbon-copy of someone else. That's where I have
used the saying "Dig your magic"... sometimes it does take a fair
amount of digging but it's all worth it.
8. One last question, since I promised a short interview! If you were on a
desert island and could only have 2 inspirational books with you, what 2 would
Well I would probably bring Julia Cameron's Artist's Way and
Sark's Inspiration Sandwich (since that was Sark's first book I read and was
turned on to embracing the colour and joy in life).
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions!!
Thanks for asking me these thought provoking questions Trish!
I love Violette! I'm so happy that I've gotten a chance to get to know her a bit better through emailing her and interviewing her (interview will be posted tomorrow!) I hope to continue to get to know her, she's such a great lady and artist. Oh, yeah, the link;) Here's an article she linked to in her blog yesterday, check it out:)
I would like to learn to make jewelry someday. This site should help!
I've been in a searching kind of mood lately, a search for some way to live a better life, to feel better-inside and out.....I've been listening to Oprah's Soul Series and (trying) to listen to one of the meditation podcasts that I downloaded (free) from itunes. It's easier to feel hopeful about finding your way when you feel good physically. This past weekend, and today, I've been sick. (I think it was mostly caused by forgetting to take my cymbalta for 4 days in a row-on top of sinus stuff) I've been weepy (which after googling, is one of the symptoms of cymbalta withdrawal-all I can say is if you take it don't forget your daily dose, you will feel like hell!) and discouraged-I've been worrying about my job, my bills, my son....worrying myself sick(er)!! I tried to focus on my breathing (something that has really been helping me) but it was too late, those worrying thoughts were stuck on re-play.....Anyways, I don't know WHERE I was going with this. I know I had something specific to say, but with all of that rambling I lost it. I'm searching amazon right now, for a (cheap used) book that may help me. So far I've found this, this and this one but I'm still looking. I can only get 1, so I want to make a good choice. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate it!
I haven't painted or anything these past few days either, but I'm NOT going to get down about that!! Maybe I just need to wait until I'm in a better place, and then I'll be ready to go again;) I hope everyone has a great weekend!!
*** Beautiful!!( I don't know what to say, it's like I was meant to find this! Just now, feeling sorry for myself, I hit stumble on my toolbar instead of the link I meant to click on, and this came up. No matter what happens in life, or how bad we feel, we can still show kindness to others......I need to remember that! When we are feeling bad, life is not going well, we're grumpy, wouldn't it be better to smile at that stranger and hold the door for them, or let them out into traffic instead of thinking someone else can do it?! Ok, anyways, I'm going to go take a nice hot bath and then find something good for the soul to read;)