These are the interview questions Cedarflame graciously sent me. Very hard to answer in some cases but very cool. Enjoy!
1. You are one of the few Artists that I have meant that have actually had successful careers doing the thing they love best, art. How did that come about for you?
Like everything in life, small steps covered large distances. I made a series of Wall Icons for a gallery in Fremont, Seattle entitled "Everyday Icons" making everyday people and issues into updated Saints. They proved popular locally, and a jewelry line was formed from this idea, small wearable alters. With popularity comes imitation I when I found I was being mimicked by another jewelry company in the region I scheduled shows all over the country, picking up about 200 or so wholesale accounts. All the while thinking of the natural progression of this idea. It occurred to me that Catholic votive candles were the next step, and I took a whole summer in 1993 painting and developing this idea. I introduced them in September of that year, never dreaming they would take off as they did. My business grew 10 times it's size every month for almost two years, until I found myself with 5000+ wholesale accounts and international accounts as far away as Italy and Australia. I actually only knew it would be a success when I sold my favorite store on the planet TWIST in Portland, Ore. a group of candles and they reordered five times the initial order within three weeks early on. It has been my experience that creative ideas overlap each other, and build larger as they are explored fully.
2. Do you think that education is just as important to someone pursuing a career as an artist or do you think talent is all one needs to succeed?
To all the teachers out there I apologize in advance. I had a sterling formal education, but I do believe sometimes this kills art. I was always a rebel in school, who succeeded in spite of many well meaning teachers. A couple stand out, those who actually taught and didn't follow some personal dogma. With that said, I would also add education is paramount in artistic success, whether it be self motivated or channeled through formal education. Good ideas do not develop in life if they have no means of final expression. Education teaches those means.
3. As an artist, as well as a person, you have had a few reincarnations in this life (by that I mean moving from one place to another, creating businesses, etc.) do you see yourself in the process of another reincarnation?
I am currently in the seed space of reincarnation, but it has been a long fallow period. To make more success, it takes being really present in life, knowing the reality of the starting point. I've found myself thrashing about for a while, getting my bearings emotionally. I was concerned last year I'd completely lost my ambition, but I feel it starting to return. So I do think my reincarnation is just about to launch again. And I have many strong ideas on the desk. The issue for this Libra is to pick one. (LOL)
4. You have been a Seattelite in the past, what is it about Seattle that seems to draw people who are a little, let’s say, eccentric?
(LOL) If you think Seattle is eccentric move on up to Alaska. Those folks make Seattle folks look like your mother's comfy couch with doilies. That is where I was when my unbelievably talented friend Howard died of Aids, and I made the momentous decision to follow the path we both should have taken. I worked in Seattle sometimes, and looked around in my travels and saw a very vibrant and reasonably priced Mecca, hence my ultimate desire to move there. To answer your question, like brings like. Seattle was the epicenter of cool for about 10 years, building on the eccentricities of the artists, musicians, and innovators that flocked there. I see Seattle now as a victim of it's own success in many ways, and wonder where the hot bed of cool is now. Seattle seems to be populated by all new eccentrics looking for employment, and not in the innovative way.
5. Where ever you are there is an Altar in your home. Tell us how you started creating Altars and what purpose do they have in your life?
Oh My God Risley. This could be a book this question! I do not have a clue why I do this. I covered walls as a preteen with images and stuff, and I can't remember not having a visual space that represented my life spiritually. At this stage of my life my actual altar is smaller, although I tend to make every display (books, fridge magnets, etc) into tiny altar like spaces. But isn't that kinda what home is, an altar to the living? My actual altar is a visual reminder of certain spiritual aspects to remember daily, every item a memory or representation of something for me to remember as I go about my life. Some people make neat little scrapbooks, I make an altar. I have discussed my altar on this blog at length, and sometimes I really think I had a past life in some church capacity. I will say I am fascinated by devotional items, things that are meaningful not for monetary value but for the faith they represent. There is a lot of energy present in items that held the focus of devotion. I find in life I am far more attracted to the substance of things than the top layer of their categorization, The Deceptive Depth of Puddles. :)
Thanks for the questions Risley. You'll be happy to know I did study the Bush Doctrine and made a list of reading materials just in case!