Have you always been creative and what’s the earliest work you can remember creating?
I have always been creative, but not in the same way as some other people who started painting/drawing when they were little and never stopped. After childhood my creativity stood still for a long time or came in different guises.
When I was about 5 I went to 'painting lessons' while temporarily living in Indonesia with my mother. I remember we had an assignment where we had to paint something that had happened to us. Earlier that week we had got caught in a tropical rainstorm which really impressed me (nothing like the rain we get in northern Europe!), so that is what I painted.
My mother had the painting framed, which made me feel so proud. I still have it and I love seeing it and recalling that (very rare) young child's feeling of painting with complete confidence and concentration, without self-judgement.
What's your studio like and how do you keep organised?
Messy! I only have space for 1 art desk and it's usually untidy. In my dream studio I'd have at least 3 desks! I have very limited space, so I have to be organised in terms of not having too many art supplies, and making sure everything has its own space to be tidied away. My desk usually gets very messy during the course of creating, but because everything has its own designated space, tidying up is really quick (and therapeutic!).
I made this video to show how I like to keep my space organised for mixed media art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gpoDJ0v8QQ
Where do you look for inspiration?
During art creation I am mostly looking inside for inspiration. When I create art I am mostly trying to express or access my feelings. This process is quite sensitive and requires staying with myself, it can actually be distracting to look for inspiration outside myself at that time.
While I am not creating art, I am always taking in the inspiration around me. Both in the real world and online. I love browsing Instagram, it's my favourite social media platform by far and seeing the beautiful art of the people I follow makes me so happy and excitied to go back to my art desk.
Whats in your pencil case / camera bag?
I have so many art supplies, and have found that the range of supplies and colours can make me feel really overwhelmed and sometimes even blocked. To avoid feeling overwhelmed I have a very small number of selected art supplies that permanently sit on my desk. Those are the ones I grab for first, and then while creating I might have an idea for other things to use. An awesome side effect of this approach is that there is a cohesion between all the work I create, because the basis is always the same. Currently these are the things I have on my desk:
Stabilo All pencil, waterbrush, brayer, fluorescent pink acrylic paint, lime green craft paint, off-white chalk paint, gold paint, fluorescent pink pencil.
Any tips for someone suffering from creative block?
Go download my Creative Juices Kickstarter! http://iris-impressions.com/creative-kickstarter/ I got together with 11 popular mixed media artists and asked them what they do when they get creatively blocked. The result is this PDF which is full of tips from people who create the most wonderful art on a daily basis. Whenever I feel blocked I open up the PDF and try a suggestion.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I love being creative and it doesn't always have to be mixed media or art journaling. I am currently really into making mini journals. I've also dipped my toe into a bit of illustration and three panel comics. I like making videos and vlogging. I also like cooking (and eating, ha!). I'm a super big geek, I love gaming (board & video games) and playing Dungeons & Dragons.