Hello, my name is Jodi and I am an artist and designer that loves to gain inspiration from quilts!
1. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
I am a wife; mother and Art Therapist trained at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, (USA). I did my thesis on "Separation Anxiety as seen in the graphic depiction of latency aged, chronically ill children". I have been crafting since I could hold a crayon and love to learn new skills all the time.
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
Nature is the most inspiring of all...but my children's artwork and drawings and the colors they use in combination with one another is also fascinating and inspirational.
3. Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?
It used to be purely for pleasure, although my folks have my oil paintings hanging in their home and when they went to get one of them framed someone offered them $800!!! Wow...it was a thrill...but my separation anxiety got the best of me and I just couldn't part with the piece. I then began to sew and make things for my children and their friends as gifts...this evolved into my shop at Etsy.com otherwise known as http://happyhousequilts.com/
4. If someone was looking to take up this craft should they have any related experience before they start?
Gosh no, sometimes the newness of a craft will lead to the most creative innovations! Doing the art before you "learn the rules" can be so free and expressive! All my designs and items are "quilt inspired" so this can lead in many directions...hair accessories, coffee cuffs, kits to share with others, pet accessories...the sky is the limit!
5. What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?
- Sketch and doodle many thoughts and images that you enjoy, from simple shapes to more complex designs.
- Scribbling can be a wonderful place to start and then stopping to see what shapes you find in the lines. Tracing over these lines and emphasizing them will lead to new creations!
- Allow yourself time to create from within your heart and soul. Allow your personality to emerge and go for it!
- If you get frustrated with the piece, take time away and step back to see it from a distance. We are often our own worst critiques but when given time and distance, you can then come back with a new appreciation for the item or a new solution to the conflict. Working through this conflict can have rippling effects in your personal life as well. Art is so therapeutic!
- Journal your feelings in a sketch book and identify colors with feelings and shapes. These images can then evolve into one of a kind creations that are unique to you!
6. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?
- Scissors (sharp, used only for sewing)
- Cloth (which can include bought fabric, wool or old clothing)
- Seam ripper (this is a must and can be a wonderful friend rather than a dreaded enemy, if only life were as simple as ripping out a seam, LOL!).
Harriet Hargrave is an awesome teacher and full of wonderful nuts and bolts for a beginning quilter! I wish these books were my first introduction to sewing and quilting!
Be a sponge, soak up as much information from your local library or available mentors! Visit museums as well and see how artists in the past use media, stroke and color to affect their compositions.
8. Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?
I love my sewing machine but no matter what brand you get make sure you have a local shop nearby to give instruction and assistance, when your bobbin jams or your tension gets all messed up. Having my local Janome dealer nearby is a wonderful luxury that I appreciate all the time! Buy the best quality you can afford! I love quilting fabrics and Moda fabrics particularly but the hand-dyed batiks are awesome too!
You can find more information about me at http://happyhousequilts.blogspot.com/. Go get crafty and draw from within today!