Friday, February 7, 2014

Interview with Micki Wilde

I'm so excited to share this interview with you. I first came across Micki's work roughly a year ago & was instantly drawn to it. She paints the most wonderful characters & her imagination shines through with her amazing creatures. Each painting seems to tell it's own story & has its own personality, she paints faces with such emotion I find it hard to believe they are not based on real people. I can stare at those faces for hours!

Here are Micki's interview questions. Some are fun, some are practical & some go deeper. Enjoy!

Hi Micki, can you tell us a bit about yourself & how long have you been painting professionally?

I am married with 2 children currently aged 9 and 15 and adoptive parent to 2 very lovable miniature schnauzer doggies.

I first started my art journey in 2007. It started as a fun hobby to go alongside my jewellery making which I also used to enjoy then. Eventually the arting consumed me and it was all I could think about. Jewellery making was long forgotten and I opened up my Etsy shop and started my official small business around 2010.

When & how in that journey did you discover your love of Mixed Media?

I jumped in to mixed media pretty much from the start of my art journey. I bought and played with a huge amount of supplies and products, just to see what I could do with them. I have over the years honed it right down to just a few favourite products and I no longer rush out to buy the latest ‘in thing’ in the mixed media world. I am very happy and comfortable with my choices now and get as much out of them as I can.

When starting a new piece of work, staring at a blank canvas can be daunting. What is your go-to/favourite method you use to create your backgrounds & what are your favourite supplies currently?

I am mostly a non-fussy background maker. I don’t do a lot of detail work in my backgrounds and to start off a painting I like to just pour some paint right from the bottle on to the canvas/wood substrate and smoosh it in with an old store card. Once that initial first layer of colours is on, I am instantly happier and any stress about the blank canvas is gone.

Like myself you are a mother and someone who is self-employed. We have to wear many hats & take on many roles. It's a juggling act & most of the time I struggle to fit in anything creative into my day! Can you give us any tips on how you organise your days to ensure you have time to create & what percentage of your time is 'creative time' during the week versus everything else.

I am quite strict with myself as far as my ‘job’ goes. I treat it like I would any other job. I do my ‘mum duties’ first thing in the morning, taking my kids to school, walking the dogs, any household chores as well as checking emails and post office trips. I start work at 10am with a mug of coffee in my hand and I finish at 3pm, five days a week!! In that time I could be doing anything from painting, editing videos, writing for online classes or filling out questionnaires and interviews ;) Whatever I am doing though I am always working on something to do with my art.

I also spend an hour (at least) every night after the kids have gone to bed and my hubby is out walking the dogs on my networking/social media. I do think that to succeed at all in the art world you do need to put in a lot of hours and treat it seriously like you would any other job.

Are there any words of encouragement you would like to give to creative Mummies out there who are feeling run down & frustrated creatively. In other words when you are tired and don't have much time spare, how do you keep yourself ticking over creatively & how would it effect you if you didn't do anything creative? 

Just this past week my whole family was hit by a nasty cold/flu bug and I was left seriously drained of energies by the end of it. At times like that it is important to let your creative brain take time to recuperate. I spent a day or 2 relaxing with art magazines, searching online for ‘new to me’ artists and watching online arty videos. That was enough for me to recuperate and rest. I was raring to go after that and my mind was fresh with ideas. Although I said in the above question/answer about ‘putting in the hours’ it is also important to know when to take time out for yourself. Taking creative time out doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing at all. If you still keep art in mind whilst ‘relaxing’ you will find it easier to jump back in afterwards.

I personally suffer terribly with bad dreams if I am not creative for a while and have done my whole life with them. It wasn’t until I started ‘arting’ that I realized when I was being creative the bad dreams stopped. Even when I go away on holiday I have to be creative otherwise within a day or 2 the bad dreams come back.

I wish I had known many years before that arting would take care of the horrid dreams. Art for me is as much a cathartic therapy as it is a ‘job’ and lifestyle choice.

For anyone trying to turn their passion in life into their profession it can leave you feeling vulnerable- you want to succeed so badly that you can start to doubt your abilities & whether or not you can succeed. We all have these thoughts & emotions at some point on our paths. Most of us compare ourselves to others also, which can leave us feeling depleted. How did/do you overcome any negative thinking about your paintings & life as an artist?

A few years in to my art journey I was ready to quit. I had all the fears you spoke about and I had them bad. I used to look online to see if anyone had created something similar to what I had just created and I got crazy paranoid that ‘someone’ out there would think I had copied them. I got to a point where I was extremely stressed and creatively ‘burnt out’ I decided to down tools and walk away from arting………..That lasted for only a few weeks, I just couldn’t live without art in my life. I came back with a different attitude completely. A ‘sod what anyone thinks and let’s just do this’ attitude and it’s an attitude that has served me well. I overcame the fears by realizing that living without art was far scarier than what someone may or may not say. I stopped looking through everyone else’s work and just got on with mine.

For anyone just starting out what did you find was the best way to get your work out there & seen? i.e Facebook? Blog? Etsy shop? A combination of all?

Back when I first opened my Etsy shop, etsy was a smaller more community minded place and it was easier to get noticed and be seen. I already had my blog and a lovely group of followers/supporters/friends so that was a great start for me. Nowadays Etsy is huge so social media has become a larger part of my job. I still blog although not as much as I used to as I have found Facebook to be an easier tool to use. I think a combination of different social medias as well as having an Etsy shop is the best way to get noticed.

What other artists are inspiring you at the moment?

An ever inspiring artist is my good friend Mindy Lacefield of ‘Tim’s Sally’. She has the ability to turn whatever her current ‘art crush’ is in to a whole body of work whilst still keeping her own artistic integrity and not ‘copying’ in any way shape or form. I truly admire that about her and it is a rare artistic quality.

There are a ton of other artists that inspire me past and present but it is generally their passion for their work rather than the work itself that I find inspiring. I love to read about artists who really immerse themselves in to their creations and let it take over their whole beings.

Art for me is a very passionate affair and one I’m sure my husband gets jealous of at times.

Thanks so, so much for taking part, please tell us where can we connect with you?


Micki Wilde said...

Thanks again for asking me x x x

Maggid said...

This is a Marvelous Gift!
Thank You,

Jess said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely interview! You asked the best questions and Micki answered so openly, I love to hear how other artists cope with this arty life I feel very inspired, thankyou!
Jess x

Kate Powell said...

Enjoyed the interview with Micki! Inspiring to hear how another artist works her magic!