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Interview with Ricë Freeman-Zachery

May 23, 2009

Il_430xN.69961557 Left: Fabric art piece 15.5 x 16.5 inches, ©Ricë Freman-Zachery. This is just one example of the stitching and beading Ricë does on her art pieces. You can see this piece and others, including journal skirts and other artwear at Ricë's Etsy Store. Click on the image for an enlargement.

Trish (I can't find an "about me" or last name) at My Creative Journey, just posted an interview with Ricë Freman–Zachery. She asked some great questions and Ricë, who has written several books on making stuff and creativity, has some great answers that I think you need to go and read NOW.

Ricë makes some great points about focus and the work of being an artist which I agree with (as you'll know if you read my blog for any length of time). But the interview, which is short and easily read in a few minutes, will have you thinking about these topics, and others immediately. A good stepping off point for anyone when it's time to reflect and make goals.

I met Ricë through the mail almost two decades ago when we were both involved in mail art and rubberstamping. After years of postal correspondence and then emails I finally got to meet her in person in 2005. If you don't already read her blog you should check it out: Notes from the Voodoo Café. It's a mix of thoughts on creativity, her art-making, her life, and a whole lot of honesty. Oh, and she'll make you laugh.

    • trish
    • May 23, 2009
    Reply

    thank you Roz! I will have to check and see if I forgot to do an about me page, I’m glad you mentioned that:)
    hope you have a great weekend!
    Trish

    • Roz
    • May 23, 2009
    Reply

    Thank you Trish, for posting such a great interview!

    • Katy
    • May 24, 2009
    Reply

    It was a great interview, and it affirmed many of the conclusions that I have come to recently in my artistic journey. It started about a year ago with an “art journaling” class, which showed me that what I really wanted to do was to draw and paint, not to buy fake ephemera and put it in a book. I’ve tried embroidery, stamp carving, sewing, quilting…many popular crafts, but I have settled on watercolor painting, and I will be going to a class next week. I’ve checked out MANY books from the library and read and read and read. Now, all I really need to do it to paint and paint and paint!

    • Roz
    • May 24, 2009
    Reply

    Katy, I think you’ll have a great adventure painting in your journals. Ephemera you collect on your life’s journey might find its way into your book, but I agree, the fake ephemera doesn’t do much for me either.

    • Deb Wheeler
    • May 26, 2009
    Reply

    Roz, I love your blog!!! It’s a thinking woman’s blog. Thanks for sharing!!

    IMHO!!
    Something I’ve noticed, in reference to Katy’s post, is that many artists who use the ‘store-bought’ ephemera, or take classes to learn to paint or to work in another person’s style, frequently are quite talented. They seem to be too timid to do their ‘own’ work in the beginning, and feel secure when they can stand beside(not hide behind) an artist who’s skills or who’s techniques they admire. I think this is a baby step toward using their own ‘stuff’, and finding their own ‘voice’. I think it’s wonderful, ‘apprenticing’ with someone, artists have done this for millenia, then ‘fly’ on their own at some point. Confidence is so important to an artist, no matter how long you’ve done your own work, there is still the fear that it’s not good enough, no one will like it, etc. Blogdom has helped zillions of artists establish a community of support, guiding some folks gently out of the nest, being the ‘wind beneath their wings’ so to speak.
    So Katy, your journey is especially a cause for joy, because you found your medium and now will find the subject matter that gives your heart a voice!

    • Roz
    • May 26, 2009
    Reply

    Deb, the idea of apprenticeship is a good one, but I think apprenticeship is better served with REAL materials and never fake ephemera. I tell my students to bring in materials from their day and then they work with those materials and the result is something that is personal to them and they are learning techniques at the same time. There are so many reasons why I think this is preferable that I have to leave it for a separate post on the the topic.

    But it is natural to apprentice and work “in the manner of someone,” that someone being a master of some sort, whether Rembrandt or Joseph Cornell. The trick is, however, that any good teacher will enable the student to bring out her own self with materials, and sadly there are a lot of pieces being found in magazines these days which don’t speak to that person’s life, but rather simply copy a style with fake ephemera, as Ricë was alluding to.

    I have to stop rambling about this. As I said, I’ll write about it at some other point. I’m all for people stretching their creative wings, I’d just like to see them do it with something that actually matters. The end result will be so much more satisfying that hey, we might get a life-long journaler out of it!

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