Friday, March 27, 2009

An e-terview with Kelly Kilmer...

Introducing... the fabulous Kelly Kilmer...

Let me just preface this by stating that Kelly has become one of my dear friends over the years. We've shared many a gab session over an entirely too healthy a plate of breakfast food items at The Gypsy Den in Santa Ana prior to her teaching engagements at The Art Bar... or sweltered through many a class at the old A Little Bizaar shop in Lake Elsinore, when the air conditioner was on the funk and we got to be up close and personal with each other. How time has flown... how things have changed. Mostly, I like to hear her say "park the car" in Bostoneese... (I made up a word... so shoot me).

More importantly, though, I have Kelly to thank for giving me the boot in the ass I so needed, those many years ago, to believe in my skills as an artist, and cherish that she likes me as a human being, given all of my abundant (though sometimes endearing) quirks.

Kelly, you are one of the original art journal gurlz... you've been doing this stuff for years, and teaching the how-tos to a steadily growing and incredibly loyal following of students. What inspired you toward this specific medium? Can you tell us a little bit about that journey? Where can one go to find out your teaching schedule?

I've always kept a journal in some form or another. I still have the very first "official" journal that I received in 4th grade. I thought it was so cool as it had a lock on it! LOL A lock that was easily broken into ;-) I was always drawing and writing on any piece of scrap paper I could lay my hands on.

When I came out here, Christmas 1995, my soon-to-be-husband (though I didn't know that at the time, it's another story in and of itself) and I spent several hours exchanging journals after I got off the plane. It was a great way to get to know each other even more than our previous letters and phone calls.

Our son was born in 1997. Shortly after that I was sad and missing my family and friends on the East Coast, so I started keeping a scrapbook for Tristan. I was still writing and drawing and keeping a journal, but this time it was an album just for my boy. Tristan's got 2 full, fat albums for the first 6 months of his life.

I remember walking into a rubber stamp store in Glendale and seeing Acey Deucy stamps and thinking, "THAT is what I want to do." I made and sold greeting cards while Tristan was a baby. I started teaching at some of the rubber stamp stores doing basic stuff.

I taught myself how to make and bind books and haven't looked back.
In late 1997/early 1998, I started teaching collage, painting, bookbinding, etc. There really wasn't anyone teaching that in Southern California at that time in the places where I was teaching. It was VERY difficult to get sign ups as people didn't get it... and it was even worse on the East Coast.

Slowly, things started to pick up and it clicked with people. It was something personable, real and a total expression of self.

I'm completely self taught. I took one drawing class at Mass College of Art. I loved the atmosphere but hated the structure.

I update my class schedule on a weekly basis. You can find the schedule here – workshops.

What inspires you? How do you get to that creative place inside of yourself?

I sit down and work.
I see inspiration everywhere. I might see colors, textures, images while on a walk and have that give me a kick in the pants. I might hear a word or phrase and have that click the light bulb.
BOOKS. I love art books, but we'll get to that in a minute.
I don't think anything works more, though, than sitting down, opening up my journal and just starting to work. I'm a firm believer in WORKing in art.

There isn't just some imaginary being floating around in the air that only works for some people. No. You have to work. The more you sit and play, the more things start to happen.
99.9% of my work is in journal form.

My art is extremely personal and comes from me. It's a piece of me. It's a part of me. I actually get down in the dumps if I don't work in my journal on a daily basis. I open my journal and some days I start by painting. Other days, I start by gluing papers down. I don't like to leave the page unfinished. I'll work on it as much as I can until I feel that it is finished.

The nice thing about working in a journal too is that it's a great document-you can look back and see how your work has evolved and changed over time. You can see how your style has evolved, developed and morphed into something that's totally you. It's very fulfilling to hold something that you've completed, created and made in your hands.

If you had a bevy of Muses hanging around you, which ones would they be? Feel free to re-interpret them as needed...

LOL - read comment above ;-)

I know we share this "book accumulation" issue (though I call it something else when I am not in good company *wink*)... what are your ten favorite books of all-time, and why?

In no particular order:

Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History and his A People's History of the United States. Since most of my work is deemed 'political' by some while I call it 'real life,' I am often searching for quotes that I can use to express what I am feeling... Zinn never fails.

Jan Steward and Corita Kent's Learning By Heart.

It's always been my Bible. Kent has a unique way of seeing the world and a belief in that anyone and everyone can make art. I strongly echo her sentiments.

Dan Eldon's published journals-

The Journey is the Destination
and The Art Of Life.

You can't get any more real than Dan Eldon's work and life.

Barron Storey's Marat/Sade Journals and Life After Black.

Can't get any more real and honest than Storey.

My various Paumes books from Japan.

So many titles, too many to name. I love them. I can't read a word of them, but they never fail to inspire me.

by Abbey Hendrickson.

I love unique art books and this is one of my favorites. A treasure.

Maira Kalman's The Principles of Uncertainty.

I. Love. Maira. Kalman. She makes me happy.

Shereen LaPlantz's Cover to Cover.

THE bookbinding book that everyone should have on their shelves. My bookbinding Bible.

Christine Mason Miller's Ordinary Sparkling Moments and Frida Kahlo's diary...

Is that 10? Okay, more than 10...
Geez, Adriane, it's like picking a favorite child...

You've always been a proponent of art being accessible to everyone, and on a mission to demystify the "aura of grandeur" which surrounds the word artist. I know that you feel everyone is an artist. Can you share some thoughts on that with us?

Everyone's an artist. In some way, shape or form, everyone has a talent and a way of expressing themselves that is solely unique to them. I don't define artist in terms of success. To me, an artist is not defined by someone having a diploma on their wall or having art in a gallery.

Art is a tool and a medium for expression. Some people cook. Some people garden. Some people are eloquent with words. People constantly amaze me. Everyone is an artist. Everyone has a way of expressing themselves that is unique to them.
I get very upset with putting people in boxes and how we define people and judge people in this society. I get very upset when people look at my journals and say "What are you going to do with that? Are you going to sell it? Why won't you sell it?"

Art shouldn't have a price tag. Art shouldn't be solely reserved for a few.
I'm a big BIG proponent for the ARTS in schools. Along with their three "R's," children need to be taught the ARTS. They need to be exploring their creative side SANS GRADES AND JUDGMENT.

Art is all about self expression, not whether something is good or bad. Art is about accessibility and experimenting. Art is about you and your voice and making it heard.

That being said, I love graffiti art. I live in L.A. Billboards are everywhere but no one complains about THEM. They complain about the graffiti. Go for a walk and look at some of the graff art out there. It's amazing. It's unique. It's one of a kind. Graffiti is all about the taking back of public space. I see nothing wrong with making art accessible. If graffiti makes you think then it's done its job. I would much rather look at graffiti art than any –ANY– of the billboards that I see when I look out my window or walk down the street.

This new thing you've got going on Ning... A-Prompt-A-Day... what (pardon the pun) prompted you to set this thing up? What do you do there, exactly? Is it easy to sign up for and where can folks go to do that? How long will you keep it going (and have you already planned out a whole 365 days' worth of stuff)?

Sign up is very easy.
You can find out more information by visiting my blog and clicking on the print that is under the A-Prompt-A-Day blurb on the right hand, top side of the page.

I have always mulled over the idea of teaching classes online the last several years. People have been asking me for years to do it. I just couldn't figure out how. I also didn't want to take my classes that I teach in person and teach them on the 'net. I want very much to keep the two separate and unique. I was forced to start seriously thinking about teaching online classes with the closures of several of my teaching venues late last year. I finally got the kick in the pants that I needed over Christmas 2008. I lost another teaching venue and was in full panic mode about how I was going to pay the rent and put food on the table.

I didn't know what would happen in 2009, so I thought, oh let's just go for it now and see what happens.
My students are WONDERFUL. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing people create and make art from your classes. To give 100 people the same technique and have them all interpret it 100 different ways is fabulous. I absolutely love it and it's a real kick. You wanna see art? You want to see self expression? You should check out what these artists are doing. It truly is amazing.

I haven't planned out all of 2009. I treat the online class like I do my in-person classes. I sit down every month with a pen and notebook. I write out all of my painting prompts, then collage prompts and then journaling prompts. Then, working from my notebook, I do all of the prompts and take pictures as I go. Then, I transcribe the prompts from my notebook onto the computer and plug the pictures in.

It's actually way more work than an in-person class, but it's pure joy when I log into the site and see new photos added from the students!!! I will keep it going as long as there is interest.

Any books... publications in the works...? (I personally think it's time for a Kelly K. book on the bookstore shelves... don't you?)

Nope. I've been too busy with in-person and my online class. My family and my teaching comes before anything else. I'm not into art for exposure. Sure, it's nice to be published, but it's not important to me to have my name or art in a book. It's more important to me to be working in my own books (my journals).

I want something for me now. I want something to leave to my son.

I want something that maybe people will pick up in 100 years and say, "Hey, she was here and she lived her life. She loved and was loved. She was real. She was an artist. She was human. She had good days. She had bad days. She was true to herself. She spoke up and out. She lived her life to the best of her ability. She lived. She experienced life and lived it to its fullest."

Well I urge you all to go visit Kelly's blog and sign up for her Prompts... cheaper than a daily cup of coffee at Starbucks and provides an artsy-fartsy kick in the pants...

A new way to approach the creative process...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

By the light of the moon… a little moon lore…

The moon has provided inspiration to many over millennia, and affects our earthly existence in tangible ways. Have you ever used the moon as inspiration for your artwork or writing?

I am subscribed to the SpaceWeather newsletter and in today's they shared the following...

WORM MOON: Tonight's full Moon has a special name--the Worm Moon. It signals the coming of northern spring, a thawing of the soil, and the first stirrings of earthworms in long-dormant gardens. Step outside tonight and behold the wakening landscape. "Worm moonlight" is prettier than it sounds.

Why not have a go at creating something lunar-ly inspired today?

I'm dating myself horribly, but this was one of my favorite songs way back when, and it might inspire you in light of the lunar theme...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Introducing the faaaaabulous Kelly K...

February whizzed by in a flash, what with my trip to B.C., but I am back on the program, so to speak, and planning my next e-interview.

I'll be posting it in the following days. My next featured guest will be none other than Kelly Kilmer, artist-teacher extraordinaire, and operator of a very cool tool called Prompt-A-Day. It is meant to facilitate the journaling process, but I can see, along the vein of Illustration Friday, how it might be applied in a broader sense to ignite the creative process and bleed over, so to speak, to other creative applications.

If you have been living in Southern California and involved in the mixed media art scene at all, you would be hard-pressed not to know who Kelly is (perhaps if you lived under a rock?). At the forefront of visual journaling as a viable form of artistic self-expression, she teaches folks all across North America to not only create the books which will become containers for these bits of self-expression, but also what to do with them in order to fill them up.

Her recently formed Ning group,
Prompt-A-Day, provides daily kernels of artsy how-tos and journal prompts, and a forum in which members of the group can share their resulting pages, and anything else they feel moved to share... all this goodness for $25 a month... cheaper than a daily cup of Starbuck's coffee, and in my humble opinion much more satisfying. Watch for the interview to be posted later this week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From Jill Badonsky's Awe-Manac... a (snippet of a) prompt for January 22nd

Toast of the Day
Here’s to the grace of a cat walking through the room and the comedy of kittens in monster drills.

Happy Birthday to:
Francis Bacon, 1561, philosopher, statesman and essayist,
Joseph Wambaugh, 1937, writer known for his fictional and non-fictional accounts of police work in the U.S.
It’s also: Answer Your Cat's Question Day and Celebration of Life Day

Write a list of questions a cat might have. Have a dialog on paper with a cat.
Write a poem, haiku, laundry-list, or song to celebrate life.
Make a collage that is a celebration of life. Celebrate life with a cat – share some salmon.
What a wonderful life I’ve had.
I only wished I’d realized it sooner.
– Colette

This material is (c) Jill Badonsky and may not be duplicated without the express consent of the author/artist.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An e-Interview with Jill Badonsky!

Jill Badonsky is on a blog tour to promote her new book The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder, which provides daily writing and art prompts, journal writing starters, whimsical illustrations and humor on every page, as well as quotations in the guise of soul vitamins. She has graciously accepted to submit herself to a litany of questions from various blogging community denizens, myself included.

Okay... Jill here we go with the interview questions... and thanks, by the way, for sharing snippets of your book with me (and by extension, my readers) this week.

A: I am a great fan of the Farmers' Almanac, with it's natural world tidbits... is this where you got your inspiration for your newly released book, The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder?

J: The Awe-manac inspiration came from a multi-faceted intersection of inspirations, loose associations, occasional tangents, odd recollections, yielding eurekas and brain detours. And the Farmer's Almanac. One of my favorite tricks is to find something that already exists and twist, tweak and tease it a bit so that I can use it for something different-most often something inspiring and hopefully irreverent. My collection of quirky writing prompts, quotes, daily observations, metaphors of gardening, illustrations, potions, astrology and tides all fit nicely into an almanac format.

A: We creative types are a pretty unruly lot (well... I speak for myself, mostly), my creative direction largely helmed by innate creative urges. Do you think that The Awe-Manac might be a useful tool in honing a person's creative process, regardless of the media that they create in?

J: Good question. Yes I think it's useful mainly for these reasons 1). The prompts encourage us to look beyond the obvious and associate ideas and 2). It's daily so it's like being fed inspiration regularly in small doses and I find that that works for the clients I work with. The prompts encourage readers to go beyond writing – to dance, collage, paint, doodle, write music. I read someone's blog who is using it to inspire her needlepoint art.

A: This is your second book (the first was one of my favorite reads: The Nine Modern-Day Muses (and a Body Guard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers, and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence). What inspires you to write them and what advice to you have for the would-be writer who is high on the inspiration scale, but low on the how-to-birth-a-book scale?

J: Thank you! I'm not sure what inspires me to write other than I feel I have to. I believe we have what we are supposed to do with our creative urges programmed in our DNA and when we can clearly hear and follow our call, we are following our bliss. I like to align with my bliss. When I write it's one of the few times I feel I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. Highly inspired, low book-birthing writers usually do best with some structure or at least a deadline. Take classes (but be wary of finding the right teacher for you). Get a creativity coach, work with a friend but keep writing. Blogging has become a great way to generate content that you can eventually put into a book. If you procrastinate, break it down: write for 5 minutes a day, ask small questions, lower your expectations at the beginning and just keep doing it.

A: Would you mind sharing what a typical day-in-the-life-of-Jill-Badonsky looks like, from hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock to clicking off the lights with your head on your pillow?

J: It's really nothing special although I do talk to myself a lot – sometimes with an English accent. I get to work for myself so the discipline is challenging. On good days, I usually get up around 7, do a little morning ritual designed to keep the child-like part of my spirit happy, work-out and spend the rest of the day writing, answering emails and inventing things. In the evening I usually laugh a lot with my boyfriend, Randy and watch The Daily Show. On the bad days, I nap a lot with the cats. We creative people have cycles like that.

A: Your writing is inspiring... your artwork is enchanting... what are your "what's next" plans?

J: Thank you again. I'm planning on making product spin-offs from The Modern Day Muse book and The Awe-manac. I have a few book ideas up my sleeve as well. One from my creativity and wellness coaching club, Body Blissmas and a Happy New Rear and the other one is another quirky book with lots of illustrations and things to laugh about.

Thanks, Jill! This is very exciting... your productivity and creative curiosity never ceases to amaze me! Thank you for letting me be a part of it. :^)

Thanks for the great questions Adriane. They were fun. I love your blog.

From Jill Badonsky's Awe-Manac... a prompt for January 21st
What a wonderful life I’ve had.
I only wished I’d realized it sooner.
– Colette

This material is (c) Jill Badonsky and may not be duplicated without the express consent of the author/artist.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From Jill Badonsky's Awe-Manac... a (snippet of a) prompt for January 20th

Happy Birthday to:
Director David Lynch, 1946, filmmaker.
It’s also Hat Day and on this day in 1885 The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson of Coney Island, NY. and Aquarius begins.

David Lynch said “I like darkness and confusion and absurdity, but I like to know that there could be a little door that you could go out into a safe life area of happiness." Write as if there were a little door you could go through into a safe life area of happiness. What does the door look like? What does it feel like to go through the door? Make the door and/or the other side of it into art.
What a wonderful life I’ve had.
I only wished I’d realized it sooner.
– Colette

This material is (c) Jill Badonsky and may not be duplicated without the express consent of the author/artist.

Monday, January 19, 2009

From Jill Badonsky's Awe-Manac... a prompt for January 19th

give today a name
Write an I get to..

Daily Soul Vitamin
When I'm inspired, I get excited because I can't wait to see what I'll come up with next.
~Dolly Parton

Toast of the Day
Here’s to enjoying our own inspirations

Happy Birthday to:
Edgar Allan Poe 1809, poet, short story writer, playwright,
Paul Cezanne, 1839, Painter,
Dolly Parton, 1946, award-winning country singerauthor, actress and philanthropist.
It’s also National Popcorn Day and Brew a Potion Day

Edgar Allan Poe wrote: "I wish I could write mysterious as a cat."
Use this quote as Starter Fluid.

Search Cezanne on Google images, pick a painting and write what happens in it next or write a poem that goes along with it..

Write an ode to popcorn

Make up your own anti-gravity, anti-aging, anti-dulling potion. What metaphorical ingredients would you put in it?

Dose of Mirth
“The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves.” ~ W. C. Fields

Journal Juju
Repeated completions: “I can’t wait to see …”
What a wonderful life I’ve had.
I only wished I’d realized it sooner.
– Colette

This material is (c) Jill Badonsky and may not be duplicated without the express consent of the author/artist.

The Awe-Manac ... blog interview/tour

I'm excited to announce that Jill Badonsky will be "stopping by" for an e-interview on the 21st! We will be discussing her AWE-some new book, The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder. And just so you can get a sneak-peak of what treasures the book contains, we will be getting a daily glimpse for this week!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New weblog... and a change of direction...

Well, you must be wondering what on earth is going on over here? With the completion of my Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching training, I will now be changing the push of this blog to focus on my coaching business. I'll be working on a new look for the blog, as well as a website redesign for, which currently houses all of my art dabbling, from crafty to fine.

My artsy-craftsy blog has found a new home: with a website will follow, and the gallery items from my website will also be finding a new home at yet another website I plan to develop which will be devoted solely to my fine art activities.