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Today we are welcoming Joyce van der Lely! After you read her interview, be sure and stop by her blog and enter her GIVEAWAY!!
Tell us about you and your art journey.
My name is Joyce van der Lely, I am a Mixed Media artist-illustrator-designer and tutor, but also a mum to a 12 year old boy and a 9 year old girl. Originally from the Netherlands, I emigrated to New Zealand in ‘95 and after the earthquakes from 2010 and 2011 I moved from Christchurch to Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty in 2011.
I always loved art as a child and the art and craft classes at school. In high school I had two really amazing art teachers. One that told me that you really didn't need talent to be a good artist, but a lot of curiosity, a good eye and lots and lots of practice. The other that really explained and encouraged teaching art, to make it possible to have a life with art . I made a sidestep and went to fashion academy where I learned everything from concept design, pattern making to executing runway garments . It was loads of fun and I still enjoy creating clothes as well, but I came back to painting and making art on paper, wood and canvas when I discovered Mixed Media. Because it gives me the freedom to choose whatever medium fancies me at that moment or for that particular project.
I have always felt a little bit an outsider, never really met many other artists in real life. People always make you feel that art is not a serious business, that it's some kind of play and time waster. That's how I ended up finding like minded souls on-line, people that actually encounter the same things. It's been really great making these new friendships. And I still treasure them.
On-line I am also known as Miss Pippi (she's my alter ego, my muse, I used to dress up as Pippi as a child and loved watching her on TV)
What are some of the things that nourish your soul? How do you decide what to create - where do your ideas come from?
Alone time nourishes my soul, people and interactions in public drain my battery, but are a necessity in everyday life, so just being alone with my thoughts, that replenishes me. I think my ideas come from memories and thoughts that are awakened by a smell, a place, a song, a quote. Then these thoughts start to build like an avalanche and I will have too many to handle, I can get over-inspired. I have to make a choice and store the other inspirations for a later time.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to share with other artists?
Go with your gut, work hard, never feel afraid of change. There are good days and bad days, never give up. As an artist you just have the huge advantage of having this "job" that makes it possible to pour your heart and soul into and that that actually makes your work better and more interesting.
How do you re-energise yourself or your muse if you have a creative “dry spell”?
Beach walks help, I love the beach, I have always been drawn to the oceans, maybe I was a mermaid once (I am an Aquarian) I also seem to art-journal a lot more, that always helps me. Just doodling away on the waves of dreams….
They made my work more meaningful, more honest. To me at least, I hope it shows too.
Tell us about the first piece you created that you felt really proud of...
Hmmm, I usually feel pretty happy straight after finishing a piece, but that disappears after an amount of time. I start disliking certain elements and end up only being able to see those. I have a few older pieces that I still like though and maybe because they no longer live with me I cannot study their imperfections. One is “Hope” I made her to raise money in an art auction for the earthquake survivors in Haiti. At the moment I am (still) happy with “Sanguine”
When you’re creating something, how do you decide when it’s finished?
I have a hard time doing just that. I have to say enough is enough, or somebody will tell me that it is okay like that. Or when another idea is just pushing its way forward too strongly, then I will call it quits with the previous one.
What was the nicest compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
It was a commission piece. The person that commissioned me had it made as a gift for someone else. I got a few little hints of what needed to be in the work. The person that came to pick it up was speechless and very pleased and rushed away to gift it. The person it was made for was lost for words and even questioned how much I had known about her. I must have felt her while creating, that actually made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
What drives your sense of validation or legitimacy as an artist?
I cannot live without art and I am okay with calling myself an artist, so I feel legit. What drives my sense of validation is that I have a never-ending belief that "my time will come" That there will be people that will understand my work for what it is and agree that I am an artist.
What are some recurring themes/subjects in your work?
Portraits, animals and Angels
Not really, I like different colours at different times. I buy the same paints, so they will emerge throughout my works and I love natural kind of colours.
What are some elements that make your work “yours”?
Eyes, I like eyes and I like to try and make them speak. I also try to bring emotion into my paintings. They need to speak to me at the very least, I like to talk with my paintings.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I need to be alone and not disturbed. I can close myself off from the surroundings, so I can be alone in a room with others as long as they don’t interrupt me. I think I meditate, it feels as if I go into another dimension, I travel with my thought, that’s when it happens
What hangs on your walls? Do you collect work by other artists?
A very large framed print of a pond with goldfish by Lee Man Fong (my mother in law used to own the original and before she sold it, we photographed it and all the siblings had a full size print) and some of my own art and the children’s. I wish I could collect other artists work. I will need to sell more of my own before I can do that though.