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Today we are welcoming Patti Ballard! After you read her interview, be sure and stop by her blog and enter her GIVEAWAY!!!
Tell us about you and your art journey.
I always loved to draw. Mainly cartoons i copied from tv. I couldn't stop. I drew constantly. So much I never paid attention in school and was always in trouble. I was especially drawn to faces. I eventually gave art up when I got to like boys and dances. But later as I became a parent, I enjoyed watching the cartoons my kids were watching and always noted the expressions and styles of drawing. "Madeline" and Disney, both had a particular influence on me. I began drawing realistic portraits for my family. I would copy family pictures as a hobby but never seriously. When I got laid off my full time job in 2007, my teenage daughter interviewed by phone pretending to be me for a job doing murals. She knew I would love it but didn't have the confidence to go for it. She came and told me I had a "tryout". I began doing murals but although I loved it, it was back breaking. So, I later went to work for Disney World doing caricatures, then, other forms of art. I really loved it, but again not making a real living. I started creating my own art even during my slow times at work and started selling it on eBay. When I realized people liked my art, it was all I needed to run with it. I experimented with all mediums, coming to the conclusion that I wanted to use all the mediums I could find. I never really liked Scrapbooking but I had tried it and had lots of paper lying around. I'm also an avid old book collector, so I started using papers to enhance my paintings. As of January of this year, I decided I would pursue my art career as a full time business, doing art shows. Luckily I have a supportive husband and family who have encouraged me along the way. I have never looked back and in my heart I know that I made the best career move of my life.
What are some of the things that nourish your soul? How do you decide what to create - where do your ideas come from?
I am not quite sure where all my ideas come from. Some from just silly things I think about, some from a dream or a quirky situation. Some come from just doodling away mindlessly. Some pattern or color on paper. Sometimes a poem or story makes me wonder what it would look like as an illustration, so, I begin to draw it but it may turn into something more quirky.
What is one piece of advice that you’d like to share with other artists?
Create everyday ... even if you're not feeling it . The more you create the more ideas you get.
How do you re-energise yourself or your muse if you have a creative “dry spell”?
I do it anyway. I just start doodling coloring cutting and pasting and eventually my muse comes back.
How have the “rough spots” in life affected your art?
I thank God everyday that I got laid off my job. It was the best thing that happened to me because it forced me to do what I needed to do. I found a lucrative venue that fulfilled me in a way no job could ever do.
Tell us about the first piece you created that you felt really proud of.
I guess it's the very first piece I sold on eBay... A mermaid in watercolor.
When you’re creating something, how do you decide when it’s finished?
I just know that if add one more thing it would look overworked. That's when I know it's done.
What was the nicest compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
I have received a lot of sweet and nice compliments but the best compliment is when someone buys my art. They are willing to spend their hard earned money on a piece of art that I created and even better decorate their home with it. That's so flattering.
What drives your sense of validation or legitimacy as an artist?
What validates me would be the acceptance and demand for my art.
What are some recurring themes/subjects in your work?
Love is my driving force. I believe that the greatest and purest of all sentiments is love and I love to reflect that sentiment in my art, but recurring themes... Anything whimsical, mermaids, bunnies and forlorn girls with hearts and sentiments of love or quirky messages.
Do you have a signature set of colors? Show us some examples in your work, pretty please!
Yes, I love light aqua, avocado green, clay reds and ochre brown together. I almost always use these colors in my paintings.
What are some elements that make your work “yours”?
Most people tell me the eyes and the overall feeling of my art.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
There's is not much I haven't tried. So I can't think of any at the moment... lol!
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I don't think I have any.
What hangs on your walls? Do you collect work by other artists?
Lots of art. Some mine and mostly other artists... I love to collect other artists art!