Wednesday, January 27, 2010

artist spotlight : stacey merrill

Her blog profile says "Game Co. Employee by day. Artist by night" . Her name is Stacey Merrill and she is an artist from Florida. Welcome to Stacey's world, as part of the first Artist Spotlight here at Go Flying Turtle! in 2010. Enjoy!

1. Q: What got you interested in drawing in the first place ?

A: I didn’t start drawing until 11th grade & only then because a friend convinced me that Art class would be “ an easy A”. Well, it wasn’t easy but it was a real eye opener.

2. Q: You have a very good grasp of drawing people. How have they become a focal point in most of your subject matter?

A: Until about 10 years ago, I avoided drawing people, especially faces. For many years I did no art. When I wanted to start again I had easy access to paper & people. I figured out I could draw if I concentrated on the shading light & dark rather than worrying about shape & line.

3. Q: What type of media and materials are you currently enjoying when working on your art?

A: Right now I’m really into Watercolor, Watercolor pencils, markers & inks. I also love to tinker with cast off bits of wood, watch parts, broken toys etc.

4. Q: You keep quite busy, running a toy business, raising a child, blogging and being creative. How do you do it?

A: No sleep & lots of caffeine. Actually, time management is one of my biggest hurdles & I’m trying to come up with a better system for 2010. Any suggestions?

5. Q: How did you get started featuring artists and giveaways at your blog?

A: Last year I blogged about the not-for-profit OzBushfireAppeal shop on etsy & some mixed media houses that artists were donating. I thought about interviewing each seller but didn’t. A few months later when artists started sponsoring my blog’s Thursday Giveaways, a feature seemed like a great way to thank them while sharing their thoughts with readers.

6. Q: What's your studio set up like - can you give us a description?

A: My studio/office was once a spare bedroom. Fixed pieces are a computer armoire that also holds books & a metal storage system of drawers and cubbies. Above the metal units is my wall-o’-other-people’s art (This is my favorite element in the space). Everything else in the room is on wheels, including metal shelving, plastic bins & my drafting table. That way I can roll everything aside when I have a big or messy project. The whole place is in need of a big clean or I’d send pictures.

7. Q: What's the art scene like out your way?

A: I’m ashamed to say I have no idea. Before 2003 I was selling in small venues & belonged to a couple of art groups. I took a 4+ year break when my son was born. Upon creating again, I found that most of the groups had disbanded and my venues had closed. With a small child at home it made more sense to start trading & selling

8. Q; Is there anyone whose work is currently grabbing your interest or inspiring you a lot lately?

A: I have too many favorites! A few I’m really into right now include:
Lindsay Carr
Ronald Ceuppens
Ramona Szczerba
Francisco Martins
Tom Banwell
I’m also fascinated by Glenda Bailey’s fabric, transfer and encaustic collage pieces ( ) . She has a new tutorial up on Art-e-zine which I’m looking forward to trying out soon ( ).

9. Q: You have a fantastic Etsy shop. Any advice or tips for anyone just starting out with or trying to sell their work online?

A: Thanks for the compliment, Steve. I have not had many sales, so I may not be the best person to give advice. But... I found that an Etsy shop is easy to set up & fees are low. It pays to ask other sellers questions. You can search the forums – someone may have asked & answered the same question already. The best thing I did was to join a few teams. I have learned more from team members than from any book I’ve read. I’ve heard some people have done really well using twitter & facebook to pull in customers. I only just joined FB and don’t think I’ll be tackling twitter anytime soon.

10. Q: If you had the chance to visit anyone alive or deceased, and have an hour long conversation with them, who might that person be?

A: My 1st thoughts are my Grandmother or Leonardo DaVinci. While a chat with DaVinci would be fascinating, I’d have to pick my Grandmother.

For more of Stacey's work, click on the links below.

Friday, January 22, 2010

working on a new book

Sorry if I haven't been blogging much lately. Recently, I finally got back into painting again with acrylics. It's a slow process - getting back into painting, but finally the wheels are in motion. In the meantime, I also started some work on a new book which will hopefully be out in February, once again through Blurb. It's a compilation of some of my favorite animal drawings and sketches from the past several years. It's been fun looking through some of my work from during this brief time period. I used to draw a lot - almost every day. I don't know if I could ever get that dedicated again, but it's worth a try. Some of the work I was looking through made me cringe, while others made me pleasantly surprised. I'm trying to place more of an emphasis this year on quality over quantity, with regards to my art making, and focus more on some styles I've developed and enjoyed working with recently. You can click any of the images in this post for a larger view.

Friday, January 15, 2010

new moleskine sleeve templates

I'm honored to find out that Moleskine chose two of my images for free download to use as pocket-sized notebook sleeves. Drop by HERE for more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

last call for mail me art 2

I thought I'd post a heads up for anyone interested in participating in the Mail Me Art 2 project. As long as your mail art is postmarked by or on January 31, 2010, they will accept your submission. Above is mine (click image to see a larger view) for this month. After the success and fabulous book Mail Me Art was released based on part one of this project, they thought they'd give it one more go. As far as I know, this is THE last chance to participate, since there are no plans for a third installment. Works will be on display and for sale, with 70 percent of sales going to the artist. So, what are you waiting for? Jump HERE for more details. In the meantime, below are ten of the many space monsters to be found in the top drawing. How many more can you find?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

artist studio tour at artsnark's artifacts

Stacey, who runs the fabulous Artsnark's Artifacts blog has posted a little studio tour, showcasing where Kris and I work on our art and crafts. Drop by her blog to check it out if you'd like. Also, there's still time to win some goodies I'll be giving away (see my previous post) at her blog - you simply have to drop her a quick line there. In the meantime, a big thanks goes out to all the kind and encouraging words from those of you who took a brief minute to check out my interview at Artsnark's. I love to give away artwork and other fun things, so best of luck to everybody!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

artist feature at artsnark's artifacts blog

Extra extra, read all about it! Yours truly has an artist feature at the marvelous Artsnark's Artifacts blog, and I'll be giving away a nice little goodie package, including a copy of my new Splotch Monster book, as well as some other bonus art work. So, drop on by her blog, check out the feature and drop her a line HERE. You can't beat a good freebie! In the meantime, stay posted for a little tour of my studio space as well, this Saturday at Artsnark's Artifacts (thanks Stacey!!).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

trtl trbl

As some folks might know, I have a pet painted turtle named Gammera (named after Korea's answer to Godzilla - a giant, flying space turtle who is friend to all children). Some of you might also know that the name of my blog, and my continued fascination with turtles stemmed from having Gam as a pet. When I first started blogging several years ago, I'd post something called Thursday Turtle, which basically consisted of some wise (or not so wise) quote and a pointless photo of Gam. Anyhow, just to let you know, Gam lives and is doing quite well, spoiled by my wife who feeds him way too many freeze-dried shrimp. Above are some current pics of our fearless friend hanging out in his new tank, kindly donated to us by some friends. Maybe I'll get around to posting some mini-movie footage of Gam as well soon, for anyone who may be interested. He's very entertaining to watch!

Friday, January 1, 2010

i've got an etsy shop!

As a promise to myself and my wife, on the first of the year I decided to set up my own lil' Etsy shop today. I thought it would be fun to get some work out there and for sale. Currently I'm starting with ten Splotch monsters, but other types of art will gradually go up for sale as well. In the meantime, Kris also set up her own Etsy shop today. On a side note, I hit the gym this morning as well - woohoo! Not a bad start as far as sticking to some New Year resolutions. ;)