1. What are your art goals for 2015?
The biggest one is to make some progress on the road to being published. Other that than, learn, experiment, and have fun!
2. What medium do you use?
For a long time I've only done linocuts painted with watercolor. But I've been having fun lately combining some collage, drawing, painting, and stamps.
3. What is your process of late for creating a piece of art from concept to finish?
I do a lot of drawings and maybe writing in the beginning until things start to settle into place. The early drawings are hard for me so I don't rush them or try to work too big.
For the mixed media illustrations I've been working on, I scan a drawing, do some digital collage, print it out on BFK Rives, redraw the linework, add some stamps, paint, stamp, whatever, whatever, roll a little ink over the top, or I don't know! It's been a lot of experimenting lately.
4. How did you come to be an artist? Did you do other things before this? How did you know you wanted to become one?
I first studied to be a musician as I said in #1 of my list of random facts. After I quit, I gave myself lots of leeway to play and try different things. I was really drawn to making art at that point. I loved the creativity and lack of supervision and structure compared to playing in an orchestra.I didn't really take myself very seriously and I think that helped carry me through a lot of uncertainty. And then one day I realized I was an artist. That was what brought me the most happiness.
5. Have you traveled much? What is your favorite city, town, or place and why?
I've travelled in the US a bit but not much beyond. My favorite place is a pretty empty corner of Colorado along the Colorado River. It's just breathtaking. I'm drawn to the mountains and rural ares mostly. I do love visiting New York though, and I'd love to go again. This time I'd be a tourist with my family. And visit Melissa!
6. What do you do when you get frustrated with your work?
I go for a walk. Or switch to a different project. And I try to give myself breathing room to take a break and become an observer for a while. If I can soak in some new inspiration before going back to the difficult project, that lets me return with a fresh vision.
7. How do you manage your time -- that is, how do you carve out time in your life to do your art?
I just recently did a blog post about this very thing right here! But basically, I try to plan well and take advantage of every available minute. Small bits of work do add up to results.
8. What is something you are grateful for?
My family and the happy stable routines that we have.
My family and the happy stable routines that we have.
9. What is an inspiring quote that you'd like the share?
“For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.” ~Lev Grossman
10. What is the best art tip/advice you've been given?
I can't remember exactly what he said, but I asked my brother, Peter Miles Bergman for lots of advice when I was learning how to become a printmaker. I was trying to understand all the finer points of editioning. Do all of the prints in an edition have to look exactly the same? Can the colors vary slightly? Or a lot? Does that make them monoprints instead of an edition if they are different colors? And he finally said, "Traditionally, this is how it's done. If you want make up your own system, though go ahead. No matter what, remember, you are the ARTIST. You are the creator and you get to make up your own rules." (He was probably exasperated with me!)
11. What would you tell a child who says they want to become an artist when they grow up?
This just happened to me today! My 4 year old neighbor, Macy told me she wants to be an artist when she grows up. I said, "That's great!" I strongly believe that it's important to encourage children to be creative and explore lots of possibilities. I also believe that it's important to teach them to tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and to teach them that dreams and wishes are earned through lots of hard work not magic. All this teaching is a process. It's not my place to squash Macy's new dream of being an artist by telling her today to give up before she begins because it's too hard to make a living as an artist. As she grows up, Macy will hopefully learn to work hard for her dreams and if she still wants to be an artist, she definitely can be! She may also have to be a waitress or a college professor to support herself, but I wish her the best no matter what!
These are my questions for the artists that I'm nominating:
1. What is a goal for 2015?
2. What is your favorite medium?
3. What is the hardest thing about being an artist?
4. What do you do when you get frustrated with your work?
5. What is your favorite illustrated book?
6. Where is your favorite place and what do you love about it?
7. Which is your favorite season?
8. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
9. Who do you look up to or consider to be a mentor?
10. What is the best art advice you've ever received?
11. What is an inspiring quote that you'd like to share?
Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing my nominee's responses!