Friday, January 04, 2008

The First in a Series of Interviews








So for the New Year I have decided to do a mini makeover on my blog.
I have not been really dedicated or thoughtful when posting. I do like posting pictures that I take but I never feel like I have that much to say. Well, actually, I have a lot to say but not a lot of time to say it.

So, I am going to be more thoughtful and try to bring things to you that may be more interesting.

My plan is to start doing weekly interviews with some of the bloggers, artists and anyone else that seems interesting to me. I think it will be fun to learn more about the people behind the blogs I visit.

So, my first interview is with Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist. She is the creator of this lovely lady with the paper dress. Which I have hanging on my wall at home.







Vanessa Can you tell us a little about yourself?


My name is Vanessa Valencia and I am proprietress of "A Fanciful Twist." I write a blog titled "A Fanciful Twist" {Through the Secret Keyhole}. I have a studio in the hills of Arizona, where I also have created a little gallery/shop on the property (8 years ago). I have an online shop also named "A Fanciful Twist." I just turned 32 years old. I love art. Creating it, admiring it, acquiring it, sharing it... Imagination and creativity are my sanity. I sometimes talk to art like this, "Arthur, thank you for coming into my life, what do we have for today? What was that magic you were talking about?"

I used to work in acrylics and oils. But, in the last few years, I have delved into mixed media, lots of paper, paper, paper. Thin paper, colorful paper, book pages, thick paper, hand-made paper, store bought paper, crepe paper, all paper!

I am also working on little creatures again. Oh, I almost forgot, I am a potter as well, and that has always kept my hands in the sculpting and making mode... But, I am making dolls and creatures again. I used to make them 10 years ago, and kind of just stopped for no reason... But, they are visiting me again, so, there is more to come in that realm... I have 4 girls waiting downstairs who are calling me at this very moment.... Off I go...


How many times have you been stung by a scorpion? This is very intriguing to me since I thought that you automatically died when you got stung. -

Twice. I guess it depends on the scorpion that stings you, its size and if you are allergic to whether it is deadly or not? It just hurt like the dickens. The first one was really horrible. I was asleep, and all of a sudden I felt this pain that made me think that somebody had broken into the house and was smashing my elbow with a sledgehammer. I FLEW out of bed, turned on the light, and presto, little awful horrid scorpion. We called 911; they said to have a glass of milk (I guess it neutralizes things, who knows) and to call if my throat was swelling shut. It did get itchy and weird, and I held a bag of frozen peas on my elbow for 24 hours. It felt broken, and then kind of went away little by little. However, it still hurts every now and then. Oh and the 2nd one on my finger in bed again. AWFUL. Funny enough, when I got that one, the old one on my elbow hurt again... who knows....

Is Halloween really your favorite holiday? Because you sure seem to have a lot fun around Christmas time too!!

I like Halloween because you get to dress up. But, I pretty much love all holidays. All of them love them. I just love fun heart warming fuzzy things in life. And, of course, Christmas is truly special and significant...

You have a wonderful imagination and it really shows in your work, have you always been so imaginative?

I think so... My mom has always been quite imaginative and I just grew up with that. My Grandmother tells outrageous fairytale like stories too (scary sometimes). So, I think my brain just grew up with that. Always creating. I have been telling stories to people for as long as I can remember. Altering and changing as I go... I think that started the whole madness, haha!

What is the first thing that you remember creating and why did you create it.

Oh goodness... Hmmmmm, I think it was an elephant in preschool. And jewelry out of macaroni, I still love that! But the real art piece that was on canvas was when I was 13. My parents let me paint all my furniture in these wild patterns. Then, perhaps out of fear that I might take paint to my siblings, they bought me stacks of large canvases. I painted these abstract huge scale paintings for myself, and then my parents friends wanted to buy them... That is how all of that part started...

What most inspires you?

Anything magical and fairytale like... Well, actually, I can be inspired by any random thing on a whim... It reminds you of one thing and that leads your brain to start moving like gears... and off you go...

What are some other things that have influenced your work?

Healing times in life have greatly influenced my work. The way I got the confidence to put my work in a gallery at 18 years old (throwing all the pieces in my convertible, top down so they would fit and heading downtown) was after my first bad break-up. You know, you think you are in love and will never be able to recover... My dad bought me 30 canvases, and I put them on the ground and started painting angels like crazy... Then a gallery wanted them... And that was another ride... Another life time it seems... (and then later you look back and think, oh thank goodness I didn't end up with that guy! and thank goodness I painted instead... ;)

What are your favorite materials; it seems you have quite a variety!

Yes, I do love variety. I think I love them all. I can honestly say that in my studio there is a huge pot of glue as we speak, sitting next to a huge stack of dictionaries for tearing apart. Shelves and shelves of acrylic paint and oil paint and spray paint... And glitter and... Oh gosh, I use it all.... Anything that I can make something with I love. I even love a paper bag and a pen...

Do you have another job other than your art?

I don't know, did they take my office away? hahaha... Right now I am making huge transitions here and there... But mostly, I have been focusing on my art for the better part of a year. It has been a wonderful thing to be able to do. I love it, I love everything about it...

What does A Fanciful Twist, the name of your blog, mean?

I don't know? I am joking. Well... To me it means so many things that are dear to my heart... Things that I love... The dictionary meaning of fanciful is: full of or guided by fancy rather than by reason or experience; whimsical. To me it is that coupled with the idea of taking all your crazy ideas and notions and thoughts and twisting them upside down and right side up and any way you want it... Like a dream... It is imagination without boundaries...

How long have you been blogging, what made you start and how has it affected you as an artist.

I love blogging, long-live blogging! Haha. I don't know why I started. I suppose it was because everyone who knows me in real life thought I should find a way to share everything I was up to... Plus, I just fell in love with the whole sharing aspect. Sharing thoughts and ideas... I find it all so fascinating... It has affected me as an artist in that, I can share my work with people all over the world and they can share their work with me. It is amazing the feeling one gets from sharing and getting feedback, and being able to have this through blogging is incredible... I have been blogging for a year and a month :)

You have quite a following on your blog; do you try to respond to each comment?

I can not tell you how much I appreciate people visiting my blog. I know it takes time from their day, I know they are sharing themselves with me, time & attention... And so, without even thinking about it until this question was asked, yes I do like to respond to people who comment on my blog. Sometimes I am not good at it. But I love to do it. I blog because I love it, I love the interaction with people. And so, that interaction is very important to me...

With so many people reading your blog do you feel pressure to keep it updated and to come up with new and creative postings?

Nope, not yet at least. Oh now, I will have bloggers block (does that exist? haha). I update a couple times a week and I never know what I am going to blog about until I sit down to write. I guess because I love doing it, it gets done... I hope that lasts forever... Of course, sometimes, I take photos on trips and such with ideas to blog about it sometime... I have so many ideas I want to share...

How much time do you devote to your blog?

I guess at this stage of it, I devote a lot of time to blogging. My blog... 6-8 hours a week... It takes me about 2-3 hours to write one post... With the photo choosing and all... I am slow, I know...

I see that you have an article published, How does it feel to be published in Somerset Magazine?

Whenever I think about it, I feel like I am on a cloud and I am in a dream like state. It makes me feel so happy Somerset would have contacted me to be in their magazine. I LOVE Somerset Studio. I have been oogling over it for years. I guess it feels like little pieces of the puzzle in my heart and soul weaving together...

The paper dress ladies featured in Somerset are so beautiful, how did you come with that idea. You know they are my favorite!

I was in the studio one day & I had finished a painting. The little girl on the swing in the painting was begging me for more. I felt like she was tugging on my sleeve, in a British accent asking” please please Madame, might I have a gown..." I had some paper magic beside me and voila, the paper dress was made. I was addicted right there and then...


Do you listen to music when you are working on your art or do you watch TV.I ask because I like to have a TV going when I am working on certain things.

Music when painting, always, no questions. . T.V. only when I am making dolls or jewelry. And then I am watching fairytales, period movies, Peter Pan... Always fun magical spirit lifting movies... Only Dvd's... Nothing with commercials or news. (NPR on weekends)

Name three artists that you like and why?

I love Hieronymus Bosch. Oh goodness... where to begin... The mind blowing detail, the subjects, the colors, the out of this world quality. Every bit of it makes my mind go mad...

Amadeo Modigliani. He has my heart. I think I see people kind of like he did. I have artist friends who paint from life and are magnificent. So realistic. But, I don't think I see people in a realistic fashion... I see them as characters... I love that quality about Modi's work... Plus, I am in love with him... Maybe I will have tea with him in another life...

James Ensor. The masks! The colors, the unusual interpretations... All of it... Fascinating! His home and studio were incredible!! His treasures, amazing!

Do you have any big plans that we need to know about?

Hmmmmmm, um, nope, not that I can think of... Do you know something I don't know??? :)

Can you send me some of your Grandma's Tamales??

Sure. But, they might get there mushed and or rotten... Yucky...


Vanessa, thank you so much for your time and all the beautiful art and the wonderful stories you provide. You are a very talented girl in more ways than one, and I am happy I stumbled upon A FANCIFUL TWIST

11 comments:

http://afancifultwist.typepad.com said...

I love your interview ideas! How fun! This looks great Miss D!! xo Thank you for including me!!

ideagirl said...

Wow -- Denise -- what a GREAT idea! Love the questions and I can totally "hear" you asking them!

Go girl!

xo t

Nancy said...

I found your blog through a link and just want to say I love the interview format!

You couldn't have chosen a better person to interview....Miss Vanessa is one of my favorite artists and bloggers in all the land and your interview was very well done!

I look forward to checking back and seeing who your next interview is with! :-)

bronwyn said...

Fantastic interview. This is absolutely wonderful!!! Have a happy 2008 :)

Steph said...

I love blog interviews!
And thanks for introducing me to Vanessa. I can't wait to check out her blog.

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Du Buh Du Designs said...

Fantastic Interview with Vanessa. She is so talented we assume everyone knows her so I'm glad to see there are some here who are just being introduced to her. (I had no idea you blogged that much and responded to everyone , Vanessa!) The idea of doing an interview is wonderful and captivating..I'll be back!

Debbie Egizio said...

This was a fabulous interview! Vanessa is the most amazing artist. So glad to read and learn more about her here on your blog. Love the interview idea too. I'll be back to see who you interview next. I always love to discover new artists and wonderful blogs.

Martha said...

Wonderful interview! Thank you! This is a great idea. :o)

rochambeau said...

What a great interview. Thank you and thank Ms. Fanciful too!

Karen Beth said...

Love love love Vanessa and her work! Great interview!