Hi Wednesday. SO. HOLY CRAP. That was a LOT of questions and I'm just going to go through in the order they were left and answer them up as best as I can. I have a bunch of photos to post - that's for another day because yesterday was a SURPRISE-and-a-half with gifts showing up from all corners of the earth. Thanks, thanks, gracias, merci - I love this life. Here we go...
WHERE DO I GET PILOT'S BLACK CLOTHES? There's a local company (Itty Bitty Baby Company) owned by a friend of mine and she makes a bunch of cute things (like the yoga outfit from a few weeks back and some radical sleepers and onesies). I got a few pieces at American Apparel. THESE ARE MY FAVOURITES THERE. And we got a LOT OF GIFTS. It's definitely harder to find - but, not impossible.
WHAT KIND OF COFFEE DOES DAN USE? He uses the Starbucks-for-Costco in the green bag BUT HE SAYS that a talented barista can brew up a good cup of coffee from rabbit turds.
WHAT COLOURS OF PAINT DO YOU BUY? I faithfully stick to the primary group. I buy a yellow, a blue, a red (magenta), black and white. I typically stick to a cool palette because that's what makes me feel warm and gushy inside, but it's not the only way to go about it. Depending on what brand I'm buying - the colours may shift a bit - I don't get too pissy about it because I like mixing the entire piece from the same primaries because it gives the overall look a nice cohesive feel.
WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE? I use a Canon Rebel XTi. Lenses: fixed 50mm 1.8 and a 28-75 2.8. A wise photographer once said that I would get more BANG out of using my investment pennies in good lenses and THAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE EVER. (Thanks Maile)
IS YOU CAMERA COMPLICATED TO FIGURE OUT? I'm a Canon girl from the dinosaur ages of digital cameras so NO it was not hard for me to figure out. That said - it definitely is MORE COMPLICATED than something like CRAYONS.
HOW DO YOU STOP 'NEGATIVE-NANCY'S' FROM GETTING YOU DOWN AND CRUSHING YOUR CREATIVITY? I don't listen. Okay - that's not entirely true - sometimes I HEAR what they're saying and then I give my head a shake and keep on keepin' on. If all it's gonna take is one ugly word and I fall from my horse - then I'm not saddled up with enough conviction. I don't care for comparisons or doubters all that much. Oh yeah - and I don't give a rip if anyone likes what I create or not. I'm not doing it for them.
WHAT TIME DO I GO TO BED? If I am not in bed by about 10pm I will fall asleep right where I am standing.
WHAT WATERPROOF CAMERA DID YOU USE FOR PILOT'S SWIMMING LESSONS? I invested in what is called an Olympus 720 2 years ago. It was the first model in WHAT HAS HOPEFULLY IMPROVED. It takes piss-poor shots AT BEST. It's slow. It's missing a lot of the really terrific features of the Canon Digital Elphs that I love. My OLYMPUS 720 is shockproof and waterproof. It's a tough little bugger that has been a lot of places you wouldn't want to take a camera... which is it's only salvation. I wouldn't normally attempt the shots so even if the pictures are a little sketchy - it's cool the have them.
WHICH SEA TURTLE IS YOUR FAVOURITE? Well. I'm partial to the Green Sea Turtles of the Hawaiian islands because I have had the distinct pleasure of swimming along side them on several occasions and I was hooked. Fully and completely in love with them. I felt connected to them somehow (which I realize sounds ridiculously nutty). I found this a little perplexing because I am from the middle of the continent AS FAR FROM AN OCEAN as you can get. BUT. When I went to the local dinosaur museum AND I SAW THE TURTLES THAT USED TO LIVE RIGHT WHERE I AM (in the middle of the continent) when our continent was under a large sea. Archelons. The biggest sea turtles EVER. Cool.
DO I HAVE HOBBIES THAT GET IN THE WAY OF PAINTING AND HOW DO I PUSH THEM OUT OF THE WAY? Dan and I have been debating whether I have other "hobbies" or interests besides art, design & creating. I don't think I do. I grew up playing the piano and alto saxophone and a variety of other things - but, as I needed more time for art they dried up and dropped away. So. I think I would say that I LIVE my hobby and my hobby takes pretty good care of me. Besides art - I like fostering good relationships and spending time with the people I like the most.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE NAMES PILOT & CRASH? Easy. Crash came first and he's named after Kevin Costner's character in the baseball movie Bull Durham: Crash Davis. I had a head-strong boxer before Crash that literally crashed into all kinds of things and when I heard the name Crash Davis I was sold. Two years later when Crash found me - there was no question what I would call him ALTHOUGH he has not lived up to the title. He doesn't crash or smash around - he's like a little old man in a dog's body and he always has been. He's kind and very, very gentle - UNLESS YOU ARE A FLUFFY CUTE PUPPY OR YOU PISS HIM OFF AND THEN HE WILL BITE YOU IN THE FACE. The name Pilot is just based on the idea that this is her trip on earth and she's in charge of her own destination in life. I didn't really mean for the Pilot & Crash connection... it just sort of happened and we deal with it.
WHAT'S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE CHORE? Obviously bathrooms. But, a close runner up is folding laundry and putting it away. I like the washing machine part.
WILL THERE BE ANOTHER CARGO & WOOT BOOK? I thought I would do a couple more, but I've lost steam for it. I'm gonna say NO on this one because I'm just not feeling it anymore.
WHAT HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HAVE YOU BEEN TO AND WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT HAWAII? I've been to all the islands and I prefer Maui. Probably just for sentimental reasons... I went there first. I fell in love with Hawaii there. I got married there. My heart lives in Maui. My favourite things to do there is VACATION. Chill. Hang loose. Be free. Get sand all over the place and take a quick trip to the other side of the island where the land and the sea meet and just BE.
WHAT WAS A DEFINING MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE? A bunch of things come to mind. A bunch. There are big obvious ones - but, I don't think that those are 'defining'. I truly believe that the moments that 'define' who we are are the little ones that go one and pass us in an instance before we even realize they've happened. The moment that comes to mind is the last time I was in Hawaii we were on a lava cliff. I don't like cliffs and I don't like jumping off them and I just plain old don't like the feeling of free falling... but, Dan just lept off this waterfall and called for me to do it - and I clearly remember thinking OH MY GOD I DON'T KNOW IF I... and then I jumped. It became a bit of a living metaphor and I wanted to jump right in.
WHAT MEDIUM DID YOU USE FOR THE TINY ART LADIES? Acrylic paint, pencil crayon, pen, marker, staples, calendared vinyl, and magazine pages.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM? I don't like to play favourites... but, if I have to choose: Paints and pencil crayons... acrylic paint has such an incredible spectrum of use.
DO YOU GET INSPIRED BEFORE OR DURING THE PAINTING PROCESS? Both. Definitely before and definitely during and definitely afterwards when I see new ideas sprouting from finished pieces.
DO YOU EVER STOP AND START A PIECE OVER BECAUSE OF HOW IT'S EVOLVING OR NOT EVOLVING? No. I push through it. Art is about what is happening right now. IT IS WHAT IT IS IN THE MOMENT I WAS CREATING IT. And that could be crap. But, if I stop a piece I will likely never go back.
HOW DO YOU WAKE UP SO EARLY AND DOES IT COME NATURALLY? I think it's just how I'm wired. I sleep light. I usually wake between 4:50 and 5:30 naturally AND HAPPY AND ALERT. If I got back to sleep at that point and wake up later - say between 6:45am and 8am - then I'm groggy. It must have something to do with circadian rhythms... but, I'm not a sleep expert.
WHY IS PAINTING A DEFINING FACTOR IN WHO YOU ARE? After everything melts away it is where I am most comfortable. This is a tough one to articulate... I don't feel like I define myself as a painter - it's just something I like to do and it's probably a combination of loving it and loving the responses and loving that people sometimes find and see things that connect with them, too.
CHROMA A2 PAINT VERSUS GOLDEN - WHAT DO YOU PREFER? I prefer Chroma because it's cheaper. And to be perfectly honest I bought it because I liked the packaging. I think the A2 magenta is wonderful. I don't have a paint or brush hangup - I use what's around and unless the smell totally revolts me or there are little dried paint chunks in it (which can create cool texture) I'm fine with it. IN FACT, I prefer the cheaper stuff because it has more junk in the pigment and it usually dries with less of a sheen. AND I CAN USE IT UP TO MY HEARTS CONTENT AND NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT WASTING MY MONEY.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WATERCOLOUR PENCIL BRAND? I like Derwent, but I'm not fussy.
*WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PENCIL CRAYON BRAND? I ONLY USE PRISMA COLOUR PREMIERS AND I AM VERY FUSSY ABOUT THIS. (*I added this question.)
HOW DO YOU BALANCE IT ALL - WORK, MARRIAGE, BABY, DOG, FRIENDS, LIFE? I do my best and I will be the first to admit that I don't do a very good job MOST OF THE TIME. I take my frustrations out on Dan and Crash far too often. Sometimes I resent Pilot a wee bit because I can't seem to get in as much painting as I want. Sometimes I think WORK sucks because I'm up late working when I want to be in bed snuggling with Dan. Sometimes it feels like too much AND SOMETIMES I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE HOW AWESOME I HAVE IT and how there's no where I would rather be than here and it's all gonna go by so fast.
WHERE DO I SHOP FOR PILOT? Superstore is terrific with their new kids line... that's definitely the GO-TO for sweet basics... the rest I find in little shops or online.
MAYBE THERE IS A NOISE WAKING PILOT UP IN THE MORNING? Maybe. She has (since the day she was born) slept with a white noise machine that is probably bordering on RED OR YELLOW NOISE. It's airplane engine noisy - but, she sleeps like a dream and it blocks out all the other noises. She has black curtains and her room is so dark that I insist on a little night light so the monsters THAT I AM AFRAID OF don't get her.
WHAT SETTINGS DO YOU USE TO SHOOT PICTUES OUTDOORS/INDOORS? I always use natural light - I shoot on the same setting all the time. I use the Aperture mode (A) on my camera. And I almost always shoot at 1.8 for the dreamy focus. We have nice south windows in the house so the light finds us.
DO YOU ALWAYS 'PUMP UP' THE COLOUR IN PHOTOSHOP? No.
WHAT IS MY MIDDLE NAME? Richelle.
WHAT DID I WANT TO BE WHEN I GREW UP? For a short time I wanted to be a bellydancer - but, other than those two weeks in the third grade - I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST.
WHAT IS ONE CRAZY DREAM I HAVE FOR PILOT? That she will follow her heart and not GIVE A RIP about the stupid things I worried about when I was a kid - like fitting in and ATTENDING EVERY DAY'S CLASSES (don't tell Dan!).
DO I EVER WISH I WAS STAYING IN A BEAUTIFUL COTTAGE ON A LAKE WITH JUST DAN, PILOT and CRASH AND NOT INTERNET CONNECTION? (Well - we are going to be doing that in a few short weeks) The answer is NO. BUT, I DO WISH that we were staying in a beautiful cottage on the OCEAN with no internet connection and no clocks and NO SHOES.
IF I COULD VISIT ONLY ONE MORE COUNTRY WHAT WOULD IT BE? Figi.
WHEN ARE DAN AND I PLANNING BABY NUMBER TWO? Somewhere between Pilot and the third one.
WHERE DO I GET CALENDARED VINYL? I get it at a little wee art shop down the street - but you can get it from Christina at Lazar STUDIOwerx.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE QUOTE OR MANTRA ON LIFE? I'm going to get it wrong and I don't even know exactly who said it but, it goes like this: PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hardwork. It means to be in that place, but still be calm in your heart.
WHAT IS THE BRAND NAME OF THE TEMPERA PUCK PAINTS I USE TO PAINT ON THE SIDEWALK? The paints that I use are FUNSTUFF TEMPERA BLOCKS. HERE is the link.
WHERE DID I GET PILOT'S ADORABLE GREEN HAT FROM THIS POST? Those adorable little hats are HANDMADE by Kathryn's talented mom. She said I could tell you that they are for sale $10 each plus shipping. She can do all kinds of colours... Email me.
WHAT DO I RECOMMEND FOR SOMEONE STARTING TO PAINT? Paint. That really depends on what kind of learner you are. If it was me - I would say go rip into the dollar store paints and brushes and those mini canvases and whatever papers you can get your hands on and GET AT IT. But, that might not work for everyone. It might be a good idea to sign up for a local class to get your feet wet... and the end of the day - IT'S JUST FRICKIN' PAINT so do not be afraid. Go forth and paint.
WOULD I EVER CONSIDER DOING CUSTOM ART PIECES - SAY FROM A PHOTOGRAPH? Sure. I do that all the time. Portraits. Landscapes. Whatever. Email me and we can talk prices and sizes.
DOES DAN DO SOMETHING SPECIAL TO YOUR COFFEE? Since he's sitting right here I just asked and he said "he makes it with love"... which made me barf a little and he changed his answer to say that he grinds his beans fresh daily and makes it extra strong.
CANON OR NIKON? Canon. Hands down if you ask me.
HOW DO I GET MY PICTURES SO SHARP? Focus.
DO I FIDDLE WITH MY PHOTOS BEFORE I POST/PRINT/SAVE? Yes certainly.
HOW DO I PRICE MY WORK? That's just a fine balance between what it's worth to me and what Dan thinks people will pay - multiplied by the size and how long it took - exponentially increased by if it's a custom piece and if the people were easy to work with or if they were dicks.
WHAT IS MY CAREER? It may look like I am a full-fledged artist & designer by the amount of paintings I sell and the design work that I do - but, I am actually a romance novelist and homeland security consultant. AND I'M KIDDING. I'm a graphic designer and artist AS A double hitter CAREER.
HOW DID I MEET DAN? We met by accident at the dog park. My dog kept stealing his dog's ball so we decided to get married and call it a day. It was actually much more romantic-comedy than that but we got married about 8 weeks after we met.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE NAMED PILOT IF IT WAS A BOY? Nurse. (Kidding. I don't know.)
IS MY HERITAGE UKRAINIAN OR POLISH? I'm Polish-Ukrainian. We practiced mostly Ukrainian traditions growing up and I even did a short stint in the slammer known as Ukrainian immersion school. Dan, on the other hand, is slightly different as he is a Ukrainian-Polish. That mostly means that he likes perogies and I like vodka.
DO I PLAN ON POSTING MORE TIPLETS? Yes. But, I have no idea when. I need to finish the Tiny Art Ladies and a piece or two for my own sanity.
Thanks for all the awesome questions! I hope I answered them up alright and I hope you weren't BORED TO DEATH.
Today: Pilot and I have a date with our friends Trina & Emerson at Stella's for breakfast and a walk around the beautiful neighbourhood. We have a bunch of errands to do and I didn't get to the pool patching so that is definitely at the top of the list. AND A NAP. (I stayed up too late answering questions!!) All that and we are not going to take life too seriously today. It's HUMP DAY and Pilot's been working hard and getting her crawl on - ALL WEEK. We're going to celebrate!
Yum - double delicious coffee this morning Dan! I can't wait to dig into a fresh omlete! Let's GO!