What does mixed-media mean to you?
Beyond the dictionary definition, mixed media, to me, is the freedom to do whatever I want to with my art. It means no rules, no barriers, no restrictions. Mixed media is unlimited possibilities. It is wide-open experimentation. It is the ideal vehicle for discovery of new techniques, new uses for product and boundless creativity. It means never running out of opportunity for self expression through art.
How long have you been a mixed-media artist?
I have been working in mixed media for about 15 years now and actively selling my work and teaching others about it for about 12 years.
How has art impacted or enhanced your life?
Art is as vital to me as breathing. I cannot go more than a couple of weeks at a time without doing something creative. Art has given me a deep sense of purpose, a knowing at the instinctive level that this is what I was meant to do. It has given me the opportunity to share artful messages of hope, light and love with others. I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my love of art with others and encourage them to test their own creative waters. And I am always humbled when I hear that my work or tutorials or even a word or two of encouragement has meant the world to another creative soul and might make the difference in them discovering their own talents.
What are a few of the mixed-media supplies that you find yourself using the most?
My work has always focused on using recycled materials in an effort to keep stuff out of our landfills. So, I regularly use all kinds of salvaged papers (everything from cardboard to wallpaper to gift wrap and much more), old jewelry, vintage components, etc. We have a joke in our household: “If it’s relatively flat and not nailed down, it will end up in one of Joanna’s collages.” As far as regular supplies go, I use my collection of vintage images, acrylic & watercolor paints, spray inks, markers, stencils, Neo Color IIs and my Gelli plate (most recently). Of course my studio is full to overflowing with so many more supplies than this, but these are my faithful old standbys.
Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?
Tell us about your creative process.
I rarely work with a plan in mind. I might sit down and have an idea that I want to use certain supplies, but that is about it. I just go with the flow and see where my muse takes me. I follow the path I’m on until I get stalled out, at which point I move on to something else. I never fight it when I can’t go any further on a given piece. I’ve always got many projects on the go at once so I just move on to another. I have always just known that each piece would come together when it was supposed to. I love to experiment and deliberately put together supplies or images or colors that you wouldn’t think work well to see what happens. I am rarely unhappy with the work I produce, probably because I always try to work from a place of truth. If there is anything that determines a starting point for me though, it would be the fact that I use recycled materials. Very often, whatever I choose for a substrate will set the tone for where the process goes.
What inspires you?
Music, nature and my study of metaphysics are my primary sources of inspiration, but I can be inspired by almost anything.
Where can we find you?
Etsy store: http://www.joannabanana.etsy.com