Friday, March 14, 2008

Weekend Feature: paynesgrey

The last few weeks I was in need of some cuteness and this week I'm back to brooding and meloncholy. In honor of this mood shift I am very excited to be featuring my first artist! Diana Crites is a painter who sells her work at Talking to Diana and reading her blog, a muted pallette, has made me miss painting and think that maybe it is possible for me to find the time to put a little art back into my life. Click on her images to go to the etsy listing and be sure to read her interview below, she's one cool kitty and I had fun discovering we have alot in common.

Delve, an oil painting by Diana Crites.

You can view her new promotional bookmarks featuring this painting, and maybe even earn one of your very own by visiting her blog!

As much as I enjoy Diana's paintings I absolutely fell in love with two pen and ink drawings she has listed in her shop. They feature macabre images inspired by old poems that wreak of fear-tactic parenting. She has the entire poems in her listings (just click on the image) and are certainly worth the read. For those of you not click happy here's an excerpt of each.

Snip-snip by Diana Crites

The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb by Heinrich Hoffman

But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs.

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands;-
"Ah!" said Mamma "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

Matches by Diana Crites

The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches by Heinrich Hoffman

But Pauline would not take advice,
She lit a match, it was so nice!
It crackled so, it burned so clear,-
Exactly like the picture here.
She jumped for joy and ran about,
And was too pleased to put it out.

Now see! oh! see, what a dreadful thing
The fire has caught her apron-string;
Her apron burns, her arms, her hair;
She burns all over, everywhere.

So she was burnt with all her clothes,
And arms and hands, and eyes and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground.

Diana's Interview

You can read Diana's artist statement here.

What do you do for a living in the daytime?

I am a fulltime stay-at-home mom to two young boys, aged 2.5 and 1 year. In my copious spare time, I'm a frustrated artist. In my previous life, before children, I was a professional graphic designer and eventually art director for a big Fortune 500 corporation. After the dotcom crash in '00, I left the corporate world to create a successful consulting business. I was able to retire last year to raise my boys full-time. I am absolutely loving it and find this job infinitely more challenging and more rewarding than anything previous. I just wish it came with coffee breaks. :)

Tell us a little about your etsy self

I opened my Etsy shop in January. My goal at the time was merely to take a bold step and get my work "out there." I had also hoped to spur myself onward to create new art and take risks, creatively. It worked. Every superfluous moment I have I'm busy producing; I'm working on projects I've only daydreamed about before. I credit the majority of it to being in the midst of an intensely creative, brave, prolific community of artists and artisans. You can't help but be caught up in it, and it's great.

What advice do you have for people trying to sell their art?

I have two pieces of advice for those trying to sell their art. The first is the most important:1) Be true to your vision. I think, as an artist, it's incredibly important to be true to your vision. It's so easy to get lost, especially when you add a commercial aspect to it. In my opinion, the thing that is the most valuable is one's unique voice. If you spend too much time and attention trying to capture popular color palettes or subject matter, you begin to get clouded. Your perspective, your individual tone, is the most valuable asset you have as an artist. 2) Find your audience. You have an audience. It's just a matter of finding them. I think the Internet is an invaluable resource for artists; disseminating your art globally is a good thing. Creating an art blog is seemingly an essential first step, then linking backwards from all the forums, social networking sites, photo sharing sites, etc. will introduce your artwork broadly. Join forums and artist communities and seek opinions on who your art appeals to. Then go directly to the source, whenever possible, and avoid losing your hard-earned pennies to commission. It's too easy to be a starving artist.

All images were used with the permission of Diana Crites


HollyP said...

I have seen a lot of Diana's work and it's amazing - she's such a talent. I am proud to say I know her, and I loved reading this feature!

HollyP said...

I have seen a lot of Diana's work and it's amazing - she's such a talent. I am proud to say I know her, and I loved reading this feature!

njm said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing the talented artist with the rest of us.