April 17, 2010

Amy Blackwell Artist Interview!

Hello! It is my privilege to introduce you to one of my favorite artists and fellow doodler, Amy Blackwell. I first discovered Amy around the holidays via a decor8 "Take Five Tuesday". Boy am I glad that I found her!
Amy's work embodies all of the things that I love: an identifiable personal style, rich, crisp color schemes, and a quirky narrative (who doesn't love shifty eyed badgers and animals who wear top hats?)

As an added plus, the prints of her illustrations (found here at her  "blackoutwell" etsy shop) are very reasonably priced! Some of her lovely prints will be used during Violet's room redecoration!

Amy was so kind as to participate in an artist interview for my little blog! 

Artsy Questions:

Tell me a bit about your background with doodling. How did you get started? 
I think it was as simple as picking up a pen. I took a big chunk of time off making anything art related after my degree and then one day it felt like the right time to start a new project, so I went out and purchased a sketchbook and some lovely muji pens. It’s always nice to have an excuse to go nuts in the muji stationary section... so many colours... so shiny...

Do you doodle full time or is it a side job?
Doodling is something I do on the side. By day I doodle and by night I show films in a Cinema. And when I’m not doodling or showing films or both then I’m probably sat drinking a cup of tea talking nonsense at someone. That pretty much sums up my average day. 

 Describe your workspace.
Currently my workspace is a printer, a box of envelopes (varying in size), some card making materials, pens, big colourful sticky tape, paper, an empty stapler and some digital scales all neatly piled up in the living room waiting for me to either trip over them or put them to good use. Sometimes both. I’m in-between work spaces at the minute so my stuff it slowly taking over the living room - this will change though VERY soon. I hope. Fingers crossed.
Amy's Current Workspace

Where do you get your inspiration for your art?
From all over the place. I don’t think there’s a set place I find it. I like to listen to stories and plays on the radio while I work. It helps me focus and inspires me because while I’m drawing my mind gets filled with pictures performing what I’m listening to. They might not be relevant to what I’m trying to doodle but sometimes you need completely unrelated visuals to provoke new ideas or thought patterns. And sometimes you just need to hear a good ‘Whodunnit’. That would certainly explain why a lot of my animals look shifty or cunning.

Who are your favorite artists?
To name a few: Oliver Jeffers, Caitlin Shearer, Camilla Engman, Lizzy Stewart... I could go on and on and on... these 4 are probably my current obsessions.

What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of being an independent artist?
Keeping the momentum going. Sometimes it can feel like a chore and you feel like you should be creating new things constantly, which just isn’t realistic. I’m a bit fickle so I get really enthusiastic about projects and then change my mind over the next few days. It’s really hard to develop ideas when you don’t get the ball rolling in the first place.

Now for some random fun questions!

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Derby. I moved to Nottingham when I was 19 for educational purposes and I’ve been here ever since. I still go back to Derby though, I like Derby. But Nottingham is where I live work and play pretty much.

What is your favorite movie?
I used to say Braveheart just to see the look of disgust on peoples faces and watch them think twice about talking to me. I do really enjoy that film - I understand historically it’s flawed and it’s super sappy, but c’mon the music’s great! In truth I have many favourite films and working in a cinema means they always swap and change. I love Koyaanisqatsi. I think I first saw it when I was 2 - my folks used to put it on and I’d just be glued to the TV screen. Two hours later they would rewind it and start again. Amazing music, amazing visuals. That’s probably always going to be my number one film but I’ll give you a recent top 5 for luck (in no specific order); Unmade Beds, A Serious Man, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, I’m a Cyborg, Hackers. 
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to all sorts. My roots are in rock but recently I’m enjoying more bleepy electro stuff. I like a lot of classical too especially miserable film scores. I collect those. A lot of the ‘new’ music I’ve recently purchased was discovered on adverts, trailers and soundtracks. That says I probably need to go out and play more.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
One thing that annoys me most is when you’re comfortably walking along listening to a great song on your headphones and then you accidentally catch the cable and yank the headphones out of your ears/off your head. That makes me very very very grumpy - I can’t explain why it makes me so grumpy. Just thinking about it makes me grumpy... ah! Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
What advice do you have for fellow doodlers?
Keep on doodling! and treat yourself to a gingerbread latte once in a while. It’s nice to have a bit of that Christmas feel scattered throughout the year, sigh I love gingerbread...
 Miss Amy Blackwell

There you have it! I hope that everyone takes a moment to browse Amy's etsy and personal website amyblackwell.co.uk!

Thanks so much, Amy, for being such an inspiring artist!