Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting to know you - Jacque Lynn Davis

Happy Friday, everyone! It's another interview with a very talented lady! Jacque Lynn does some of the most amazing and inspiring embroidery I have seen in quite a while! I strongly encourage you to head over to her Flickr page and take a look. And that's all I am going to say - I hope you enjoy this interview with a inspiring lady! Thank you, Jacque Lynn!

Your name
Jacque Lynn Davis
The best place to see the things I've made recently and get any of my free embroidery, origami or paper toys patterns is at Flickr: jaquedavis

Where in the world are you?
I live in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, with my family. I am a blood bank specialist in an inner-city hospital there.

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I love to draw digitally and have been for about 12 years. I use an electronic pen and tablet. (WACOM) I draw on the tablet and the design shows up on screen. I start with a blank digital canvas in a software program called Painter IX - a pixel program, and occasionally in Xara Xtreme - a vector program. The Painter IX program has a huge variety of brushes that mimic the appearance of paint, chalk, oil pastels, watercolors, and pens. It is so amazingly fun, and because there is such a variety of brush effects, my digital drawings range vastly in appearance.

Besides drawing digitally, I also knit, sew, embroiderer, create paper toys and origami designs, and love sending mail art.

In the past few months I have been doing lots of freeform or doodle embroidery.

Who or what inspires you?
I get inspiration from many sources. The internet makes the sources very accessible. I love the art of Matisse, Kandinsky, Liechtenstein, Calder and often get library books about art masters. Also, I find artist on flickr or other web sites that just grab my attention. A few of the artist I love are:

Jelene Morris - Rik Catlow - Charles Kaufman - Cynthia Korzekwa - Edward Gorey - Takashi Iwasa - Mamie Joe

When I really really need an art fix I watch the PBS television show, Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations.

The show interviews Outsider and Visionary Artists, people who create because they have such a passion to, that they can't imagine not creating. Every show is a delight, the art that people make well into their 70's and 80's is amazing.

When / how did you learn?
I learned SO much as a kid from my Mom, sewing, knitting, embroidery. Both of my parents were very supportive of any art or craft I wanted to try. I'm still learning. I just learned a new embroidery stitch last week, from watching a Mary Corbet's videos on the web.

And I remember the day I came across Matt Hawkin's paper toys.  I stopped everything to make one of his paper toys, and then spent the next year learning to draw and design my own. I see so many different kinds of crafts or art on the internet; I use so many for inspiration.

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
Ummmm? 'Can't imagine not.

What is your craft "philosophy"?
After years of doing my jobs and errands first and art second, I've switched it around, and am so happy.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
This goes back to my Mom. When I was learning to sew, I'd mess something up ( I once put a sleeve in upside down ). She'd point out that I was just too tired to be sewing. Darn, she was right, that would make me even madder. But I really learned, if I'm goofing up, or things really aren't working out -- probably I am too tired. The same thing goes with drawing, it will be 3 hours after I should have gone to bed, and I will be trying to fix something in a drawing, and finally I'll realize that I'm just too tired to see the fix. Usually the next day things will fall together much better.

Talk a little more about your freeform embroidery
I picked embroidery up again in 2007 and did lots of pot holders and pillows. I drew a number of my own patterns to look like the 1930's and 40's kitschy embroidered towels and they are available free on my Flickr site. Then in 2008 and 2009 I made a lot of cloth dolls from recycled upholstery fabric. Stitching the faces was fun, but I was getting tired of sewing up all those dolls.

I really felt like I was searching for my next direction when I saw on the internet the embroidery art of Takashi Iwasa. AMAZING! It was like opening a door for me. Abstract Embroidery! I wanted to make my abstract embroidery unplanned, so I stitch without drawing a pattern. I start with a large stitched element and then add on more and more where ever I feel the picture needs it.

The delightful thing about freeform embroidery is that I can work on black cloth, because I don't draw any pattern. It is so much fun, and fast. It's all about what I want to put in next, and nothing about what I have to finish up.

Is your art/ craft a business as well? Any advice on running an arty/ crafty business?
Well, I've had some great experiences, and a horrible experience selling my digital art. One coffee shop sold my art, taking no commission at all, but then they changed owners and weren't interested in continuing. I then found a newly opened home decor shop 5 blocks from my house, it seemed perfect, until the owner closed up shop and disappeared owing me the commission for 40 of my matted, framed pieces of digital art he had sold. I was so mad, I even drew a digital picture wishing a POX on him.  ( It made me feel a little better)

Right now I'm not selling anything, I'm just making whatever I want. I do send mail art, it's fun and easy. I just google "mail art calls" and pick out any that seem fun. I also love participating in the free art exhibits and giveaway by the Flickr group "It's Yours, Take it" . It's a group of artists that host street art exhibits in their community and ask others to mail art to them to give away at the exhibit.

Fondest craft-related memory?
10 years old happily gluing glitter on Styrofoam Christmas Ornaments. THANKS MOM!

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
Let's see, most of the dinning room, any and all of the kitchen, a good deal of the living room, supplies in all of the basement - I promise, I don't have craft stuff in my daughters' rooms. Anyone that knows my girls, knows it's 'cause you can't even walk through their rooms.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?

No, all my drawings are done directly into the computer. The other day I did need to sketch something on paper, I made a mistake, and I actually felt the fingers on my left hand try to hit the "Control" "Z" keys (that's "undo" on the computer) - gosh, it doesn't work on paper.

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