Make Art Every Day!

Hurrah (and Farewell from Colleen and Monika)!

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Hurrah! Over 190 artists and over 900 people in attendance on Friday night. Check out all the fun photos! Can’t wait ‘til next year. We hope you all stay inspired to keep up with the making!

It is time to say thank you and farewell! We are stepping down as co-leads and passing the Fun-A-Day torch to Meredith S. K. Boas and other organizers.

Organizing Fun-A-Day has been an honor and privilege. We love to be able to serve the artist and local community in Delaware. You continually impress us with your perseverance and creativity! Each year the show reignites the ambition and drive to keep Delaware Fun-A-Day alive another year. We took over the event from the original efforts of Leann Pedante (and many others listed below) and know that it will continue to flourish.

Speaking of supporters. We would like to personally thank again, EVERYONE that has been a part of this organization: the artists, the volunteers, the SpaceBoy Clothing staff, the Talleyville Frame Shoppe &Gallery staff, W Films, the Jerry’s Artaroma staff, the DCAD staff, OddBall Art Hall, and the Oddity Bar staff. For the annual event, we want to thank The Delaware Contemporary staff, the DJs: DJ Skinny White and DJ Zip, family, friends, guests, and James Newby for facilitating a new feature this year - the Print Your Own Tarot session. You each play an important role in making Fun-A-Day what it is. We hope you will continue to do so while it evolves.

We would also like to thank those that made this organization what it is today, our past and present organizers: Leann Pedante, Kati Driscoll, Valeri Hazzard, Alan Brown, Sheila Master, Sarah Houghton, Amanda Theil, Joy Smoker-Liedel, Kerri Fitzgerald, Felise Luchansky, Sarah Dressler, Steve Ellis, Meredith Keating, and Sheila Sunshine.

And with that, we wish the new organizing team all the best!
Cheers to 2019!
Monika and Colleen

PS you can follow Monika and Colleen on Instagram

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WOW! What a night (and weekend)!

Added on by M Bltte.

We were thrilled with the Opening Night attendance - more than 900 people saw the art of more than 190 Delaware Fun-A-Day participants. Photos will be coming soon to the gallery, but for now - please check our Instagram Feed and Facebook page!

See entire Instagram Feed

2018 Artist Interview - Julia Jay Hardman

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Sheila Sunshine

For our last interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day, Sheila Sunshine talked with Julia Jay Hardman how she "geeks out", her art upbringing, and doing "cover art". Thanks, Julia!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What opportunities have you found here? 

Delaware is my home, as I was born and raised here. I’ve lived in a few other places, and visited many. I have been back in Delaware for a few years, now. I’m starting to feel this weird pull to escape. It's the feeling Disney Princesses sing about when the want their lives to change. It’s conflicting, because there is so much I love here. So I’m starting to have shows in Baltimore. Which is a good start. I want my art to impact a wider audience. 

This is going to be your fifth year participating! Can you describe one of your past Fun-A-Day projects? 

Understanding the history of art is, I believe, key to being a dynamic artist. I do not shirk the influence of other artists. I want to venerate the greats.  Some I do despise. Like Warhol and Dali. However, I understand they had a profound impact on art. I might feel a certain way about them, but I also must respect them. So it goes. Since humans started making art, certain patterns and poses represent specific things. For example, legs depicted at different angles represents movement. As an artist I naturally create images in that custom, as so many artists have done before me whether they notice or not. I should learn how other artists did it before me. That was the key to my last Fun-A-Day project. I call that drawing style “covers.” I used to get jealous that my musician friends could take songs they loved and make them their own. I decided to do that with my art. Covers are a mix of homage and personal expression.

Your work typically features a bold, dark line, and soft color transitions. Did you always draw? How did you learn?

My great uncle would tell a story about me when I was three. I don't remember the details, but it involved waiting in a dentist's office and me just picking up some crayons and near perfectly drawing a picture of a swan. My great uncle would embellish stories. But drawing is something I have always done. It sometimes bothers me when people call my work "illustrations." Like, your art has to look a type of way in order to be called "Art." Is drawing just an illustration thing, or can drawings be seen as high "Art?" I think about this quite a bit. 

I have my own personal style, true. But it came from years of study and making everything from abstract oil paintings to prints off a press. I have my style because, in everything I have seen or learned about, I haven't seen are just like mine. I'm glad people seem to like it. 

You illustrate such a wide variety of subject matter! Last September you had an interesting show which is now at the Christiana Motel called “If they're in front of you they go too fast; if they're behind you they go too slow” which focused on tractor trailers and then for the Fun-A-Day show right after that you illustrated your version of famous artistic works. Do you have an overarching theme or idea? What draws you to these vastly different subjects?

The trucks were more of a collaborative series. I’m not sure whose idea it was to start photographing the ones that drove by Street Road Project Space. But I got very good at it. A year later I’m drawing the trucks from those random photographs. They are now in the Christiana Motel, which they are perfect for.

You participate in quite a few local venues such as Oddball Art Hall at Oddity Bar and the Street Road Artists Space. What are some of your favorite local art spots? 

Oddball Art Hall is the best thing to happen to local artists. Period. Oddity and 1984 are the only places I like. Mainly I draw at Brew Ha Ha when I’m not working behind the counter.

Please describe your 2018 Project:

What made my last show so successful was the variety of images I had. Thus, I went with a broad and metaphysical theme: Destruction. I went the melodramatic because I think it fits where the world is right now. So many people talk about how things are falling apart. There is an atmosphere of resignation to the ruin. Destruction is where we are. But it isn’t so bad. History flows from one fallen era to the other. Some must be forsaken in order for the world to evolve. Revolutions happen. Death breathes life and yada yada.

If you could experience a “day in the life” in a different person’s shoes, who would choose and why?

I would like to be a successful white male. Maybe an accountant. Something dull and sane. I would live in a rosy world where the worst thing to happen to me is my dog was hit by a car when I was 12. Everything smooth since. I would have done things like be a Prom Prince and gone on Spring Break. I would drink on weekends, and play point-and-shoot video games on the weekdays. I’m the type of guy who plays kickball with his office buddies and watches “The New Girl” to be edgy.  I would commonly be high-fived by my boss. I would eventually marry. I like to talk about how America’s golden age was the 1950s. And how it’s hard to be a white guy. I would be that guy for a day. That guy sucks. But I bet he’s stupidly happy. Otherwise, I just want to always be me. Just somewhere else.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I can draw. I am a master of one. But I can draw anything but horse’s legs and sleek machinery. I traveled with my family when I was smaller. That had a pretty profound impact on me. I saw the Mona Lisa and other famous works up close (as close as one can). I’ve seen the pyramids. But then, I also saw a random tour guide take a poo behind one of the blocks of the pyramid. I have a deep loving amazement at all the amazing things in the world. But I also know how crappy the world can be. On one hand, I was exposed to all this astonishing art and history. On the other hand, I was exposed to the darker side of things that come with exploring the world. I mean, I could have been a brat and ignored all the museums and historical locations we visited. I’m lucky I didn’t. I wouldn’t make the art I do if I wasn’t a history nerd from a tiny age. Now I'm just a nerd about everything. All my subjects come from things, I have in one way or another, geeked out over. 

Where can people see more of your work?

I am not very good at being “professional” when it comes to my art. I have no portfolio style photos of my art. I never want to frame my works. I don’t have business cards, nor a website. People kept asking me if I use instagram. So, I did get one. I'm JuliaJayHardman. Eventually I do want to be more economical. Now, I’m just focused on making the art. 

See Julia's work at www.instagram.com/juliajayhardman and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

2018 Artist Interview - Wendy Mitchell

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Monika Bullette

For our fifth interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day, we talk to Wendy Mitchell how she brings together local artists at the unique shows at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery, her own inspirations and causes, and canine employees. Thanks, Wendy!

Be sure to check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the progress of our interviewees! And make sure you check your email (and this site) for important information on drop off, the event, and art pick up!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware - are you a resident, born and raised?What has been your artistic path here?

I was born and raised in Delaware, although I do escape occasionally. 

I started drawing as a kid. Spent a good bit of time drawing in my dad's office at work. He kept a drawer of old paperwork that I would draw on the back of when I was there.

I had several teachers who encouraged my interest in art, Mrs. Guy in elementary school, Mrs. Glasgow, Mrs. Walton, and Mr. Thomas through high school. My art school education taught me a lot, but the working artists and illustrators I met through the years inspired me to do whatever art made me happy.

As a kid, I loved Beatrix Potter's gentle critter illustrations. I remember reading about her and realizing a girl could create her own world. Art at the Delaware Art Museum had a big impact on me, as well. Howard Pyle's The Flying Dutchman haunted me, and Dante Gabriel Rosetti's Lilith showed me a woman confident in herself, but Marie Spartali Stillman's self portrait showed me a woman as artist as well as model, in control of the image as well as the image making. 

You put on several shows in 2017 at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery with co-owner Ric Frane (who will be participating this year as well!). Please describe the most surprising piece in each of these shows? Wicked Winter - The Coffin Ball -   Portrait Pollyanna - Big Little Art Show:

We have hosted a lot of unique art shows at the Talleyville Frame Shoppe. I am always amazed by the range of ideas our artists come up with, as well as how they interpret and execute them.

Wicked Winter, on March 2, 2018, is our annual "dead of winter, sick of winter" art show. It's loosely winter themed, art with a dark side. There are usually a few humorous pieces as well, like Tina Marabito's Haunted Telephone piece from last year. It's an eclectic mix of painters, sculptors, photographers, really just a diverse bunch of styles. 

The Coffin Ball, in October, features coffin shaped art from another diverse group of artists, but it's not all Halloween and horror. Maia Palmer did a beautiful "Death of the Dictionary" piece last year. She utilized dictionary pages to create paper flowers that trailed out of the coffin shape.

One of my favorite things about our shows are when artists get to meet each other. The Portrait Pollyanna show was new for us last year. It was a secret portrait exchange, artists painting artists. Some knew each other, some did not. They all came out amazing. Some were hilarious, some were serious, and new connections were made. I loved so many of the pieces in that show. Illustrator Kurt Brugel and tattoo artist Brian Durkee unknowingly had to portray each other. They had never met, but they both stuck to their own style. Brian did a traditional tattoo style watercolor of Kurt as a tattooed sea captain, Kurt did a dark scratch board interpretation of Brian's mug shot (yes, mug shot) that made him look like a gangster. They were both super psyched about them.

We have some local artists who regularly participate in a lot of our shows who always do amazing stuff. Kristen Margiotta, Pat Higgins, Bob Bickey, Joe Hoddinott, Matt Stankis, Ken and Beth Schuler are just some of our core group, but we add new folks all the time. We also have some out of state favorites including illustrator Stephen Blickenstaff and printmaker Donald David, who mail in amazing stuff.

We have hosted the annual Big Little Art Show in December, for four years. It is the brain child of Delaware artist, photographer, and sculptor, Mark Rosenblatt. Seeing how much content artists can fit into a 6 x 6 inch space is always impressive. We had over 70 artists, illustrators, photographers, tattoo artists, graphic designers, sculptors, pin-stripers, and a cake decorator, showing over 200 pieces in 2017.

I also love the opportunity to collect original art from talented people, and this show is great for buying a couple of pieces because you always have room for small art.

Birds seem near and dear to your heart. How did you become interested in bird rescue. What bird that you haven't would you most like to see?

Birds have been a favorite subject of mine since I was young. I got to know some waterfowl artists and duck decoy carvers through my dad. These were my first encounters with professional artists, so it was a natural progression to draw and paint birds. We spent our summers on the Elk River in Maryland, and there were so many different birds. One of my favorites is the Great Blue Heron, although I'm quite a fan of birds prey as well. I have recently seen a Coopers hawk hunting pigeons near the Frame Shoppe; wildlife in suburbia. I've never seen an owl in the wild, but wood love to.

My friend Cheryl works at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Rescue in New Jersey. She took me to help a few times. I got to hold an owl and feed a whole lot of baby birds. It's quite an experience. I volunteered a little bit, and try to support the Tri-State Bird Rescue here  in Newark, Delaware. Cheryl also introduced me to taxidermy. I sometimes do anthropomorphic taxidermy of mice with my friend Tina Marabito.


Car Culture - what's the coolest car you've owned or driven?

I was interested in cars as a kid, as well. My uncle had a dragster, and my dad had several cool cars including a 1959 Corvette. I've had quite a few old interesting vehicles over the years, always "beaters," never a shiny classic. They were just basic transportation (with personality) for me. I currently have a 1961 Chevy Apache Panel truck that I drive to area car shows. I love that truck! The Frame Shoppe also co-sponsors Poppycock Tattoo's Wilmo A Go-Go Car Show in May. It's a great place to see a crazy variety of cool vehicles. I take my truck and sell art and vintage junk.

Shoppe dogs! What do dogs know that we don't?

We have had a few canine employees. Currently, GoGo, the Boston Bitch, and Miss Marple, the energetic one eyed old lady, both keep us entertained at work. They've both done art modeling as well. They know not to sweat the small stuff, and that if you're cute enough, someone will give you a treat.

Describe the most beautiful thing you've framed and the most bizarre...

Picture framing has exposed me to all kinds of art and people. We frame art and objects from all over the world, and so many of those pieces have a story. We've framed a huge variety of stuff, including motorcycle parts from an accident, a cast from a broken arm, a collection of watches, a zither, military uniforms, and most recently, a World War II flag from the D Day landing in France, as well as a piece of the USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor. This week I'm working on framing pieces of an antique designer silk gown that was damaged in a house fire. It's a truly unique piece. I did once frame a bungee cord as a joke. A woman framed it for her husband as his first fishing trophy, because it was the only thing he caught.

2017 was your first year participating (and the first year you generously allowed Delaware Fun-A-Day participants to drop off and pick up their art at Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery- THANK YOU!). Please describe your 2017 project. What advice would you give first time participants? What do you plan to do for your 2018 project?

Last year for Fun a Day, I did printing using vegetables. I cut images in potatoes, carrots, and a few other veggies, then printed them onto paper, kind of like rubber stamping. I did a Halloween theme, pumpkins, skulls, bats, etc., and then framed them all together as a collection. It was fun, but challenging! I wasn't consistent with size, and the vegetables would break down quickly, limiting the number of clear images I could print. I purposely chose something different from my normal style because I wanted to free myself up a little.

My advice to new participants is to get yourself organized beforehand. Choose your media and get materials ready before the actual making. I also think it's important not to get too far behind. I know a lot of people start well, then miss a couple of days. Next thing you know, a couple weeks have gone by, and you need to catch up. I tried to do two pieces in one night, that way I could take a day off if need be. Most of us are doing this as added activity in our very busy lives, and it is almost impossible to commit the same amount of time every day.

I'm torn between two ideas this year. I'm leaning toward "Insight and Inspiration," which will be partial portraits of women who have influenced me, as well as a few self portraits. My other thought is to illustrate 31 different birds. I need to decide soon! Either way, my goal is to keep them simple, and not to overthink it, or try to make them too complex, all of which will be challenging.

Check out more of Wendy's work at www.facebook.com/artofwendym and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

Don't forget that Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery is a drop off point for artwork before the event and a pick up spot afterwards!

2018 Artist Interview - Lvon Yoder

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Sheila Sunshine

Welcome to the fourth interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Event - and first by new DEFAD organizer Sheila Sunshine! She talked to Lvon Yoder about his DEFAD projects, how he wants to "Spread positive energy always", and his penchant for bold color. Thanks, Lvon!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised?

I am a resident of Delaware, born and raised in Newark, Delaware. I've lived in DE my entire life. 

This will be your second year participating in Delaware Fun-A-Day. For anyone that missed it, can you describe last year’s project? Any artists you are hoping to see participate again?

My project last year consisted of printer paper cut in half, then I used markers, crayons and pen along with recycled books and magazines. Basically they were mixed media collages. There's a few artists I'm hoping to see participate again, who knows. 

Your last project focused on drawing and collage, but you typically work with paint. Do your drawings inform your paintings, or do you keep the two mediums separate?

Such a good question. I would say I keep the two separate. Last year was a first time- showing my collages and drawings. 

Your abstract paintings commonly feature bold, bright colors. Where does the inspiration for those come from?

The inspiration for my color choices would be artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Man Ray. Artists who choose the most bold colors. 

There are so many textures and techniques you achieve on the canvas. Which one is your favorite? What is your process like?

My process is somewhat meticulous and partly random, also I experiment with different colors. 

You regularly share other artists’ work on your social media channels. (For instance: The Obama's portrait reveal, a painting by Spherical Art,  urban sketches by Wild Plein and Joan CorominaDo you feel it’s important to build and support a community of artists? How do you choose what to share?

I share what I like and find interesting. Yes, I feel its very important to support other artists and help them find opportunities when I can. I'll usually share someone's art once I meet them and get to know a little about them. Elise Kathleen & Dave Booth are some favorites.

You sell your work in a way that supports quite a few charities and causes. What is your favorite way to give back? What are your favorite charities and why?

I do work with a few charities, any way I can help especially if it's art involved. I've donated images and the proceeds go to charity. My favorites are HealingHeadbands who helps children in hospitals with cancer. 

Do you have any advice for people who might be participating for the first time?

My advice would be to enjoy yourself, listen to what people have to say. More importantly don't stop making art. 

What 5 things have influenced your work the most?

a. Past & Present Art

b. Life Experiences

c. Nature

d. Street Art & Graffiti

e. Music 

Please describe your 2018 Project:

This years project: I may do the collages once again, not sure yet. I'm sure it will have bold color no matter what. 

Where can people see more of your work?

People can see more of my work on my Instagram @Makinmoves420 (and at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!)

2018 Artist Interview - David Sanchez

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Monika Bullette

Welcome to the third interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Event. We talked to David Sanchez, artist, musician, and co-owner of Wilmington's premier silk-screening and clothing store - Spaceboy Clothing - a one stop shop for locally made graphic tees, custom clothing, vintage goods, and more.  Thank you, David, for the DEFAD tshirts and the interview!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware - are you a resident, born and raised? What has been your artistic path here? 

I actually was born in Utah, long story but my family moved to DE when I was 1 or 2. 
I'd say my path began with music, I started playing drums in 8th grade then transitioned over to guitar. I had previously sang in the school chorus so that was just an add on. In high school, I got more into graphic arts and I guess it took off from there. 

Spaceboy is almost 9 years old! What has the most fulfilling part of the journey - and what would you most like to forget? How have you made Spaceboy an artistic hub?

The journey has had  its ups and downs and I am still on it. I love meeting people and bringing their ideas to life.  Yes, we do printing and graphics but over the years we've made it a point to try and get people to come downtown and hang out. We've hosted many comedy, music & art events and hope to do many more. 

You've been quite active in the community efforts in the city of Wilmington. Tell us a bit about Humble Park project and what is next.

The goal was to bring that little park back to life. Create a welcoming place where people can relax and read a book, have lunch or attend an event. It's there, people can use it. Any other city has cool public places like this, but for some reason Wilmington is slacking. Once the weather warms up the goal is to add more art, color, vibe, more comedy & music. 

You feature several Delaware themed tshirts at Spaceboy - I esp. like the Black Flag bars with the state shape. Which is your favorite and what other DE themes should we expect?
 My favorite Delaware themed T-shirt at the moment is a kaleidoscope  design i did last year. We also recently colabed with Sore Eyes Design Studio and I really like the 2 headed blue hen design as well. We will be releasing stuff over the next couple of weeks, so please check in. 

Top 5 musicians you listen to in at Spaceboy: 
Note, these are just my random preferences depending on my mood, not Noah's. 
1. Phil Collins
2. Any sort of Retro wave
3. Jimmy Eat World
4. Tupac
5. Pinback

You are a musician yourself - quickly run through the names of bands you've been in since the 90s. And describe your most recent musical project!
Oh Jeez, Novella, Watership Down, Mirth, 99 Degrees, Game Over, Life In Stereo, The Solitary System, I Am Lightning, Up Nights, Did a solo thing called Augustine. My most recent project does not have a name yet. It's going to rock & when we're ready, I'll let you know.

What would you say are some of the main themes of your artwork?

I usually don't stick to any specific theme. But I do tend to keep things on the brighter side. 

2016 was your first year participating. Please describe your 2016 project. How was your approach different with your 2017 project (please also describe)? What advice would you give first time participants? What do you plan to do for your 2018 project? 

My 2016 project was interesting. I wanted to do something totally weird so I decided to screen print halftone images of my favorite 80's personalities. But instead of using ink, I used condiments. Like, Cheese wiz, chocolate sauce, ketchup, etc. Anything I could think of. I almost got Shoprite as a "sponsor" to let me come in and grab a bunch of stuff to try out. But I screwed up and was an hour late for our meeting. After lots of experimenting, I only ended up with a handful of condiments that actually gave me the contrast I was looking for. 

The following year I did a bunch of POP-ART Collages. Multi media, multi layered, fun, colorful pieces using random clippings,  pins and transparency film to create a cool 3D effect. I was very happy with that project and I'm still selling it for $1,000,000 if anyone wants it.  

My advice would be just to change it up. Try and come up something new, original and the weird. For 2018, I'm not sure yet. Just got an iPad pro so I've been drawing a lot. I'll figure something out.

See David's art at at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

2018 Artist Interview - Pam Slaton

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Monika Bullette

Welcome to the second interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Event. We talked to self-taught artist Pam Slaton about the mysteries of monochrome, tear-jerking commissions, the benefit of simpatico relationships, and JAWS! Thank you, Pam!

We like to know how people are connected to Delaware -  are you a resident, born and raised? What has been your artistic path here?

I was born in Wilmington a long loooong time ago.  We don't really need years, right? I lived in Stanton until I was 9 or 10. Divorce and remarriage took my mom and my brother and I to Seaford, De. It was a big change, going from being near a big city to in a bitty little town. The adjustment was difficult. Around this time I started reading a lot, and discovered illustration art. I became obsessed with the line drawings in books like "Misty of Chincoteague" and at one point kept checking out the American Kennel Club catalog of breeds so I could draw the dogs.  This book was almost completely destroyed by the time I returned it.  We moved again to Georgetown and lived there for a couple of years. I loved coloring. Still do.  I remember drawing a picture of my brother that looked pretty realistic, it blew my mind. It was this point that I put down the crayons and started drawing my own ideas. I would write my own songs and draw these illuminated pages. Of course I was ten so they were, well, 10 year old quality.  We didn't have a lot of money,  so I had construction paper.  Lined school paper was considered a premium supply and it was a divine surface compared to the construction paper, and I discovered shading and blending with my fingertips.  

Throughout middle school/junior high I worked on reproducing artworks and remember my art and music teachers were the one's that encouraged me and mentored me.  It was a terrible time in my life, my home life was very very difficult and I took to my art as an escape.  Since we didn't have the resources to do classes or buy specialized art supplies, I was confined to #2 pencils and lined paper, so I worked more on just drawing.  

We moved again in 1982 and I discovered theatre.  That was a lot of fun, and my art teacher and theatre director was Eddy Seger, awesome guy!   After high school,  I married, moved to the southern US,  divorced and moved back home.  I played around with more crafty things for a long time.  It wasn't until I met my husband, TJ, that my art life blossomed into what it is now and what it is becoming. TJ is a musician, and we are a lot alike.  We were actually in a band together the first few years after we met.  This experience helped me to reconnect with tons of old friends and open up my network much further.

My first commission was from one of my customers at the store I was running at the time,  and I pursued that angle for a few years. I connected with a gallery through a customer and had my first gallery representation at the now defunct Thyme Gallery.  The company I worked for went bankrupt and closed my store,  and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time.  I started doing more and more portraits and original art.  I had even opened up a short lived working studio and art gallery with some other artists from Newark in the building next to Finley's Art.  Joanne and Thayne are awesome, and were very supportive. I was able to pay for those expenses through commissions on portraits.  Life brought about some need for changes and I had to pull out, unfortunately.  I forget exactly how, but I  connected with Valerie White of Bellefonte Arts.  She has been and is the best.  I have a space there along with some fantastic artists and makers and it has been great.  I hold myself accountable to her when the routine of the daily keeps me from staying involved.  I owe her a lot.   

These days, though, I am setting goals to continually challenge myself,  I am working on learning more and doing more,  to allow my art a life within my life, if that makes sense. We have guardianship of my 13 year old niece and I am a full time retail manager, so things don't always go smoothly.  I have vowed to not give up on my art so quickly, and it has been a beautifully fulfilling decision.  My friends and family are incredibly supportive, and I have made so many friends in these past years.   We bought a house in 2015, so now I have a dedicated studio.  When I'm rich and famous I plan on building a studio like N. C. Wyeth's but until then the spare room is cool, it is working out well. 

This will be your third year participating (you participated in 2013 and 2017)! Please describe your past Delaware Fun-A-Days? Any Artists you are hoping to see participate again?

The first year I participated I felt very clumsy. I was just starting a new job and worked a lot,  so I found myself scratching out stuff on my lunch break and between domestic duties and work.  I threw it all together quickly in the end,  I definitely was cramming.   The second time was much more organized, though I changed my mind a week after the project started and had to get caught up.  It still didn't feel unified, so this year I am getting my mess together!  

There are so many artists each year and it gets bigger and bigger. I love seeing the new artists, and how unique everyone's art is. SOOOO many different ways that creative urge is brought to fruition. Beautiful. That is what I look forward to. Maybe the people that haven't done it before, I think those are the artists I look forward to seeing. They inspire me even more to not be afraid and try different things.  

Your work has mystery and a sense of the macabre and often a lot of teeth! What about black and white (and sometimes a pop of color) excites you?

Growing up, all I had really was pencil and paper, so that is how I learned to see things, in black and white. I like the garish look of a bold color behind a monochromatic image.  It's almost cartoon or carnival like. Carnivals are kind of dark and creepy,  though, as are circuses and religious rituals, and ceremonies and just the human psyche in general.  I have a layman's interest in mythology, that and the influence of Heavy Metal magazine in my formative years. So all these things swirl together in my squirmy brain and find their way out sometimes in odd ways. And sometimes it's just something I like to see and look at myself.  

As a self-taught artist, what online resources have you used the most to further your art progression?

I follow a lot of photographers on social media, and they are very generous in allowing me to use their images as drawing references. I can't always track down whose image I am using, I have to admit, so I probably just lost so many cool points by admitting that.  Other than that, quite a few of my favorite artists have instructional or informational videos and post on Patreon. Posespace is awesome, as is Masterworks, as they post a daily model on YouTube for free. Mostly though, I just get the materials and play with them until I figure it out.  I am in love with powdered graphite and had a tub of it for almost a year before I discovered how easy it is to use on clayboard.  Now it's my go to.  If I feel an artist block, I grab something I haven't used and just play with it. 

Describe working with YUPO paper - some artists don't like the "accidents" that happen with the slippery surface. Do you agree?

This is what I was talking about when I said I just get materials and play with them. At first I used colored pencil, which has a hazy soft look.  Unfortunately, once an erasure has been made, it shows up in any color that is laid down after.  It is unforgiving with pencil mediums. One afternoon I decided to play with the India ink I had bought forever ago and had not used.  So a match made in heaven for me.  I found I could subtract from the black with a brush and water. I experimented with washes and scrubbing and subtracting. That is how "Meow" came to be.  A creative block,  a challenge that I had to overcome, a few problems to solve and voila! 

You take commissions - what was the most difficult project you've worked with - either the client or the content? Which came the easiest? Change names for anonymity! ;)

There were actually two, both clients asked for an image that required pulling different references together to make one cohesive image. It was hard,  as I have always struggled with composition.  The tonal values were difficult to match, and proportion was a bear.  I found myself erasing and damaging the paper. On one, I had to add a colored element to a graphite and charcoal drawing, it was awful. The customers asked for prints, and said they liked them, but it was one of those things were I was embarrassed to let them go out the way they did.  I won't do those type of commissions again that is for sure.  

I must say my most moving one was of a friend's father. I had blown out on Facebook that I wanted some random pics to draw from for practice.  She had sent me this picture of her dad,  and just when it was completed, we had prints made and I was arranging to meet her to deliver them. Well, her dad passed away as we began making the arrangements. We cried and embraced in the parking lot as I was turning them over to her.  My husband will forever refer to me as "The Bringer of Tears" because there was a string of memorial portraits that I had done that caused people to cry.  

Do you have believe in any superstitions? Which?

Actually, I am a hardcore atheist.  I haven't always been. I grew up Roman Catholic, my immediate family started going to a Baptist (think the speaking in tongues type of services) church once we moved to southern Delaware, I fiddled around with some Wiccan ideals, then was born again and baptised in my early 30's after my first marriage fell apart.  During this time, I really started studying the bible and the cognitive dissonance was so loud I couldn't continue. I have been an unapologetic atheist since.  Superstition is fascinating though, it really is. The rituals people put themselves through for self preservation and protection is so diverse and disturbing in many cases.  I have to thank my late high school anthropology teacher, Linda Gehling, for sparking an interest in human behavior through the ages. We are a puzzling species.

Name two favorite Spielberg films (one pre-2000 and one post-2000) and WHY!

Pre 2000:  JAWS!!!!!!!  I like how Spielberg was forced to keep the shark out of the movie for most of it because of technical issues,  it added this tension to the movie that I found more valuable.  This I guess goes back to my interest in superstition and  mythology.  There are "devils" everywhere, real or constructed,  seen or unseen,  that will get what they came for no matter what,  mostly because we let them.  We think we can overcome nature and I kind of rooted for the shark.  Is that wrong? It was an intelligent and problem solving juggernaut of instinct, and it was hungry. Close Encounters was a really close second. Richard Dreyfuss had my heart when I was a young girl apparently.   

Post 2000:  This one is hard, because there have been so many,  I loved the visuals in Memoir of a Geisha and BFG and the tension in War of the Worlds and Warhorse. So I guess if I have to chose just one, I would say War of the Worlds. Dakota Fanning's incessant screaming or Tom Cruise's weird ego doesn't even turn me off to it.  I like monsters, I like being scared and get lost in movies. I ran a Blockbuster for 8 years so movies are a friend of mine. 

Name 5 artists whose work you would like to own:

1) Allen Williams -  I do have several prints already and met him at IX in Reading last year,  I fangirled so hard it was embarrassing. I had pictures taken so my goofy expression will live on forever in the innerwebs. 

2) Stephanie Law -  My son has a print and I have two prints, also met her at IX, her booth was right next to Allen's. I also went to Krab Jab this summer while visiting a good friend and saw her work in real life.  my goodness, so delicate and beautiful. 

3) H.R. Giger - Because holy cow. The brain on that man was good and twisted and he did what he wanted with it.  

4) Alphonse Mucha -  His art was an early influence on me, the organic compositions and color,  the technique of outlining figures shows up in my own art sometimes.  His work is unattainable as far as originals,  but I have amassed a nice collection of framed art and posters. 

5) ANY OF THE BRANDYWINE SCHOOL ARTISTS - Officially more than one but Pyle and Wyeth are great influences. As illustrators they simplified their compositions down to be impactful while being reproduced, but their paintings in real life,  I see them and am gob-smacked, their use of shadow and contrast, composition and color.  When I grow up I want to be just like them.

What do you plan on creating for 2018 DEFAD?

I am actually doing beasts or monsters from different myths and stories around the world and throughout history. I just recently completed a work on clayboard of Huginn, Muninn and Fenrir from Norse mythology.   I think animals take on our fears and are given identities based on the human mind's lack of understanding of the natural world, which gives birth to superstition. For instance, sometimes crows take on the identity of our fear of death and become harbingers, ingrained in our primal psyche, while in some myths, like with Odin, they are given a place of honor and respect. This is fascinating to me and fuels my art sometimes, well, more often than not. I am doing research now and working on some thumbnails to use for DEFAD and two other group shows coming up.  

Learn more about Pam: website - Instagram and see her project at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

2018 Artist Interview - Pat Higgins

Added on by M Bltte.

Interview by Monika Bullette

Welcome to the first interview of the 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Event! We talked to award winning illustrator and graphic designer Pat Higgins about setting yourself up for success with your DEFAD project, broken bones, and the inception of the ever-fun Oddball Art Hall! Thank you, Pat!

It was great to watch your daily progress of your DEFAD 2017 project on your Instagram (www.instagram.com/phiggins80/). We love it when our participants show their daily work. Your finished project was a book named "The Android's Bewildering Conflict". Did you feel as though you bit off more than you could chew? Or was having a distinct end helpful? What preparations were helpful? What advice can you pass on for this year’s first timers?

It wasn’t more than I could handle, but it was quite a challenge. Having a distinct end was totally helpful, as was the planning. The preparations and planning were writing the book and doing rough layouts the month before. That made it so I could just focus on making the art and finishing a page every day. Advice to first timers would be to plan ahead so you can just work on your project every day. Also, posting your daily piece to social media helps to keep you accountable and on track to finish.

You had a rough start to the year - breaking your arm after a fall on the ice - how have you been accommodating your projects with your right arm in a cast?

The “regular graphic design” work is still happening. I can still click a mouse and type...Just a little slower than usual. As far as the illustration work, I had to cancel one project entirely due to deadline constraints and I was lucky enough to have three other clients postpone their projects until I get my cast off. I am going a little nuts not being able to draw, so I’m staring a podcast this week. I recorded the first few shows and I’ll be posting the first episode soon. Keep an eye on @phiggins80 on instagram for more info.

You thoughts on characters - should they have 4 or 5 fingers (including thumbs)?

Depends on the character and story. Is it more realistic or serious? Probably 4. Is it more cartoony and silly? 3. Is it an alien or monster? Could be 2, 3, 4 or 5!

Congratulations - you're going to be a Daddy! What are you most looking forward to about fatherhood?

Thanks! I’m looking forward to every bit of it. Mostly sharing my favorite cartoons, books and music with him.

You've made a bit of 3D artwork that requires glasses - what is your process?

The process for the 3D artwork is all in Photoshop. It’s about finding the right red and the right blue, separating the colors and shifting the layers. That’s the quick and dirty explanation. You’re not the first person to ask...maybe I’ll put a tutorial together.

What's the best swag you've received for a job well done?

Money. I like money. But cool stuff on top of that is great! Records, t-shirts, books, beer. I always try to include comp copies of whatever I’m doing into the contract. Which is one of the reasons I try my best to only work with people that make cool stuff that I would like!

If your bands Disaster Committee and Feral Ponies were in a tug of war - who would win and why?

Definitely Feral Ponies. Alex is probably more fit and in shape than everyone in Disaster Committee combined haha! Plus April would make me sleep on the couch if Disaster Committee won.

Top 5 artists you'd like a piece of work from?
Harvey Kurtzman
John Kricfalusi
Charles Burns
Daniel Clowes
Ralph Steadman

Delaware Fun-A-Day loves Oddball Art Hall - how did it start? How do you expect it to evolve?

My friend, Kristen and I were talking about putting together some kind of artist vending event for a couple years. One day we pitched the idea of a small, monthly event to Pat McCutcheon when we were at Oddity Bar. He loved the idea so we sat down, had a beer and hashed out what would become the Oddball Art Hall: Artist Vendors, Drink n Draw, music, hanging out talking to other artists. I expect it to evolve in terms of new artists (as it has over the last couple years) but as far as size goes, I’m cool with where it’s at. Maybe eventually we can do some bigger event at a different location once a year, but it think the whole “Punk Rock Flea Market” type of thing is a little over-saturated right now. Who knows?

Please describe the project you plan to make for Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018:

I have absolutely no idea. But I’m in! Just signed up.

See more of Pat's work at pat-higgins.com and see his project at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 on April 6 (7,8) at The Delaware Contemporary!

Announcing!

Added on by M Bltte.

Colleen and Monika will be co-leading Delaware Fun-A-Day 2018 but we're welcoming Meredith S. Keating and Sheila Sunshine as organizing "understudies" to take over the following DEFAD. Learn more about them through their artist interviews. We know they'll be great addition to the team!

The 2018 Delaware Fun-A-Day Art Show will be April 6-8, 2018 at the Delaware Contemporary. This means YOU will be CREATING a piece of artwork a day every day in March. Registration will begin in mid-January 2018!


Colleen and Monika and the DEFAD Organizing Team