Interview by Kati Driscoll
As some of our organizers are also participating artists, we decided to switch things up and turn the lens on ourselves a bit. This week we're talking with Valerie Thiel, who handles Operations (like hooking us up with this year's sweet, sweet location).
Are you a Delaware artist? Have you always lived in Delaware? If not, what brought you here?
I'm originally from Chicago. My mother relocated here for work when I was a teenager. And I would definitely consider myself a Delaware artist. I mean, I really love scrapple so...
What is your preferred medium?
I would have to say photography is my preferred medium, but not the one I've been dabbling in most these days. (I'm trying to psyche myself up enough to draw a comic!)
Do you work in other areas, aside from photography?
Graduate Medical Education? My day job is being a Residency Coordinator.
But really, I just want to dance.
Okay. Not really. I'm trying to get better at drawing. It's depressing/rewarding.
What attracts you to photography?
The marriage of art and science is just really sexy to me.
Your pieces in previous Fun-A-Day shows always feature a creative display - whether it be a mobile of frowning faces or illuminated images of windows on glass tiles. Does your subject determine the display or do you develop the ideas separately? Can we expect more creative display work this year?
The subjects certainly indicate the direction of the display. The decision to put the frowns in a mobile was so contradictory in it's whimsy, how could I not? The images of windows on glass tiles was a little more literal but still driven by the initial idea.
This year I plan to display my work on the floor! I hope everyone walks all over it. Seriously though, tread on me!
What are your ideas for your project this year?
I'm doing a Floor-A-Day this year. Heh. Windows last year; floors this year. It's organic dude.
SPEAKING of creative displays, you're one of the Fun-A-Day organizers. Can you tell us what brought you to FAD as an artist? What made you want to take your involvement to THE NEXT LEVEL?
I personally loved the challenge! Making art everyday is such a daunting task for a single mom who volunteers and works full-time. I'm pretty much interested in anything that will complicate my life. And yeah man. Art + Delaware Pride + A Really Groovy Sense of Community? I had to.
You were also one of the rare participants to attempt TWO projects at once, tackling both Zine-A-Day and Window-A-Day. Tell us a little about that process.
Two projects on top of still having to live my everyday life equals the dumbest I have ever been. Not a lot of sleep and needless to say, I don't plan on doing that again any time soon. But it was rad working with some really cool creative folks on the zine. Can I give a shout out to my Something Riottty buds?? Shelly von Blueberry, The Cat Lady, Ashley "The Cleave" Cleaver, Marbles Manchester, and of course Kiti von Strawberry; the weirdest and best group of creeps!
Also, zines are cool. We need more of that around here.
This will be your third year participating in FAD as an artist. Any advice for the newcomers?
My advice is to be brave and don't over think it. The past two years I had overwhelming moments of doubt, but committing to just do it no matter what is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. And hell! You can apply that advice to life in general while you are at it.
For more of Val's work, follow her on Instagram!