Interview by Amanda Thiel
Lets talk Delaware! Are you a local Delawarean?
Yes! I'm a native Delawarean. I have also lived in Boston, Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania - but always found myself returning to my Delaware roots.
Do you have a favorite Delaware activity? Any fun places we should check out?
My husband, Kevin, and I really love going out to dinner every now and then. One of our favorite restaurants is La Fia on Market Street in Wilmington. Try the grilled octopus. It is TO DIE FOR! I also like to take classes at Delaware College of Art and Design - they have loads of great workshops. The Delaware Art Museum is another place where you can find me -- I am usually enrolled in their metalsmithing open studio. It's a great place where I can get a lot of work done as I'm slowing building my home studio.
How did you get introduced to Delaware Fun-A-Day? What or who inspired you to participate?
Well, I know the organizers of Delaware Fun-A-Day as well as a lot of the participants. So for me, it's a fun social event to take part in. One of the things I love most about this event is how inclusive it is - you don't have to be an established artist to show your work. Anyone can do it! And that makes for a great show that engages the community and has a lot of variety.
How long have you been making art?
I've been making art since before I knew I was making art. As a child I could always be found drawing or making something. Then in my pre-teen/teen years I focused heavily on music - even attending Berklee College of Music for a time and working as a musician. But in 2002, I switched back to the visual arts by attending Delaware College of Art and Design, where I now teach Graphic Design and Typography in their Continuing Education department. I obtained my Associates Degree at DCAD - and then received my Bachelor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute. I haven't looked back since. The visual arts are certainly my passion. I love making.
This is your second time participating in Delaware Fun-A-Day, what made you want to come back?
Fun-A-Day is just that. Fun every day. I think it's a great way to refresh and keep yourself motivated as an artist. It's easy for some of us art types to take too many days off from creating. Fun-A-Day gives you a creative jump-start that hopefully lasts throughout the year. It's also a great chance to see what other area artists are working on -- and I love getting to chat with everyone about their projects at the show.
What can we expect from you this year at Delaware Fun-A-Day 2015?
Lots. Of. Earrings. And everything I make will be in precious metals and semi-precious gemstones like amethyst, lab created rubies and sapphires, and (one of my favorites) black spinel. It's just as pretty as a black diamond, and even more rare!
Do you enjoy working in other mediums?
I love drawing. As a graphic designer I think it's imperative to have good hand skills - and practicing drawing is an important part of maintaining that skill set. This is lost on a lot of people these days - they think you can just sit down at a computer and just make graphic design happen. But that's not the case - the best design really starts by hand. But I'm finding that more and more - metalsmithing is becoming my real passion. I like working dimensionally and at a small scale. There's just something about creating a beautiful piece of jewelry from scratch.
What type of themes do you like to pursue in your work?
When I'm drawing - I tend to lean towards very cutesy, yet slightly weird imaginative creatures. I really love the kinds of things you'd find at Kid Robot. I'm also a HUGE fan of the art collective Friends With You.
When I'm thinking jewelry design - I think about a lot of things like: Architecture - I tend to lean towards very geometric shapes. The De Stijl movement has always been of interest to me (again more geometry) -- and I am in love with anything by Gustav Klimt. Especially the work he created during his "Golden Phase". I think of him not just as a painter - but also a graphic designer and as someone who was influential in fashion. The way he paints fabric is just amazing.
Will you be/are you working on any other projects or events this year?
I'm really focusing on metalsmithing this year - and growing my studio space and business. My talented father-in-law, Stan Liedel, just got me off to a good start by making me a jewelers bench. Now I finally have a decent place to work and store my equipment when I'm not at the Delaware Art Museum! I'm currently looking for more opportunities to showcase my work and am hoping to teach a few workshops by the end of 2015 -- location TBD.
Any pearls of wisdom you can offer for our first year participants?
Just go for it! Don't be afraid that your artwork isn't good enough -- because it is good enough. All levels are welcome! And it's fun to see the artistic progress of those that return each year. It's a great opportunity for people to showcase what they've created in a months time, and like I said before, you don't have to be a super serious artist with a lot of cred to show your work. Just make some stuff, come out and have a blast!
The big question everyone was asking last year at the end of the show - is there a place we can check out more of your work?
More of my work can be found on my site, Arcus Atelier.