Interview with Susan Rodio, Fantasy Artist from OZ

Rainbow Mystic Fairy by Susan Rodio Susan Rodio will be my featured guest in the Creative Soul Circle Q&A Group for the month of June, 2011. Sign up is here and it's free to participate (for women only).

1. What aspect of creating your art or craft do you find the most enjoyable?

My favourite aspect of creating an artwork is coming up with the idea, the initial drawing onto canvas and then at the end the finishing touches and final details. 2. What originally got you started creating your art or craft?

I was always interested in drawing and initially copying what I saw, trying to replicate images in books and what I saw in reality to paper. I realized quite young that I had a good eye for that, so I kept going with it. I started drawing when I was around age five. I would sit and draw for hours, spending more time indoors than my siblings.

3. Who has inspired you the most creatively, and why?

I honestly can not say that one person has inspired me with my art because inspiration comes from so many different sources for me. But the person who allows me to keep the flow of creativity happening is my partner Anthony, for he fully supports me and my creativity which allows me to feel that I can do it without feeling judged. 4. How did you decide what medium to work in?

I actually really love oil paints even though I work in acrylics, I decided on acrylics as my studio space was quite small and I didn't feel that I had the luxury to indulge in oils as I find them a lot messier to use and then clean up after. The beauty of acrylics is that they dry very fast which helps a lot when layering paint which I do a lot of in my work.

Earth Sprites by Susan Rodio

5. What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft?

I aim to convey something other than the ordinary or mundane experience of life, I want to convey a passionate and inspired connection to realms other than the physical realm that we engage in day to day.

6. If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe yourself, what would you choose and why?

Hmm that is a hard question, maybe an avocado, slightly tough on the outside but soft and mushy on the inside. 7. If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity, what would that be and why?

I would say oils because they are my first love as far as art mediums are concerned and they convey luminosity and light and shadow much more beautifully than acrylics in my experience. 8. What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively?

I would say enjoy it and study other artists and art history too, as I think there is a lot to be learned from the work and lives of many brilliant artists from the past.

9. What role does spirituality play in your creative life, if any?

It plays a huge part for me. I could not imagine living my life without feeling or being aware of a connection to something other than the material sphere of life. My connection to the spiritual realms comes through my art.  Through my artwork I take time to connect to spirit and to see what needs to come through. It is through my connection to something on a higher plane that comes through most of the time to inspire me.

Susan RodioSusan's Bio Website Etsy Shop Blog

I am a traditional painter from Australia. My paintings are inspired by many things especially Nature, Spirit, Folklore, Symbolism, Dreams, Astrology & Mythology. My works are painted by hand with high quality acrylic paint and are on either stretched canvas or canvas panel.

Most of my works include images of Fairies, Mermaids, Goddesses, Angels, Magic and Nature. These images come directly from the heart and soul and art for me is a need to express through my creativity beauty, magic, connectedness and feminine power and mystery.

Sag Spotlight on Gem Artist, Meg & Pirate Painter, Jeanne

Sag Artisan, Meg Arbo

New Moon in Sagittarius December 5, 2010 9:36 am pst

Spotlight on Sagittarian Artist Meg Arbo Etsy Shop: Gem Obra

What aspect of creating your art or craft do you find the most enjoyable? I think it is the moment I pick up a raw material and instinctively know what it needs to be; now that doesn't always happen. I had some beach glass on hand for years that I had picked up off the coast of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I would occasionally look at it and wonder what it wanted to be and I recall the day I finally knew. I looked at it and I knew it needed to be a necklace - I thought it was going to be a simple pendant and earrings but was wrong.

What originally got you started creating your art or craft? Truthfully? I wanted jewelry and was too cheap to pay thirty bucks for mass produced plastic! I saw some thing in a store and thought, "Oh, that's nice..." then I picked it up, realized it was a thirty-five dollar plastic piece and instantly knew I could make better for less!

Who has inspired you the most creatively, and why? My father's side of the family is mad creative! I think my Aunt Chris, her daughters, and one of my other cousins really spur me on. Incidentally, several of them are Sag's, too! When we are together I like to joke that there is a great sphere of celestial power percolating around us and all should look out lest they be swept up in it!

How did you decide what medium to work in? Well, being a Sagittarius I have many interests and I feel that through various experiences, I choose my mediums. I am sure I will add others.

Medallion Statement Necklace by Sag Artist Meg

How does your zodiac sign influence your creativity? Several of my jewelry pieces contain items from my travels. I like that I can share a little bit of my wanderlust through my craft.

What do you like best about your sign and least? We Sags are the explorers, the travelers! We want to know what is out there and have wanderlust! My boyfriend is also a Sag and I just gave him a cruise for his 40th birthday! Obviously, we both can't wait to go! Least? Sag rules the thighs and hips. SIGH. I have large thighs and hips and lower back problems!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft? There is joy in color and being unique!

If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe yourself, what would you choose and why? Kumquat. Go on. Say it! Kumquat! It is a fun word to say and an underused fruit. I like to add a little bit to a glaze that I make when cooking chicken.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity, what would that be and why? I also bake and act and I adore candy-making. It is fun to see people's faces light up when they bite into one of my creations and my Divine Peppermint Bark is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop. I have been acting since I was fifteen years old, but it is a hard business and I sometimes need to find other creative outlets to keep me going.

What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively? Let anything and everything inspire you! Don't just settle for one medium; explore many and see what tickles your creative funny bone! You may just end up being a Renaissance woman!

Sag Artist, Jeanne Hawkinson

Spotlight on Sagittarian Artist Jeanne Hawkinson Galvaston, Texas, USA Etsy Shop: Galleon Gal Blog: Galleon Gals

What aspect of creating do you enjoy the most? Witnessing my research materials so I may create. My time is best spent en plein air which means "on location." To create you must have a positive environment, free mind, and dexterity of limbs and hands. I make my living with my talented inherited creations: an artist’s hands. Who has inspired you the most creatively? My mom's quiet ministrations, encouragements, sketching, and oil paint lessons. You know, the mentor as always stands in the Shadows of the Master. What is your preferred medium? My small child’s hands reached for color pencils; I was allowed to work with color pencils on geography maps in grade school. How did you decide what medium to work in? Sag is fueled by nature's astounding beauty, emotion, wind, waves, animal instincts, four elements of earth, and the absolute desire to create artwork to reflect one’s heart's emotional sagas; unending, and unyielding to taunts or torments from aggressive bullies in school and in life.

What do you like best about your sign and least? Best: Creative often earth moving powers and instincts. Least: Sentimental to the point of exhaustion.

Avast Galleon Gal Pirate Pen and Ink Art T-Shirt

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft? My weary eyes yearn to convey the beauty they have been blessed with past, present and future.

If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe yourself, what would you choose and why? A Tangerine although small is aromatic.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity, what would that be and why? Scratch Board Texture Tactile Sensation Satisfaction.

What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively? Do not be critical and treat yourself with respect. Take joy in your craft.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Rush of ocean tides warm fragrant welcome sea breeze spirit of sailors gusting into the rigging singing sweet chords dream tears - my true inspirations.

Check out more Creative Soul Spotlights here.

New Moon in Scorpio Artist Spotlight on Gaetana Parris

Hippie Chic Bronzite and Wood Beaded Necklace New Moon in Scorpio Artist Spotlight on Gaetana Parris Brooklyn, New York, United States Website: http://satindoll.biz Etsy Shop: http://SatinDollCo.etsy.com Blog: http://blog.satindoll.biz

1. How does your zodiac sign influence your life and your creativity?

Scorpio is the 8th house of the zodiac and is commonly associated with death, sex, secrets and change but what most people don't know is that we are very passionate and mysterious individuals. Every sign has it's good and bad traits but the passionate side of my sign has always fueled and influenced my creativity and maybe even the sensual and determined side too, since every project I start I see through to the end.

2. What do you like best about your sign and least?

What I like best about my sign is how passionate I can be be about something. I will tend to fight to the bitter end if it's something I believe in. I'm also a very loyal friend; honest, intuitive, sensual, driven, and a good listener. What I like least about my sign is that no matter how hard I try, tend to see things in black and white; no gray area. I'm also short-tempered, moody, secretive, emotional, and vindictive if you really piss me off. I like to think the good outweighs the bad.

3. How has being a Scorpio helped you become a better artist?

I never thought about this until asked this question but being a Scorpio has fueled me as an artist; I'm very passionate about my work and what I do. I've told people in the past that this is my god given talent and I won't waste it on them or anyone else; I put all my energy into my work. On bad days when I'm feeling down or upset, my work is what I run to ever since I was a child. Also being a Scorpio has made me very intuitive. For some reason I'm always ahead of the trends or I hit the mark. Time and time again it keeps happening and my intuition has never steered me wrong.

Jaded Turtle Wooden Beaded Necklace

4. What kind of creative activities are best suited to your zodiac sign?

Because Scorpio tends to have many good and bad traits, any creative activity that deals with the arts is best for my sign. For me personally, I love to draw, sew, and make jewelry. The more creative outlets a Scorpio has the better in my book. Since we tend to be very emotional, it helps us express ourselves and release anything we're holding in. We are known as being very secretive and mysterious so I think to find out our deepest inner workings, we need look to our art for a hint.

5. What advice do you have for other Scorpios who are just starting to explore and develop their creativity?

Scorpios tend to hold things in and when they reach their capacity they explode. So, to avoid the whole explosion, we need to find an outlet to express what we are feeling inside; we need to write it, paint it, or even draw it - a masterpiece is sitting inside us to be released and shared with the world. It's important to see everything to the end because you may be surprised where you end up.

Scorpio Artist Gaetana T. ParrisGeatana's Bio I attended and graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School with an Associate Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. While in school, I became close friends with a classmate and we came up with the idea of starting our own company. I soon realized that I was the only one motivated enough to start and own my own business so it was best for me and my classmate to part ways, but in the process we also lost our friendship.

After getting back on my feet, I went back to the drawing board and came up with a company name and the products that I would like to sell. Although my main focus is designing women’s apparel, I decided to also create handbags and accessories. For about a year I dabbled making samples of handbags and eventually started to try my hand at jewelry. Since my father is a vendor in Brooklyn, New York I decided to see what the public thought of my products and within weeks my jewelry took off with a life of its own, and customers began to ask for custom designed pieces.

As time drew closer for my younger sister to graduate from high school and leave New York to attend college in Florida, I made the decision that I would join her. I needed a change of scenery. So, at the beginning of 2007 I left for Florida, where my dream of owning my own company began to take form.

In June of 2007, Satin Doll & Co. was born in South Florida featuring handmade jewelry, accessories and handbags in our Etsy shop and our web site.

Fast forward 3 years and I'm back in New York with several collections of jewelry under my belt, hundreds of pieces of jewelry sold, and business booming. I'm currently working on several new lines of jewelry for my company and I will be releasing my signature collection in the coming weeks so keep your eye peeled.

Do What You Love: Three Aries Artists Speak Up

Full Moon in AriesOctober 22, 2010 6:36 pm pdt

Aries artist, Alice England

Spotlight on Aries Artist - Alice England Hanceville, Alabama, USA Making Stuff With Love Shop

1. What aspect of creating your art or craft do you find the most enjoyable? The most enjoyable aspect of my craft is, without a doubt all the wonderful people I get to meet through making these little dogs. Without exception every dog I’ve made has gone to a wonderful owner, many of whom have become friends. I recently became a member of an Etsy team, Pets Jubilee. This came about when I recognized a past client in the Etsy forums that I had had a particularly nice experience with and spur of the moment went to say ’hello’. That quick hello has resulted in many new and wonderful friendships that are enriching my life in ways I never could have expected. All thanks to a little pair of needle felted dogs -- and the lovely lady that had me create them.

2 & 3. What originally got you started creating your art or craft? How did you decide what medium to work with? My great love for dogs is the root of my passion. When I saw my first needle felted dog I was amazed. That a figure could be sculpted from fiber was magical to me. I have to say that the love surrounding the dogs I make is astounding. The owners of the dogs themselves are so special, the dogs are each so beautiful and the creation itself is absolutely full of my love. They seem to develop a little soul of sorts as they come to life. And as the miniature dog emerges I get to know them and their owners to my great delight.

4. How does your zodiac sign influence your creativity? Aries are fiery and full of enthusiasm and I think this helps me connect with my clients. I love every dog I get to meet and therefore I am very excited each time I get to begin a new one. The dog owners are also very enthusiastic, so together we have all the ingredients needed for an ideal project and experience.

5. What do you like best about your sign and least? I like that Aries are leaders and that they are unafraid to march into unknown territory. This has helped me to go ahead and jump into this new (to me) craft and to begin making custom dogs instead of continuing to make ‘generic’ dogs. This leap has been remarkable to me and is SO rewarding. On the other hand Aries have to watch out for ‘burn out’ as they start so feverishly it can be hard to keep that same level of excitement. So far this hasn’t been a problem with my mini dogs because each one I do is very different from the one before it.

Custom needle felted sculpture of your dog by Alice England

6. What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft? The message I try to convey with my work is the immeasurable love that dogs have to give. I want my miniatures to give a feeling as sweeping as their real counterparts give to the people that love them. Of course this isn’t possible, but I try with every one to encompass this vast affection. If I can represent only a tiny fraction of this great love I feel I’ve succeeded.

7. If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe your art or craft, what would you choose and why? I had to think about this one for a while but I decided a tomato best represents me. Not a tomato that comes from the produce department at a store but one that has been fresh picked from my back yard. It is always so delicious and just right. Warm, because it’s been out in the August heat and proud, because it was grown by me at my home. So it’s very personal and has that homegrown edge. Much like I want my little dogs to be.

8. If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be and why? The other medium I’d probably use is fabric. I love to sew and I gravitate to fabrics with animal themes. I make anything from purses and fabric storage boxes to scrub shirts for my mom. I may go for a long time without sewing and then the urge comes on me and I’ll sew for days on end. My grandmother sewed and I feel a real connection to her when I’m sewing.

9. What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively? My advice to some one who is just beginning creatively is typical Aries: follow your heart! I don’t know who said it, but it is so true:

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

The creations of someone who loves what they do appear to be just a little more special than less lovingly created things. Put a part of yourself into everything you make.

Alice's Bio: I am a happily married mother of four dogs and a quaker parrot. I live a few miles out of town in rural Alabama. I’ve been making things my entire life, thus my shop name ‘makingstuffwithlove’. I am very blessed to belong to a most creative family. These family members are responsible for my love of ‘making stuff’ which they cultivated from my birth.

Aries Artist, Justine Smith

Spotlight on Aries Artist - Justine Smith Moon Dancers Boutique Atlanta, Georgia, USA

My name is Justine and there is no doubt that I am a true Aries. As a child I took ballet lessons. My mother was very pleased when I told her when I grew up I wanted to be a dancer. She was however a little concerned when I told her I wanted to be a go go dancer (I grew up in the 60‘s). I ended up working in accounting. I found that I needed a release for all my creative energy. I have always loved creating; it could be cooking, decorating or crafting. I am always finding something new I want to try. Usually I will put all of my passion and energy into a new project and once I get really good at it I am ready to move on to something else.

One thing that has always remained constant is my love for creating hair bows. As an Aries I tend to get bored very easily however, when it comes to hair bows I am constantly finding new styles, themes or designs I want to try. There have been times when I sat down in the evenings to create one or two bows and the next thing I know it's 4:00 in the morning and I have made several hair bows. There is nothing I enjoy more then hearing a customer tell me how many compliments she has received about her hair bow. It’s very hard for me to create a simple, plain hair bow because I want my bows to stand out. I like to create custom hair bows that are unique and reflect the personality and interests of the person wearing them.

Alice In Wonderland Cheshire Cat Hair Bow

I originally started making hair bows for my two daughters when they were young children. I loved sending them to school with unique, custom hair bows to match their outfits. Other mothers started to inquire where I got them and of course I loved telling them that I made them myself. The next thing I knew I was making hair bows for the whole cheer leading squad and friends and class mates of my two daughters. I pretty much considered it a hobby at the time. I now have two granddaughters and of course I make hair bows for them.

Early this year the printing company I worked for shut down and while looking for a new job I started making a few hair bows for a craft show. My Aries personality took over and now making hair bows is my new job and I am my new boss. While I enjoy creating hair bows more then the business side of marketing them, I will take on the challenge just like any Aries would, with energy and determination.

My advice to anyone who is just starting to discover their creativity is to jump in with both feet and try anything and everything that peaks your interest.

When you find that one thing that you feel passionate about that is what you need to stick with.

I am true to my Aries sign and knowing this helps me in all aspects of my life including my new business. The positive side is having the confidence and drive to get MoonDancers Boutique up and running. The negative is to avoid the pitfalls of my Aries nature and not let myself become bored, but instead keep looking for ways to keep it exciting. I started out going to craft shows and posting pictures of my hair bows for my friends on Facebook then started a web site as a way to take custom orders. I then started my Esty site to have a way to reach thousands of new, potential customers with the bows I have already created.

Aries artist, Edi Royer

Spotlight on Aries Artist - Edi Royer Memories for Life Scrapbooks Iowa, USA Blog

1. What aspect of creating your art or craft do you find the most enjoyable? I love that I am helping people preserve their memories for years to come! I also love the creative process. In my "real job" I don't get to be creative at all, so scrapbooking is such an awesome creative release.

2. What originally got you started creating your art or craft? A presentation on card making during a 4-H meeting got me started paper crafting. When this same company started selling scrapbook supplies...I was hooked!

3. How did you decide what medium to work with? Through 4-H I was able to make several types of crafts and get a feel for what I enjoyed and what I didn't. Something about scrapbooking just clicked. I've always enjoyed photography, so scrapbooking was a nice fit.

Happy Home Address Book by Edi Royer

4. How does your zodiac sign influence your creativity? As an Aries, I can never sit idle. My brain is always looking for the next project and I have more ideas than time it seems! Being an Aries has also helped me promote my business. I am very out-going and love telling people about my business. As an Aries, I am also very motivated. Being bored just isn't an option and I work well on a deadline. I also love to try new things and branch out my scrapbooking where I can.

5. What do you like best about your sign and least? Best: I am a leader and not a follower. Least: I can be very impatient! I've learned to always have something with me to work on at all times.

6. What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft? Preserve those photos and memories in a fun and creative way.

7. If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe your art or craft, what would you choose and why? I would have to choose a strawberry. They are bright and cheery...which is what I like my work to be.

8. If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be and why? I am in love with handmade jewelry! I have bought more jewelry since joining Etsy than I had the entire rest of my life! I love all the different colors and mediums!

9. What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively? Do what you love and enjoy the process!

Edie's Bio My name is Edi and I live in rural Iowa. I work night shift in a factory and scrapbook every other waking hour. I have been paper crafting for almost fifteen years and love custom work. I spend my "free time" with my boyfriend Jesse and our dog Harley.

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