Your Daily Muse News is proud to present our first edition of Interview Monday. Today's interview is with Alice Stroppel, she is well know for her unique profile polymer clay art.
DM: Alice, tell us about your artistic medium?
AS: Polymer Clay
DM: When and how did you first become interested in your medium?
AS: About 20 years ago and have actively worked at it for over 10 years.
DM: Once you decided to pursue your art, how did you start off, trial and error,books, classes, videos, formal schooling?
AS: All of the above except formal schooling. I did take some classes with polymer clay artists. But most of what I've learned I owe to the internet and books that I've purchased.
DM: Out of what you tried, was there any particular thing that you would recommend to someone just starting out?
AS: Hands on experience. Buy some clay and get started. I do recommend however, that if you decide you really like working with the clay and you purchase a pasta machine, spend the extra money to buy a motor for it. You will never regret it. Most of all, have fun, if you don't love it, it will show in your work.
DM: What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
AS: The endless possibilities, the colors, the instant gratification. You can make it this morning and sell it, give it or wear it this afternoon.
DM: What do you find the most frustrating?
AS: Not having enough time to even start on the many ideas that are in my head. And of course, marketing!
DM: Where do you find your inspiration for what you create?
AS: Out of my head, from graphics and drawings and from other artist's work. Not just polymer clay artists, but all mediums. I have another blog, The Figurative Artbeat, (http://thefigurativeartbeat.com) where I feature figurative artists working in all mediums.
I love finding and being inspired by so many fabulous artists. I do this site for me, but I hope others enjoy and are inspired as well.
But to tell the truth, most of my work comes from just doing. I sit down with the clay and start to create and usually end up with something I never saw coming. I love that.
DM: Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations.
AS: I really have loved creating the face canes. I've just been trying and trying to create my own method of making a face cane that was simple and effective. You should see some of my first face canes. Oh my!
Recently I created a profile face cane and have just finished a tutorial that includes an instruction booklet, patterns and a 40 minute video. (DM: we found Alice's tutorial listed on her Etsy page for just 18.00, what a bargain ! )
I also love to sculpt faces and figures with polymer clay. One day, when I grow up, I'm going to be a famous sculptor.
DM: Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
DM: Wow, that is wonderful, I know a lot of our readers wish we could be so lucky !
DM: What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as an artist?
AS: Doubting myself and my talents
DM: What did you learn from it?
AS: I am better than I think I am, because the only one I really have to please is me. If it makes me have that, "YES" feeling, if it makes me laugh or smile, then I am successful.
DM: Would you please tell about your studio set-up?
AS: I am so lucky to have a whole downstairs area to myself. When we moved back to my home town 16 years ago, we bought this house to have enough room to store my pattern business. Now it is still my studio. I have a bedroom full of stuff I need to get rid of, a large middle room, full of polymer clay etc., my computer, my camera and a kitchen where I have an oven to bake my clay. It was meant to be, I'm so very lucky.
DM: When is your favorite time to create?
AS: Anytime I can and I won't be interrupted. Once I get started I get lost in the process.
DM: What advise would you give someone starting out in this medium?
AS: Try everything! There are so many wonderful tutorials online that are free. the more you try the more you grow. I have several videos for free on my blog and plan to add more.
There are also more and more tutorial for sale as well. Add some of the books available from the pioneers of polymer clay. Do your homework before buying either books or tutorials. Read the reviews.
And join a polymer clay group. There are groups out here that have the most wonderful members. They share their knowledge and most likely will have an answer to any polymer clay question you have. Not only that, they know what websites to send you to.
DM: Are there any artists that inspire you or that you admire?
AS: Too many to name. There are dozens of fabulous polymer clay artists that have paved the way for all of us and more being added to this group everyday. I will always be thankful for them all.
DM: We found " Flying Mermaid" inspired by Kathleen Dustin's class on Alice's Flickr site, stunning !
DM: Alice, please tell our reader a bit about yourself.
AS: My husband and I have been married for 40 years, we have two grown sons who live in other cities and wonderful friends. We live on a fabulous little lake that I can see from almost every window in the house, with moss draped southern oaks and a mango tree. A dog and a cat round out our family. I spend my days with my family, my clay, my blogs. How great is that?
I've been involved with the Arts and with crafts all my life. I create to live, or to paraphrase Michel Guerin, one of the featured artists from my blog "The Figurative Artbeat", "I'm creating because I want to stay alive".
DM: Anything else you wish to share?
AS: I enjoy the friends I've met online. I love sharing what I know. Everyday is an adventure.