Monday, March 8, 2010

When I stumbled upon Consuelo's land of whimsical and nature based art it left me with the desire to run to my desk and create... I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I did. .. let's begin …

DM : What is your artistic medium?
CO: My drug of choice is polymer clay.

DM : Where can your art be seen?
CO: My work can be seen on my website, in PolymerCAFE and Crafts Reports magazines and in reruns of ‘Craft Lab’, ‘That’s Clever’ (formerly ‘Crafters Coast to Coast’), ‘Carole Duvall’s Holiday Workshop’ and ‘Paint Paper & Craft’.

DM : When and how did you first become interested in your medium?
CO: I’ve been an artist all my life, working in several different mediums.  I’ve been a professional cartoonist, stained glass artist, animal portrait artist & more.  A lot of my time was spent wandering the aisles of art/craft stores looking for new things to try.  So many times I was drawn to the displays of polymer clay, because of all the color – but would always wonder what the heck people did with it!  One day in 2001 I was watching the Carol Duval show & saw Donna Kato turning all those beautifully colored squares into amazing things and in that second it finally clicked – I wanted to play with clay too!

DM : Once you decided to pursue your art, how did you start off, trial and error, books, classes, videos, formal schooling?
CO: As far as polymer clay is concerned I am totally self-taught.  When I started off I produced some of the most awful things I’d ever made in my life.  Trial & error turned into trial & error & error & error but I didn’t want to give up.  At that time books on polymer clay were few & far between but I bought Donna Kato’s first book & that sent me in the right direction.  I also started asking questions of some of the top artists in polymer clay via email & every single one I contacted not only answered me but were extremely generous with valuable information.  Since that time there are many more resources available & I’ve taken advantage of as many as I can.  I took a workshop with Dorothy Greynolds where I finally learned how to make a Skinner Blend, joined the International Polymer Clay Guild & subscribed to PolymerCAFE - all great sources of information & instruction.

DM : Out of what you tried, was there any particular thing that you would recommend to someone just starting out?
CO: Polymer clay is such a versatile medium with new applications being discovered every day.  I got caught up in trying to do everything at the beginning – canes, jewelry, techniques, etc. The best thing someone just starting out can do for themselves is play with it a lot, learn as much as they can and then try to concentrate on one aspect at a time.  Eventually you’ll find what you like to do best – and may even end up going in a totally new direction that hasn’t been seen in the polymer clay world.  Most importantly they should have fun with what they’re doing – the rest will work out if it’s meant to!

DM : What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
CO: I love that I’ve never been bored with polymer clay, something I’ve had a problem with in the past with other mediums. When I pick up a piece of pc I know that I’m going to have so much fun which gets very addicting quickly.

DM : What do you find the most frustrating?
CO: Marketing drives me right up the wall!  An artist today also has to be a photographer, writer, public relations person & promoter & you have to be good at all of them!  All the things take time away from what I really love to do which is play with clay.

DM : Where do you find your inspirations for what you create?

CO: The majority of my work is inspired by nature.  All I have to do is look out the window or walk outside & I get bombarded with ideas.  The sub-tropical climate here in Florida is an unending source of brilliant colors which I am constantly drawn to.  Animals are a recurring theme in my work; actually there’s only one piece I’ve done that doesn’t have an animal, bird or fish in it.  A lot of my pieces have elements of whimsy & humor which I attribute to all the years I spent cartooning.  The inspiration for some of my newer pieces – for instance the parrot fish & others I call ‘the mutants’ – come from the zillions of images that run around in my brain.  (Sometimes it’s a little scary in there!)

DM : Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
CO: My favorite piece is an illustration Titled ‘Welcome to Florida aka Fred”.  It just seemed to come together so easily.  I absolutely loved working on it because of all the color & texture. The ‘Fred’ part of the title is for my brother – favorite creation, favorite brother.

DM : Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
CO: I’ve struggled with artist block on & off my whole life but have discovered that the majority of the time I actually dream my way out of it. 

DM : What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as an artist? What did you learn from it?
CO:Taking on too many projects at once was a huge mistake.  What I learned from that was not to do it again!

DM : Would you please tell about your studio set-up?
CO:My studio is a converted bedroom in my home.  I would love to have a tree house as a studio so I could pull the ladder up & nobody could interrupt me.

DM : When is your favorite time to create?
CO: My favorite time to create is in the middle of the night when there are no interruptions.

DM : What advice would you give someone starting out in this medium?
CO: I would tell artists new to polymer clay not to get discouraged, keep learning & most of all keep trying.  After all, no one ever gets worse with practice so they can only get better the more they try.

DM : Are there any artists that inspire you or that you admire?
CO: There are so many artists –  it’s impossible for me to pick one.

DM : Tell us a bit about yourself.
CO: I’m originally from the Catskill Mts. in NY & now live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.  I’ve been married to my husband Joe for 10 years. Between us we have 4 sons, 2 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, 2 dogs & 2 cats.  One of our favorite things to do together is ride around in the 1952 army jeep that Joe restored himself.  We’re both insane to some extent but we don’t suffer from it, we enjoy it!

DM : Anything else you wish to share?
CO: Yes – my hands are numb from all that typing so I hope everyone enjoys this!

DM: Well I know I enjoyed and thank you for taking the time to talk to us all about your world !

Till tomorrow ... keep creating !

Tina aka Daily Muse


Annuk said...

WOW! What a wonderful talented artist!!!! The details are simply amazing! It's always so beautiful to see talented artists' work! Thank you for sharing!

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