Do you recognize the artwork above? It's a collection of pieces from one of Art Wall's newest artists: Australia-based Belinda Kemp aka Gretchenmist. Belinda has been creating since she can remember and has been running her Etsy shop for nearly 2 years. She has agreed to share some bits and pieces of her life, artwork and inspiration here today. Good stuff!
(AW) Where does the name Gretchenmist come from?
(BK) It's like a collage of words and meanings! We had a girl's name picked out when I was pregnant with our first baby: Misty Gretchen (we have 2 boys). Misty is my husband's childhood nickname from his mum and Gretchen is a name I chose to go with for its strength and character. I liked the soft and strong together. Gretchenmist is the form of this name for my other baby!
(AW) That's interesting, I associate the name Gretchen with strength and Misty with softness too. In some ways the duality is a testament to your artwork. Speaking of, what is your best scene or situation for creating? What process/medium do you enjoy most?
(BK) I like to escape into the front room of our house and sit quietly with all of my art supplies and things! The alone time is precious, and it's an indulgence to be able to think my own thoughts and let out some ideas that have built up during the days with the kids. My favourite medium changes often, I love them all! I sometimes ache to paint or carve. With painting, it's the action and the colours and with carving/making block prints, it's the physical satisfaction, but drawing is always good as it's accessible and satisfying.
(AW) "Drawing is always good." What a wonderful quote. It so suits you, your artwork is very recognizable --when I picture your work I visualize certain shapes, drawn lines and specific colors. Is that "branding" (for lack of a better word) conscious or simply organic?
(BK) Oooh thanks, this is great to hear! Sometimes I wonder if all the different "types" of work I do belong together. It's not a conscious thing, I try to let it come out by itself, so much so that I think I run the risk of spreading too far...I gravitate towards the same group of colours most of the time which I think is a preference rather than an attempt to brand my work. Branching out towards new colours would be a conscious thing.
(AW) How has offering prints changed your business?
(BK) I think having prints available allows people access to affordable art easily. It's good to have different price points in the shop.
(AW) Any goals for the New Year?
(BK) I'm aiming this year to learn the art of "business management!" I'd really like to be able to get more out of my small amount of working time--I need to be more efficient with promoting my work.
(AW) What projects are on the horizon? What's next for Gretchenmist--or Belinda Kemp for that matter?
(BK) Over summer I started making pencil drawings with stitching. I am having fun with these. I'd also like to put a website together and start a mailing list (actually I have a list longer than my arm).
(AW) What's a teeny tiny thing that makes you happy?
(BK) A tiny simple pleasure: a perfectly strong creamy soy latte!
Yum! Thanks for that tasty thought and overall delicious discussion. Belinda has a wonderful Blog where she catalogs her work and other pieces of inspiration. Her Etsy shop: Gretchenmist is open 24-7, guys!