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Content › Featured Sculptor Site of the Month - April 2006
Featured Sculptor Site of the Month - April 2006
Julianne Sizemore is the sculptor that we are highlighting for April's Featured Site of the Month!
Julianne's sculptures are simply amazing characters - full of heart, soul, personality, and entirely unique. She also shares her knowledge freely as a sculptor and has set up amazing step by step tutorials of some of her work on her forums. Her work is full of exquisite detailing that really add to their overall effect and realism. I throughly love and adore her work, and I think you will too!
To learn more about this amazing and soulful artist, please read below!
Name: Julianne Sizemore|
Other Links: http://mysticalis.deviantart.com
ebay ID: throughwire
Favorite Music: Depends on my mood really. Runs the gamut from classical/new age to heavy metal/rock. The more "up" I am, the faster the music, the more I want to relax and think, the softer and more acoustical it gets.
Favorite Color: Yes
Favorite Artistic Resource: Hmmm, nearly got me on that one. My first thoughts were dickblick.com, and other online resources for supplies, but I think I'd rather go with "imagination".
Favorite Medium(s): You name it but mostly polymer clay and apoxie sculpt
Favorite Art Tool: My hands
Favorite Book: Anything by J. R. R. Tolkein or J. K. Rowling
Favorite Site: www.deviantart.com
How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be an artist?
I was born that way really, but I guess I seriously thought of it as a career when I took my first high school art class. That would have put me at about 14 years old. I took it for an easy credit, but then got hooked from the very beginning.
What was the main thing that made you decide you wanted to be an artist?
It gave me an outlet. During tough times it was a place where I could spend my energy without getting into trouble. It's easy to forget other things and especially my troubles when I am creating, and the same holds true today.
Have you had any formal training, or are you entirely self-taught?
I had three years of high school art classes, but nothing else really. I'm basically self taught, and prefer to learn on my own through trial and error, but I refer to it more as exploring, taking chances, and inventing. There are no errors, just lessons learned.
What was the most important lesson that you have learned so far in regard to your art or developing as an artist?
Just that. Don't be afraid to fail. Every mistake is just something to learn from, and more often than not, mistakes can turn into new techniques if you look at it that way rather than as a failure. What went wrong? How can I use that to my advantage next time? Also, being less afraid of making mistakes allows a lot more creative time and freedom. I'm not so concerned about making small errors, so I just keep working away. You'd be surprised what you can come up with when that obstacle is removed.
Do you have any favorite artist(s)? Who and why?
Oh tons. John Howe, Alan Lee, Brian Froud, and quite a few other big name fantasy artists. Why? Well they are incredible artists. I think my most favorite artists are some of the close friends I have met along the way doing OOAK creations though. Jill Willich, Pat Graham, and Kevin Buntin being my main inspiration and confidants.
What is your primary medium that you work in? Why do you find you enjoy that medium the most? What others do you like to use besides that?
Polymer clay is my primary medium I guess, but I have tons of materials of all kinds that I work with. Paints, fabrics, fibers, apoxie, gemstones, natural found materials, leather, you name it. I think I like the polymer though because it is highly forgiving, it's easy to work with, has an indefinite working time, and it is only lacking in a couple of areas. Mainly strength is where it is lacking, but I use it now in combination with apoxie to help alleviate that problem.
Which mediums would you like to explore in the future?
I'd love to explore any sculpting medium out there. The one I have been dying to try is called Winterstone, and is a plaster like powder that when mixed with water becomes a clay like consistency, and it holds up just like stone. I'd love to play with it and make some sculptures that would hold up out in the weather. Yard art!
What and who were or are your major influences as an artist?
I'd like to say my father, who was a fantastic artist, and worked at Disney World in Orlando as senior production artist, but he really wasn't an influence in my life. My mother raised me herself, and was the one who inspired me, supported me, and helped to show me a different way of looking at the world. Even though she wasn't an artist herself, she was the one who I have to thank for getting me to where I am today.
If you could have an afternoon with any artist, alive or dead, who would that be? What would you say or do?
My father. I'd love to ask him a burning question that I never was able to ask of him before he died. After I started in art classes, I wanted to show him what I could do. I mailed him a drawing I did of an owl, and he called and spoke with my mother after seeing it. He told her to break my hands. For years I hated him for that comment. I thought he was saying that I was no good, but as I grew older and wiser, I realized that it wasn't likely his intention at all. I think he wanted to spare me the heartaches, emotional roller coaster, and disappointments that come along with a career in the art world. I'd love to have the chance to ask him to make sure that was his intention. I feel in my heart and soul that it was his way, albeit a lousy one, to try and protect me from that kind of life.
If you could do a collaboration with another artist (or more), who would it be, and what would you create?
I have a number of friends who are also exceptional artists and have styles similar to mine, and I would love to do a collaborative work with any of them. As to what it would be, I'm open to all options.
How do you get ready to create? Do you have any specific things you MUST do before you can sit down and be creative? Rituals, time of day, location, etc.
I don't have any rituals, I basically just have to do it when the creative urge is strong. I tend to work more late at night than during the day though, because it is much quieter then than during the day when things are more hectic. I've always been more of a night owl anyway, so that time of day (or night) is well suited to me. Daytime seems to be too fragmented to have long periods of time to create uninterrupted. Meals, errands, and other day to day activities can be highly distracting to me. I do create during the day as often as possible, but nighttime just suits me better.
What is your favorite piece you've created?
Oh that's hard to say. I loved them all, but probably my favorite was my second sculpt. He was an ogre that was a pacifist and vegetarian, who was a severe disappointment to his family, who generally loved to eat people, and were fairly violent. He was a Ferdinand the Bull of fantasy creatures, and I just loved him dearly for that.
Where do you live? Where would you like to live if you could live
anywhere at all?
I live in a small town of about 280 people in Northeast North Carolina. It's very rural, and has escaped a lot of the modern world, although that is rapidly changing. People from outside have discovered the county, and are moving here in droves, making it more suburban than rural.
If I had my choice of places to live, it wouldn't be somewhere specific, only someplace very wild and secluded, preferably near the mountains, and backing up to a national forest. I am very much a recluse by nature, and prize time away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
What do you hope people come away with after seeing your artwork?
Emotion. Any emotion, whether it be good or bad, happy or sad, intense or a mere smile. I am intensely awed by the human condition, and irony, and love to show those aspects in my work. I love evoking a sense of humor and irony the most, and love to have people smile or giggle at what they see, but I also love to make people stop and think, and even to disturb their senses a bit.
What moves you as an artist?
Lots of things. Mostly irony and humor. I don't get moved too much by beauty, but love to see things that are ironic and that make me giggle and I love to express those in my work. Although I enjoy making people think as well. I often embed how I feel about people, society and the universe in my work, but sometimes I'm the only one who knows about those intentions and references.
What is your biggest challenge and what was your biggest success?
My biggest challenge really doesn't have much to do with art. I battle with Bipolar Affective Disorder on a daily basis, and have had to learn to live with wild mood swings most of my life. This has made it nearly impossible for me to hold down a full time job working for others. Some days are good, and some are bad, but I learned to live with it rather than fighting against it. It actually does have a lot to do with being an artist though when it comes right down to it, because I become highly creative during manic phases, and create some of my best work during them. Depressions I have learned to deal with, and do things that are less dependent on creative energy when I am dealing with them.
My biggest success, is being able to live with Bipolar Disorder. As an artist, I don't have to work on other's schedules, and can work when I am able. Art really saved my life and helped me learn to live with this disorder in a way I can cope with.
Who taught you the most?
Well, that's an easy question. Myself. I have an innate need to learn, and that has driven me all my life. I love trying new things, and learning new techniques, although I really prefer to learn on my own rather than through formal education. Sometimes professionals don't know everything, sometimes it's the inspired amateurs that do.
Who inspired you the most?
That's difficult to say. Inspired me by seeing their work? Or inspired me as a role model? I was brought up surrounded by art, my father's mostly, so I think he was a big influence by virtue of his art being physically present, although he himself was not present in my life. My mother however was the one who took my artistic talents to heart, and inspired me to keep trying new things, and striving to do better. I really owe most of what I have become to her. I only wish she was still here to see how far I've come.
What is your biggest joy and your biggest rant as an artist?
The biggest joy is the process not the product. The artwork itself is no where near as important or joyful to me as the process of creating it. From concept, to actually creating the form, to seeing it being appreciated by others, are all a part of the whole. I could easily create temporary artwork that wouldn't be permanent without having a sense of loss. Creating something out of sand that would wash away within a few hours would not be a problem for me, because it is the process that matters, and what I get the most satisfaction from. I like the fact that my creations are more permanent, but it's not the thing that I enjoy most.
My biggest rant is when I hear someone saying â€œthat's not artâ€. Doesn't matter if it is about my work, or someone else's, it plain ticks me off to no end. Art is not what the viewer decides is art. Art is art if the person creating it calls it that. It's not in the subject, or the medium, it's in the intention of the creator that makes it an art or a craft.
What is your favorite way to wind down?
You mean I can wind down? Interesting. I'll have to try that sometime!
Any tips/techniques you've discovered or created that you'd like to share with the readers?
Oh tons but too many to list here. I have a lot of them outlined on my forum, in my dragon bust tutorial.
My biggest tip though is to never stop creating. Those who work in clay tend to not do any practicing like someone who does 2D work would do. I use some old scrap polymer to have handy to doodle with in the same way you would do with a pad and pencil while talking on the phone or daydreaming. I never cure it, and just create noses, eyes, mouths, feet, hands, whatever hits my fancy. Then I squish it up and do something else. I've had more practice from my doodling clay than I've had from finished sculptures.
Have you ever had a creative block? How long did it last? What did you do to break away from it?
Oh yes, lots of them. The worst was a period of about 4 years. I had recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I had been under the impression most of my life that the creative process consisted of boundless creative energy, little sleep, no need for food endless ideas, followed by a period of listlessness, long hours of sleep and little interest in anything. After being diagnosed, I found that it was only mania followed by depression. I felt betrayed. I wasn't an artist, I was sick. I didn't so much as pick up a pencil for the nearly 4 years following that revelation. I had no desire to create, but it just caused me to spiral out of control.
After nearly losing my life, I picked up a pen and started to create pen and inks. It was the hardest thing I ever did, putting that first mark on the paper, but it pulled me out of the depths of despair and gave a reason to go on, and a way to focus my energy. It took forcing myself to take that first step, then it all came flooding back. Several years later I found polymer clay and the rest is history.
I found that even with minor creative blocks, it's best just to bite the bullet and start something, even if it is only doodling on either paper, or with clay. Once you step back into it, the creativity is there. You just need to get your hands back into the game.
Why do you like creating artwork that celebrates the fey? Do you have a favorite type of fey being that you are drawn to?
I love fantasy in general, because there are no real rules, which allows for a great deal of creative freedom. Faeries, dragons, elves, or any other fantasy creature is completely up for interpretation by the artist. There are no rules about what they look like or should look like, which leaves it all up to the imagination and creativity of the artist themselves. I just love that I can create what I want to create, and interpret the way I wish to interpret the fantasy realm.
What are your plans for 2006?
I'm hoping to expand into the sci-fi/fantasy conventions community by submitting to some art shows. For the most part I have sold most of my work on eBay or through my website, but I would like to expand to other audiences.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in the next 5 years? The next 10 years?
I see myself ever expanding my creative universe in many ways, incorporating new techniques, materials, concepts and ideas. I try not to steer myself in a particular direction artistically, but rather allow myself to grow and expand into new mediums, and artistic directions. I never have forced myself into a preconceived direction, and don't plan to start now. It's an organic process, and it will grow where and in the direction it wishes.
Do you have any specific goals as an artist for yourself or your art? What are they?
No specific goals really, just to continue to have fun with what I am doing, and to push myself a little further every day.
How do you promote yourself as an artist? What worked and what didn't work?
Mostly it has been through the Internet, either with my website, online galleries like Deviant Art, Elfwood, and Epilogue, or through eBay. Lately I have opened my sculpting forum, and this has helped as well. I don't think that any of them are exceptionally good on their own, but promoting yourself, as much as I hate having to waste creative time doing it, is an ongoing and time consuming thing. It's necessary to get yourself out there where people who enjoy and appreciate your work are able to find you.
What artistic advice would you give to a budding artist?
I hate to say it, because it is rather time worn, but just practice, practice, practice. Especially those who are just starting out as a sculptor. Polymer clay is a great thing, along with some of the oil based modeling clays because they don't dry out. This gives you the opportunity, just using small amounts of clay, to continue to work on your skills without wasting large amounts of expensive materials. Also keep sculptures that were messed up beyond repair and use them to practice different things like painting techniques, hair rooting, and other things you may not want to risk on a piece that is in good shape. IF something breaks, burns, or turns out different than you were hoping, DON'T throw them away! Use them as guinea pigs!
Tell us something that most people do not know about you!
I'm a cappuccino freak. Can't function without one in the morning.
Have you ever seen a faery?
Wind chimes in your yard will serenade garden creatures - squirrels, fairies and angels.
-- Author Unknown
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