Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Q&A: Stephanie Levy

The hands down best part about this blog is getting to know all of you creative people out there. I love nothing more than to get emails from people who I don't know, yet who are making lovely things that instantly make my online world seem like a more complete place. Today I have a little Q&A from Stephanie Levy, an American artist who lives and works in Munich. As soon as you are done reading about her work here, you must head over to her blog to see a tour of her street! It just about makes me want to up and move to Europe—or at the very least start growing vines along the exterior walls of my house!

Where do you live? Munich, Germany

Tell me a little bit about what you make. I make mixed media paintings and collages on paper, canvas, and wooden supports. I especially love to use images of interiors or still lives in my artwork.

How did you decide to start the line? I started reading the blog of an art college friend of mine, Anna Maria Horner and I became fascinated by the interaction taking place between artists and designers all over the world on the Internet. Last year, I decided to start my own blog and Etsy shop, and it's been exciting to create artwork and have immediate feedback. I love that I can use the Internet to promote my own work, rather than waiting to be "discovered."

Did you have any teachers who became mentors along the way? Instead of having teachers as mentors, I would say that I am now most inspired by my peers who are also working artists. I try to visit my online artist friends as much as possible on their blogs and on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

How does your creative process work? I usually start with a line drawing which I make based on an image I find  - in a magazine, in a catalog, or from a photograph I took. After this initial drawing is made, I use it to start the painting. Sometimes I use multiple drawings, but most often just one. Then I try to find colors, papers, and patterns that "fit" the drawing. I play around with the structure of the composition for a while, and when I am satisfied, I glue down the collage elements using acrylic medium and add details with acrylic paint.

Where do you find your inspiration? I do my best to notice color combinations and patterns in my daily life, sometimes it's great just to go downtown and walk around. There are always inspiring things to see in the storefronts, on the streets, etc. Perhaps living abroad helps make even everyday things seem a touch more unusual and exciting.

Is this your full time work? Yes.

What's the best part of your day? I do like working in the mornings, but at the moment I usually have at least one child at home during the day. This means that most of my work gets done at nights or on the weekends. I prefer to paint using natural light, so I paint every moment I can when the children are sleeping during the day, or on the weekends when my husband takes the children to the playground.

What do you like to do when you're not working on your art? I also love to cook and bake, take walks, go to movies, go out to dinner with friends, sit at cafes and read or watch people go by...however, having two small children limits some of these activities, so I try to make the best of it and go on an afternoon picnic with the kids when the weather is nice :)