sunnuntai 22. helmikuuta 2015

Featured Artist Interview of February: Maat Silk

"Egyptian collection"
(c) Maat Silk

Hello blogging friends!

February's featured artist is great artist and a lovely person Maisie aka Maat Silk.
I adore Maisie's beautiful, imaginative designs and colorful palette.

Tell us about yourself. Who you are and what kind of artist you are?

I am an English artist based in Southern Spain. I am primarily a pattern designer (although I do work in different styles as well). I work mostly in watercolor, designing and painting patterns as works of art and I also hand paint my designs onto limited edition sets of silk scarves and cushions. I have as well recently begun to print and use my designs on other products, such as gift cards, writing sets and fabric.

The patterns I design are often not a repeating sort, which you might find on wrapping paper for instance, but are contained within a boarder and always radiate out of the center. I will draw abstract shapes and swirls to design a pattern, but I also love using objects. I am designing at the moment a pattern based on the movie Frozen, using snowflakes, a crown and other objects and design elements from the film. Thi si more for fun than for sale but I love figuring out which objects to use and planning  how to display them in the pattern and how they would look best. I have done several custom orders like this, making one of a kind pattern paintings from peoples' favorite movie, book or even cherished memory. They tell me the objects and I do the rest.

Another aspect I bring into my pattern designs is writing, particularly the silk scarves where I always write a narrative piece of writing to accompany them. Trying to explain this is harder, but I'll give it a shot. For me, painting on silk and for that matter all my work is art and more. It's thought, an idea, a feeling, and most importantly is a story. Words accompany me as I design and paint the patterns. They are part of it all. The colors and design blend in my mind and an idea forms: an image, a place, a time. Why? I'm not sure but the narrative writing that accompanies each scarf is as important to me as the colors themselves. It's the setting and completes the scene. So each set of scarves tells a story, often  with a beginning, middle, and an end.

"Along the Nile"
Silk scarf
(c) Maat Silk

"Arizona evening"
Silk cushion
(c) Maat Silk

How did you get started in your artistic hobby/career?

I've always had a thing of drawing patterns and color, bright, cheerful colors. I am always doodling shapes, swirls, lines, circles, and various shapes of all kinds. I drew every night, usually whilst watching a film and soon I had several large sketch books full of these coloured patterns. Then one birthday I was bought a set of silk paints, and well, the rest just happened. Although not very smoothly! It took me many experiments and really horrid looking scarves before I came up with one I was happy with. With those scarves I open an Etsy shop and I am now constantly finding new products and ways to express my style.

What are things that inspire you?

I am inspired by everything: art, fashion, the natural world, book, films. As I live in the countryside, nature is very important and plants, especially flowers often end up in my designs. Ancient history is one of my largest inspirations. I love the art of Minoan Crete, Egypt, China, Greece and Celtic Britain. I only have loot at a book full of Minoan temples or Egyptian tombs and I am reaching for my sketch book. And of course movies and books.

Do you have message in your art?

I've never really thought about a message and I have never meant to put one in. I think if there was any message in my art I would want it to be happiness. Bright colours are happy. I feel happy when drawing and creating so happiness would be my art's message.

Silk scarves
(c) Maat Silk

Do you have any tips for aspiring artists?

It seems so strange to be answering a question like this when I still read tips from other artists. Based on my experience I would say the best advice to give anyway is practice. Practice and practice. You will make progress, even if you can't see it. I only have to look ate my sketches from last year to see how much I've improved (well hopefully :)). Another tip would be find your own style, I know this can be very difficult, particularly as the world is full of wonderful art. I think that an artist's individual style come from within them. So I've found that the best way to find your own style, is to try and forget about everything you've seen on the web etc. and look within you and find what you love drawing, what comes naturally and what makes you happy.

"The Ball"
Silk scarf
(c) Maat Silk

"The Minions"
20 x 20
(c) Maat Silk

Where can we find your works?

Thank you so much Maisie for this interview! Lot's of ideas and success for you

Love and Light

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