I am so excited about this new project. My goal is to have a new artist every Friday, of course, if I miss/skip/forget, charge it to my mind not my heart. 😉
Now, without further ado, today’s artist is Val Webb of The Illustrated Garden!!
1) Tell us about yourself – name, location, any personal tidbits
Hi! My name is Val Webb. I’m a full-time illustrator and part-time clay artist. My studio is in an old hous
2) When you are not creating items, what do you do for fun?
Drawing is really a compulsion for me. I draw (or think about drawings) all the time! So, when I’m not creating illustrations for my clients or making art to sell, I draw in my journals for fun. I also love the never-ending task of tending our year-round garden, and playing with my two sweet grandbabies, Lily and Paisley.
3) When did you first recognize/accept that you were an artist?
I was very close to my grandfather, who always encouraged me to be creative. When I was six, I drew a picture of the Nativity and gave it to him for Christmas. He entered that picture in a children’s art contest and I won $25, which seemed like a vast fortune to me. From that time on, I felt like a real artist. That feeling has never gone away!
4) Describe your creative process – idea first or material first?
Idea! Some ideas appear in my head, fully formed and complete — usually while I’m driving, or when I’m in the shower. Other ideas take days or weeks of struggle to take shape, and evolve slowly.
5) Describe a typical day for yourself in your studio?
I usually have coffee and spend an hour on garden chores before starting work. Then I check email (about one-third of my illustration work comes to me through my website, my blog or through Facebook) and a make a list of projects to complete that day. I’ll draw or work on clay for 3-4 hours, then break for lunch and run any work-related errands. After lunch, I work another 3 hours or so. Then supper and a walk with Atticus, my four-legged studio assistant. In the evening, I’ll read or journal and occasionally squeeze in another hour or two of work. Once a week, I spend a half day on marketing. It’s a happy life.
6) Besides your web site, Etsy and your blog, how do you promote your work?
About a month ago, I started using Facebook as an experimental art marketing tool. I had read about the advantages of social networking for business, but I was skeptical. To my surprise, it has worked very well. I link my Facebook news feed back to my blog, and maintain several albums of art images on my Facebook profile page.
I also send out an e-newsletter three times a year. People like to hear about what you’re working on in the studio.
7) Any advice for those considering illustration or the world of clay?
Don’t listen to the naysayers — especially to your own inner critic, that nasty little voice that tells you that art isn’t a “real job.” And don’t give up! Seek out those who have something to teach you… there’s always someone who knows a little bit more than you do. Above all, be thankful for your artistic nature and your creative spirit. They set you apart from everyone else on the planet.
Thank you so much Val!!! Here are some more samples of Val’s work, enjoy!!!