The above images are all collaborative pieces with children! Aren't they wonderful?
We are thrilled to bring you an interview with a super talented artist all the way from the USA (Malvern, Pennsylvania, to be precise), Stephanie Corfee. We wanted to know all about her creative process, inspiration, and advice for any young budding artist out there. We also fell a little bit in love with all the colourful pieces on her website (who wouldn't?), some of which we are delighted to share with you in this post.
1. How did you get started?
I started making art as a child, like most of us. But my start in selling my work was a long time coming. I did work for hire for friends and family first, that expanded into friends of friends and at some point, the referrals I was getting were too far removed from my circle to know where they'd come from. that's when I decided to open an Etsy shop selling my prints and some originals, some commissions... it's all grown from there.
2. Where do you take most of your inspiration from?
I am inspired by pattern and color combinations I see in décor, textiles and such. I really like stumbling upon interesting combinations of muted and bold colors. I also love old block prints and Far East architecture and fashion. For my more whimsical and kids art, I think my influence is more a feeling. I like a controlled chaos. Lots of color and random pattern, but traditional emotion and themes.
3. What piece are you most proud of?
Oh my gosh. It changes daily. Isn't your most current piece always your favorite? I am really liking some of my looser and experimental acrylics right now, like Bursting Heart. In watercolor, I like the word-based decorative paintings I've been turning out like Shine, Dream and Oh Joy (pictured below)! I think they really represent me.
4. Who is your favourite artist of all time, and why?
Another impossible question! I admire many of the masters, of course. But I'd rather choose a modern artist. Even then, there are so many! I do love the work of Mary Ann Wakeley. I feel that she has a freedom with color, a fearlessness with negative space and a real mastery of communicating a sketchy rawness in her work, that somehow does NOT translate as unfinished, but rather, just... vulnerable. She's pretty great - and local!
5. Do you have any advice for our budding artists?
I always say the same thing to this question. MAKE ART EVERY DAY. Make art every chance you get. Don't be without your sketchbook. The more art you make, the less precious any one piece will be and that is freeing. Once you feel free... the good stuff really starts emerging.
Also, use nice art supplies. They don't have to be the tippy top of the line, but when you aren't struggling against the medium, the work just flows much easier. Make your own rules. It's great to learn proper technique. I recommend it! But then, don't be afraid to mix and match and experiment.
Have fun. The best pieces always develop from the sessions where you have zero expectation and just have fun. : )
Images are copyright Stephanie Corfee 2014 and used with permission.