Monday, May 10, 2010

Artist Spotlight part 1: Jane LaFazio

Hello Friends. I'd like to introduce you to another artist whose work I admire and enjoy. I think you will come to love her artwork as well.

Jane LaFazio is a mixed-media artist working in San Diego California. She has degrees in Graphic Design and Asian Studies, worked for a bit as an international flight attendant, in marketing, and in graphic design. Her career as a full time artist began in watercolors and gradually morphed into collage, sewing, and cloth. I'm very glad it did. Her work with thread and fiber is fascinating, rich, and deep. I was so happy that she took the time out of her very busy schedule this month to answer some interview questions.

Lyric: You are a prolific artmaker - something I hope to become when my children are no longer consume most of my time. (years and years away!) Have you always been prolific?

Jane: I’ve been blessed with a lot of natural energy, and now I’m focusing it on making art. I LOVE making art. As I mentioned, I create a lot of artwork for my workshops and classes, and that act pushes me to finish a project, and work out the problems, rather than just walk away from it. If I’m scheduled to teach something the next day, I’d better figure it out!

L: Do you have to work to discipline yourself to create art?

J: No, I need the discipline for the household chores, not the art making! I have a wonderful, supportive husband who cooks, shops and even does the laundry. Yes, I appreciate him VERY much!

L: Do you have any great habits that help you produce?

J: I work small. I like to work small, but it also makes it easier to do many different projects or types of art. And I almost always have some project that I work on in the evenings, watching TV with my husband.

L: I love working small as well. You can always have something with you no matter where you are. You work in a broad range of media and a variety of styles. Do you think this is an advantage, a disadvantage?

J: Seen in the light of “professional artist” probably a disadvantage. What did Kelli Nina Perkins call herself, a “promiscuous art maker.” That would be me. I love all kinds of art, so I’m always switching media and beginning a new passion, for about a week, then I’m on to something else! My sketching and watercolor: journal style has stayed true and consistent for a number of years now. In the past year, I’ve begun creating heavily hand stitched needle-felted pieces that I intend to stay with—I love the work that’s coming out of me and want it to become some of my signature work. But I’ll still see something in a magazine or on line, and rush to my studio to create something I’ve never tried before. I do LOVE a new technique!

L: What inspires your work? Do you work from realistic sketches and try to reproduce them? Are you inspired by your materials?

J: I get inspiration from everywhere. Online, magazines, walks, museum visits, art fairs, shopping… I don’t plan any of my work. No sketches to work out the kinks for me! I just dive in. that’s where working small works for me. I’ll often create a number of small pieces, then assemble them into something larger. But always, with no real plan. I work intuitively, by starting with a material or a color usually. 

Ralph’s Letters, my ‘breakthrough’ piece was created using love letters from an old boyfriend, and I just began a page at a time. (Breakthrough because it was my largest piece to date, and got in many juried show AND was my first piece published in Cloth Paper Scissors, thanks to Lesley Riley.)

Ralph's Letters

L: What are your favorite materials?

J: Needle and thread. I started as a watercolor artist, and as I moved into collaging my watercolor paintings, I started sewing on the paper. Now I also sew on fabric.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Jane and her work a little better. She is a prolific blogger and I encourage you to head over and browse through her work. It's complex and rich and beautiful. Next week I'll tell you about some of the amazing work she does in teaching and sharing her creativity. At the end of the month I'll be giving away a copy of her DVD workshop "Small Art Quilts" to a lucky reader. The winner will be chosen from among the comments left on any one of the artist spotlight posts about Jane - including this one. How about telling me your favorite "creative habit." Tell me something that helps you get the work done. (Yes, I am struggling with that particular issue right now. Can you tell?)