Monday, March 08, 2010

Artist Spotlight- Alma Stoller

I am so excited to post the first of many artist interviews that will be appearing on my blog- I will be sharing inspiration from some of my favorite artists and creative friends in the days and months to come! I am beyond thrilled to introduce you to Alma Stoller, an artist whose work I have admired and been inspired by since first meeting her at ArtFiberFest.


An Interview with artist
Alma Stoller


Alisa:
What is your story, how did you become an artist?

Alma:
I feel that I’ve always been an artist...even before I truly knew it.
I come from a long line of needle artists....my mother and her sisters are all skilled in the needle arts.
Crochet and embroidery was really important when I was growing up and almost all of my clothes and home decor were handmade by my mother.
As a kid, I would collect her leftover scraps and design clothes for my dolls. As a teen, I started writing songs and poetry.
I studied drama in High School and eventually graduated from college with a degree in Music. (classical piano) I love art, in all forms.
The birth of my daughter Rose, was a spiritual awakening for me.
Everything about me changed...everything started to slowly make sense.
I realized that my heart was not in the pursuit of a music career,
but in painting, textiles and design.
I quickly threw myself into sewing and collage.
By the time I was pregnant with my son Julian, the little whispers became loud roars.
I had to find the where-with-all to face difficult life and career changes.



Alisa:
I know you work mostly in fabric,
how do you go about creating other art pieces.

Alma:
Yes, I create art quilts, fabric oddities and things I like to call thingamajigs.
I love manipulating fabric to create odd shapes and textures. I also create paintings, collages and art zines.
When I am moved to crochet, knit, bead, paint and dye my own fabrics,
I will jump into that too.
I try to be very forgiving with my work.
I allow myself to dabble in all that moves me
and all that sparks my curiosity.
I grab what grabs me....
that is how I am able to move from one thing to the other.
It keeps me continuously inspired by art and the simple things in life.



Alisa:
Who is your favorite artist?

Alma:
That changes year to year, but right now, I am really loving the work of
Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Robert Rauschenberg.



Alisa:
Explain to my readers what an art zine is?
Where can your zines be found?

Alma:
A zine is a self-published magazine.
In my zines, I publish my ideas and write about arts and crafts.
I include fun projects, patterns and how-to’s.
A lot of time and energy goes into creating each issue, but it is really a lot of fun.
My zines can be found in my Etsy shop.

Alisa:
Favorite quote?

Alma:
I think I read this on a tea packet, it goes:

'To ensure misery,
strive to achieve perfection in all that you do'.



Alisa:
What inspires you?

Alma:
I have noticed that
I am inspired primarily by texture and color.
I am also inspired by music, lyrics, words,
often times the title of songs will inspire me.


Alisa:
Do you have set studio hours?

Alma:
Yes, I do. I work during the day when my kids are in school.
After that, I try to juggle house work, cub scout meetings, and everything else that comes my way.



Alisa:
Tell me about your new project called The Glossy Project?

Alma:
The Glossy Project started because I would get a lot of e-mails from other artists and collectors of my work, asking how I create my fabric art work.
So I decided to turn it into a project that anyone can do.
I posted the instructions on my blog.
Normally, I use my original designs to create my pieces, but
I decided to focus on magazine art because that way everyone can do it. All you need is a magazine.
The Glossy Project is an embroidered piece, that is then appliqu├ęd, stamped, painted and doodled on.
Anything goes with these pieces.



Alisa:
What is your teaching schedule like?

Alma:
I have taught at numerous art retreats over the years and I love and have learned a lot from each experience.
I am currently teaching classes online.
At the moment, I am teaching a mixed media class called Paynes Gray Portraits.
Later this month, I will be teaching another online class called She’s So Unusual.


Alisa:
Living in NYC, do you go to museums often?

Alma:
Not as often as I would like.
But I live within walking distance from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and I go there quite often. It's great to be able to walk into a room and see an original Van Gogh and Matisse.

Alisa:
What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Alma:
I have had several paranormal things happen to me.
Some I have come to understand, and some I have yet to.


Alisa:
What are you working on right now?
Any upcoming projects, classes, books etc..?

Alma:
I am working on issue no. 6 of The Fabric Arts Zine.
I am also working on a book proposal
which I hope to finish and shop around soon.


For more of Alma's work-


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