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

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

I feel that I’ve always been an artist...even before I truly knew it.
I come from a long line of needle 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.

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

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.

Who is your favorite artist?

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

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

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.

Favorite quote?

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

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

What inspires you?

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.

Do you have set studio hours?

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.

Tell me about your new project called The Glossy Project?

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.

What is your teaching schedule like?

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.

Living in NYC, do you go to museums often?

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.

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

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

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

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-


Peggy said...

Wow, love her work and can really relate to it, thanks so much for the interview.

KittyJ said...

Great job Alisa! Love the interview and the art! Thanks - can't wait to read about more of your friends!

Sheila said...

Brilliant idea to do interviews. So interesting to read it and be introduced to someone I had not heard of. Your blog just keeps getting better and better. Off now to visit Alma's website and see some more of her inspiring work.

Johanna said...

Great interview! Alma is one of my favorites. Her zines are great - she inspired me to participate in her swap and it was a great experience. Thanks for spreading her inspiration and talent!

Lyric said...

What a delight to get to know Alma. I love hearing about her journey.

iHanna said...

great interview, and as you mention the glossy project once again I feel a nudge to DO IT. It's such a cool project. And Alma's zines are AMAZING, I recommend everyone to read them!

Jane LaFazio said...

thanks for the interview. I hadn't seen any of Alma's fabric work, and I really like the look and mood of it. And I've ordered her upcoming zine!

Diana Trout {} said...

Love Alma's work! those mouthwatering beads! Great interview, Alisa.
I love Alma's favorite quote "to ensure misery..."

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