Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In the Spotlight: My Nostalgic Feeling

This week, we were lucky enough to catch up with BrisStyle mixed-media artist, Chrissy Foreman Cranitch, to talk art, inspiration and all things ethical.

How would you describe your work?
I create feminine, mixed-media artworks that are good for the earth and good for the soul. I'd say my work is a little bit contemporary, a little bit whimsical, a little bit nostalgic and full-to-the-brim with emotion and heart.

How did your Etsy shop come into being?
Well, if I'm to be completely honest, I initially joined Etsy purely because it was a prerequisite of being a BrisStyler! Oh how things have changed now though, not only have I made heaps of wonderful connections with local and international artisans all over the world, I've also gained more confidence in my work as a result.  It's such a wonderful feeling to know people experience joy from what I make.

Who or What inspires you?
I'm inspired by feelings, nature, love and motherhood, as well as delicious eye-candy things like patterns, fabrics, and colour.

Sometimes I'll feel inspired by something pertinent that's happening in my life, so I'll just start 'making' with that in mind and see what comes out.  Using my own life experience and interests as inspiration is kind of a nice way to work, because it means at the end of each artwork, I'm surprised by what my feelings 'look like' in abstract form.  And it's amazing to hear the connections other people can make of that too.

Do you 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as part of your creative process? If yes, how is your art eco-friendly?
Heck yes! It's taken me years of trial and error to find eco-friendly supplies for my artworks and products that stand up to fine-art quality benchmarks, and I can honestly say it was worth the effort and the extra money.  It feels great to create unique and lovely items that are also kind and ethical.

My art materials and papers are sourced from companies using a mixture of ethical business practices, renewable energy sources and recycled materials wherever possible. I use eco friendly paints, the highest quality drawing materials (that last me eons) and I use only ethical suppliers for my printing and stationery needs.

I don't tend to plug my eco-ness a whole lot because I don't want to seem too hippyish or take away from the quality of my arty goodies, but it really does form the framework and ethics behind my work in general.  I don't sell anything I don't believe in.

Can you describe your studio/work area?
Ha goes! I have artworks, postcards, trinkets, quotes, photos, stickers, collages and notes blue-tacked randomly all over my walls, cupboards and even dangling off my computer. I'm definitely no minimalist!

I have three desks in the room, most of which are covered with crap + stationery that I have to migrate over to another desk if I actually want to do something on them. I rarely see the dining table surface either.  These days, I've gotten to making art in the lounge room while I watch Masterchef or documentaries, so I'm slowly taking over the house, one area at a time. That's all gonna have to change soon though, because we've got our first baby on the way in September, so now his things are slowly taking over my studio! Karma, baby!

What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?
I'll say probably my original artworks, purely because I'm only just 'coming out of the closet' with them online. It's funny, coming from a regular run-of-the-mill middle class family, it's been a struggle for me to realise the value of my art and the heart-felt role it can play in people's lives. My famly didn't instill much support or value in the arts when I was growing up - they were always just 'nice hobbies'.

As a result, I've kept most of my original artworks tucked away, under blankets, behind drawers, in cupboards and other random hidey-holes, purely because I honestly couldn't believe that people would be willing to pay for original artwork when they could buy my prints affordably in my shops.  It's so easy to assume what other people want based upon our own limited thinking!

That's begun to change for me in recent times, because I've really started backing myself and changing my own belief systems to match my ambitions and desire to share/connect through my work.....and that seems to be equally matched with more and more people buying my artworks, offering me fantastic opportunities and giving me great feedback about what my work has done for them and their loved ones. YAY! (sorry for the long answer!)

Where can people view/purchase your work?
Since you so kindly asked, please allow me to plug myself stupid here. You can find me at:

.....and I've got my solo exhibition 'New Beginnings...Works on Paper' on until July 9th at The Urban Grind in Paddington. Check out the Facebook Invite here.

Thank-you Chrissy for opening your creative heart and sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.

1 comment:

Hey Harriet said...

Beautiful work and a wonderful interview!

Gosh I didn't realise the exhibition at Urban Grind was ending this week! Hopefully I can swing by tomorrow to check it out :)