Saturday, February 27, 2016

AlmaB is this week's Monday Maker

Hi Rebecca

Were you creative as a child?

I have always loved art, and was always involved in some kind of art or craft activity growing up. My mum is also extremely creative, so it was always around and always encouraged.

How would you describe your work, Rebecca?

I am an illustrator who uses digital painting techniques. My work is colourful, playful and dreamy. I love using lots of colour and filling the page with interesting things. 
I then use my illustrations to create art prints and stationery.

How has your work evolved since you started?

When I started I was doing simple, original acrylic paintings and now I work digitally. 

I find that digitally, I can get more detail into my work, and I find it easier to match the image that I have in my head when I start working. As my digital style and techniques evolve, and technology improves, I find it more and more enjoyable.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I read a little article about Etsy shortly after it started, and it made me think about selling my art (I was painting and drawing at the time). 
I opened up my shop in 2006 and started selling original artwork. 

Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the natural world. I live in a very bushy part of Brisbane, and the birds, butterflies and other wildlife are a constant companion.

Looking around on the internet is also a large source of inspiration. There are so many talented people around, it is sometimes inspiring, sometimes disheartening! 

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  

The environmental aspect of my work is something I think about a lot, as it is largely paper objects that have a purely aesthetic appeal. I am constantly finding ways to make as little impact as possible. I paint and share my work digitally, and if it is printed, I choose recycled paper, local printers, and the most environmentally efficient printing options. 

Describe your workspace?

I have just been kicked out of my office to make way for my second son, who was born earlier this year, so now I am creating out of our laundry until we begin renovations to our house. 

The laundry is not exactly inspiring, but I am already planning my little space that will be built under the house, which will have my computer, printer and desk, as well as some wall space for inspiring images and things I like to look at while working.

What is your favourite thing to make?

I love creating images for myself, or my sons. Anything where I can let my imagination run wild is good. My husband will often write little stories to accompany each piece, I love collaborating on that with him. It's a family affair.

How did your shop name come about?

Alma is my middle name, and was the name of my grandmother who I never met. I just liked the look and sound of it, and decided to use it as my artist name. The B is a nod back to Bec, and also adds to the look and sound of the name.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months Bec?

The next 12 months is very exciting for me. After a few years of pregnancy and baby raising, I now have the next 12 months as a clean slate to create (fitting in around child minding duties of course!). 

I have two children’s books in the making (one of my own, one I'm doing the illustrations only for), I want to start doing markets in Brisbane, and generally building up an audience. 

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade market?

Be prepared for a lot of hard work! Often there is a lot of work before you can even start presenting your work to the world, which will be unpaid. 

You have to be passionate, and be prepared to put up with that slow start.

That's great advice!

Can you describe your typical creative day for us?

Because I still have young children, I don't have large stretches of creative time, but on days when my eldest child goes to day care, I work frantically in the nap times of my youngest – sitting at the computer, drawing, emailing, posting images online.

There is no routine at the moment! Once my youngest is a little bit older I hope to have more reliable creating time, but at the moment it's just doing whatever needs the most urgent attention.

Do you have a favourite quote?

My absolute favourite:

'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.' - Howard Thurman

What do you like to listen to while creating?

I love listening to podcasts while I'm creating. I try to fill any time I can with acquiring some kind of knowledge. 
My favourites are 'This American Life', 'Blueprint for Living', 'I don't know How She Does It' and 'The Create and Thrive Podcast'. 

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

There are so many! Our house is filled with handmade objects. 

One that has slowly become a favourite within our household is a large bird nest type structure created by an artist just outside of Mackay (who I forget the name of, which is terrible!). 
My husband and I bought it on a whim and now my sons and I like to add to it with our own nature finds.

Where can we find your work?

for behind the scenes - Instagram: @almab_illustration

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I joined early 2015.

And how did you find out about BrisStyle?

I actually went along to the first ever get-togethers of what was to become BrisStyle – I think it was 2008, when a bunch of people from Brisbane that were on Etsy decided to meet up at Avid Reader at West End and meet each other in person. 

It was great, but unfortunately soon after that, I moved up to North Queensland, and had a bit of a break from the creative online world. But I always had in mind that I would join when I moved back, which I did!

Why did you become a member?

I knew I wanted to start doing some markets and connecting with people more in the real world, so BrisStyle seemed like a good place to find that community, and a way to become immersed in the local market scene. 

Why do you craft?

It's something I would do no matter what else was going on. It's something I've always done, and always will do. It's relaxing and gives me time to myself. 

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us Bec.

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