Monday, September 19, 2011

Featured artist: Cathy from cathymichaelsdesign


Today I bring you Cathy from cathymichaelsdesign

1.  Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, full time professional and mostly an artist.  I have always been creative, I never remember a time when I did not create.  I am now on a mission in my life to pursue art as my full time profession.  What this means is splitting time between creating and marketing myself - which is not one of my strongest points.  In the end, as long as I am creating I am truly happy.

2.  What do you sell?
lt depends on what my obsession is at any given time.  I move from paper kits to collaged tins to muslin bags.  Sometimes I make jewelry and some months only journals.  I often feel like there is nothing I cannot create because it really all comes from the same place doesn't it.  When you want to create anything is possible.

                Artwork - canvas collage Dream Large

3.  Why handmade? 
Handmade is the best!  I, like many people today, am so tired of the commercial, everything-the-same Walmart world kind of items!  There is nothing like a well-made, hand made item.

4.  Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
It really comes from everywhere - from inside - from outside, from external sources like color, or layout or composition.  It can be almost anything.  It can be a from a book cover in a bookstore, it can be the shape of the molding on a building, it can be the ruffles on someone's skirt.  It's really everywhere but some days my eyes see it more clearly than others.
                                                      Gift Tags Set of 3
5.  Besides creating what else do you do?  Do you have a full time job?
I do have a full time job in the telecomm industry.  I manage a group of 20 people for a very large telecomm company which provides the infrastructure for the cell phone industry.  It is a fast paced, demanding and a 24/7 hour job.  I have been doing this for most of my adult life, most of the time loving it and only in recent years have my priorities started to shift.  I also have a  beautiful teenage son who I love more than anything in the world.  At this teenage age, I am reminded constantly that I need to stay on top of him and this is not the time to give him freedom now that he does not need me anymore.  In fact I have learned the hardware that the opposite is true.

6.  When did you start thinking you were an artist?
This is a really good question and I think one we all need to consider as artists.  I would have to honestly say that it was only about 1 year ago.  It should have been my whole life but it was not - it was only a year ago when I had the realization - no the epiphany - that I was indeed an artist.  And what a happy, comfortable feeling as I slipped into it like an old sweater.  I remember throughout my life that there were random people at different times in my life who referred to me or called me an artist.  I remember feeling so embarrassed on the outside, like I was not worthy of that title, but at the same time honoured on the inside.  How did they know and I didn't?  Now I see it's because they were artists as well.

                                         Muslim Bag
7.  Who has been most influential in your craft work? There are many artists who have influenced me. In the past year names like Carolyne Quartermaine, Laura Letinsky and Emma Cassis come to mind.  I have never met or even spoken to these women but they are influential.  Closer to home I would have to say that my mother was the most influential.  My mother could make anything and could figure out how to make anything.  We didn't have a lot of money growing up but I always remember our homes were comfortable and cosy and my bedroom was always decorated with beautiful wallpapers and bedspreads.

8.  Where would you like to be in five years?
This is a question I have been thinking about a lot in the past 6 months to a year. I think I know where I want to be.  I want to have a very successful blog with thousands of readers.  I want to attend art retreats on a yearly basis.  I want to teach at art retreats and travel all over to do this.  I want simply to be a full time artist with a healthy income and a long list of followers, friends and like minded artists!   I don't like the word "followers" very much but I use it because it is todays lingo.  For me a follower is someone who has been a loyal fan and supporter for a long long time and someone who I have not yet met face to face.  If I had met them face to face then I would probably call them friends.

              Journal - Altered Moleskine II
9.  Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?

At the larger level I still want to do a lot of traveling.  When my son was young I had the opportunity to travel a lot with my company but I wasn't so eager since I was a divorced single parent and didn't want to leave him at all.  Now he is older and so am I and I want to travel,travel travel.  I have been to Paris but so want to go back, I have never been to Italy but so want to go.  I have never been to London but that's on the list and BALI is my dream spot and it's the reward I've set for myself when I reach all my goals. 
In terms of art the realm of mediums that you can use today is so expansive that I get overwhelmed by all the things I still want to try.  Encaustics, working with wax as a glaze, pottery, oil painting,and the list goes on.  If it's out there - I want to try it!

10.  Besides online where else do you sell?
Besides on-line I don't sell anywhere else today and I think I like it that way.  A few years back I had tried the cold calling different boutiques and had some of my work in some stores but I somehow didn't find it rewarding.  The item would sell (in ones and two-sies) and I wouldn't know to whom and I never got any feedback.  I think that unless you start producing things in the 100's or 10000's retail is a tough way to go and still keep the integrity of a handmade item.  I do see however getting a licensing agreement where they could produce a thousand, no a million of "something" with my work on it!  That would be fun and that is one of the goals on my list these days
I just recently started creating online videos in order to share some of my journaling techniques with others.  This is a great way to learn new things and share art with like minded souls. My first video I made available on my own blog and then I joined Creative Workshops and created 2 more videos which are live now.  You can see preview over at creative workshops @ http://creativeworkshops.ning.com.
ways to contact you:
email:  cathy.bluteau@videotron.ca

6 comments:

  1. Thank you very much Cathy! your art is beautiful and I wish you the best of luck!

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  2. Cathy's work is so beautiful and feminine. I love the journals! ~Val

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  3. Thank you so much Claudia - this was so much fun!

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  4. On wow, so pretty. I wish I could make things, I just don't think I have that creative gene xx

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