As I’ve hinted at before, I’ve been wanting to expand the guest artist series that I began with my friend Melinda Farrar’s Nun Show design back in August. Well, I finally got around to doing something about it last week, and I’m very pleased to present a new design courtesy of artist Ginger Nielsen called Timberhooves:
This is the first of what (I hope) will be a regular fixture on Mondays for the foreseeable future: new art, from an awesome artist, available on our awesome garments, and a little interview explaining how they and their art achieved such a high level of awesomeness. Not-overly-long-story-short, it’s gonna be kinda awesome. So class, please say hello to Ginger:
1. Where are you from (both originally and currently)?
I’m from a small and somewhat disappointing town called Racine, located in southeast Wisconsin. However, I’m grateful that I’m within walking distance from Lake Michigan, and for the fortress of trees and greenery surrounding my crumbling home. (Ed. note: Racine does have some cred—it was the hometown of the Racine Bees, the professional women’s baseball team featured in the movie A League of Their Own. Their star pitcher? Lori Petty, who also starred in Tank Girl.)
2. Has that at all shaped you as an artist, or otherwise affected your creative processes?
I tend to live inside my own head and thrive on a vivid imagination, so perhaps it has; I think when you’re discontent with your surroundings, you’re inclined to create more exciting, or magical places in your mind. Then I just try and materialize them through literature or art.
3. Can you let us know about some other visual artists that you admire and draw inspiration from?
Oh, where to begin! I absolutely love old-time artists and illustrators like Arthur Rackham, Ivan Bilibin, and Leonard Leslie Brooke. As far as current artists, I greatly admire the works of Camille Rose Garcia, Audrey Kawasaki, Mark Ryden, Chiara Bautista, and Joshua Hoffine, to name a few. Ed. note: Ginger’s correct, these are all really amazing artists. Check ‘em out on Google once you finish giving her your undivided attention!)
4. How about non-visual artists (musicians, friends, family, public figures, filmmakers, writers, etc)?
I do a bit of writing, and I find that work by Bentley Little, Margaret Atwood, and Brian Keene motivate me to write. It’s an eclectic mix, and when reading (or watching films) I’m apt to stray towards the creepy and bizarre; horror and dark fantasy are staples of mine. I love the notion of other realms existing right under our noses; where animals speak and forests are always enchanted; places where imps and sprites run about, and lonely wraiths wander, and vengeful spirits are found.
5. Did you receive any formal art training, whether it be in college, or elective classes in high school, middle school and so on?
I did not, though over the years I’ve devoured many books detailing drawing techniques. So it’s been a kind of a look and learn type of approach for me.
6. What’s your creative process like? Do you work in silence, or with music/TV/some other background noise on? Do you have a specific space set aside for working on art? What are your preferred mediums?
I greatly dislike the sound of the television on, and 99% of the time, it’s turned off. I do enjoy hearing music whilst creating wearables for my shop as well as creating art. My musical preferences are all over place, from Johannes Brahms, The Scarring Party, (a local band who sounds as if they’ve materialized from the 1920’s) Leger Des Heils (European folk; I love it) to movie soundtracks- I’m really liking The Others and Sleepy Hollow right now.
I have a little 1950’s desk obtained from an estate sale, and I swear it’s enchanted. Every time I sit at it I get all these ideas, and even when I’m feeling unmotivated, after sitting there a moment I find myself at something.
I use plain old Sanford drawing pencils and Pigma Micron drawing pens, and I just like my drawing paper to have nice weight and tooth.
7. Do you have any pop cultural guilty pleasures you’d like to admit to?
I’m afraid I’m pretty out of touch with current mainstream likes, as far as musical artists and media goes. If I have the radio on, it’s set to oldies stations, and unless it’s a Twilight Zone episode, I don’t follow TV programs. I enjoy the Harry Potter films, does that count? (Ed. note: Yes, it does.)
8. What are some of your favorite web haunts? Any blogs or websites you’d like to turn more people on to?
Of course Etsy, where I sell and absolutely cannot stop buying from; I love Etsy sellers’ swanbones, HidenSeek, and woolandwater, as well as their blogs. I also need to stop visiting Facebook, and I admit I have a problem.
9. Do you have any pets?
Always. I have three delightfully lazy pit bulls, two arrogant piranhas, and one albino rat. It’s also not unusual for me to bring home wounded raccoons, birds, skunks, and opossums. It’s also not unusual for me to block traffic in order to save these guys in the process.
10. Beer, wine, or liquor? Which kind (ales, porters, pilsners, reds, whites, rums, vodkas)?
I’m not one for alcohol, and it’s not often that I drink. The times I do however, I enjoy a pint of cider, Strongbow or Magers, please.
11. If you had access to Doc Brown’s Delorean in Back to the Future, when in time would you go?
Oh, what a wonderful question! I have a slight obsession with the 1930’s; the onset of World War Two, the Dust Bowl disaster, the ending of the Great Depression all occurring; all grim but fascinating to me. Though I would love to walk the streets of White Chapel London during the height of Jack the Ripper’s murderous hold, where oil lamps cast dim light and skirts bustled along dark cobbled alley ways.
12. Cake, pie or cookies (ice cream and candy are also acceptable, but be specific)?
I have an uncontrollable sweet tooth. Ask anyone who knows me. If given the chance I will always chose dessert over a meal, much like a five year old. My cupboards are packed with cookies, candy, and cereal, as well as muffin and cake mixes. Obviously I’m not capable of choosing between the greater of my sugary loves.***
As you may have noticed from the numerous links above, Ginger sells prints and other wearables featuring her art on Etsy in her Lamb Candy shop. Be sure to drop by and have a poke around!