I have always been a big fan of anything creative. So, When first I discovered Artsymama's- blog (Kari) a few months ago, I immediately subscribed to the RSS feed for it and check it quite often. I am always amazed at her flair and talent. The reason why I wanted to interview her was to share her talent with more people. I firmly believe that we can all learn from each other. We can be inspired from each other and in that way we enrich our own creativity. Whether you are a paper scrapper, digital scrapper, artist, or simply just like to journal, it is all a form of art of some kind. For those of you who do at least one of these things, you are being creative. You have that side of your brain that is more inclined to being busy with your hands as well as your mind. You feel the NEED to create, it runs through your veins. If you go a few days or weeks without having some sort of creative outlet, you begin to feel an itch, a nagging sense something is not right.
I myself am always looking for inspiration, for new idea's. That is why I love to browse the scrapping/art blog's. I once stumbled across Rhonna Farrers blog, maybe you've heard of her? She is quite a famous Designer. Unfortunately, her lovely blog is not longer in use, but she used to do the "21 day challenge" in which she would set out a challenge for you. Each day she would give you a word or a sentence, a thought, and you had to take that and interpret it into your own idea of what it meant to you. You could do a paper scrap page, a digital one, a card, journal, collage, whatever it was. It was great fun to see all the things that everyone came up with. This inspired me so much and it was when I came across Artsymama's or Kari's blog.So I asked her if she would be so kind as to let me interview her and she said yes! You can read it here: (then go check out her blog!)
1.BONNIE: Kari, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you live, are you married? Do you have children?
KARI: I live in Minnesota, am married and have two children (3 year old son and almost 2 year old daughter).
2.BONNIE: What forms of art whether it is painting, scrapping, journals, etc do you do? And when did you start ?
KARI: I do scrap booking, art journals and mixed media or “altered art”. I started doing art on a consistent basis when my son was born. I had so much memorabilia from his early days. I wanted to use those items along with photos and other ephemera in some sort of keepsake book. So I found a photo album that had very thick, cardboard-like pages. I began adding bits of fabric, ribbon, pieces of his blanket, his footprints on vellum and photos printed onto fabric and made him an altered fabric baby book.
3.BONNIE: I see that you do a lot of scrapping or "collaging" in book form. What lead you to this method and how many of these "books" have you done?
KARI: I really like the thought of altering something that is bound for the trash and giving it a new life inspires me! Maybe this stems from sometimes feeling a bit blocked when starting a new project on an empty, white page. With altered books, you always start with either a picture or text or something already on the page and sometimes the context of the book can inspire your artwork within it. I would say that I’ve done about 10 altered books. When I first started I did many “round robins” where a group of artists would each start a book and alter a few pages, then we would send it on to the next person. That artist would then work in it and send it on. When your book arrived back home it was filled with stunning artwork from all around the world! These are great fun to do. I got involved in them through a couple of yahoo groups on altered art.
4.BONNIE: What inspires you to start a project?
KARI: I am a very theme based person, so once I get going on a theme, there’s not much that can stop meJ I have really enjoyed “challenges” found online, mostly on peoples blogs. These help me to create each day and try new techniques that help me to grow as an artist. I find some of my best work was done during some of the challenges I’ve participated in. I also hosted my own Book of Dreams challenge on my blog last year (www.artsymama.blogspot.com). I posted a new altered book technique each week for several months. That was a lot of fun and very inspiring to see everyone’s interpretations.
5.BONNIE:Do you like to journal when you scrap or create a project and do you keep a journal of your life?
KARI:I don’t usually journal separately. I have in the past. I have many, many written and art journals. Lately I’ve enjoyed doing challenges like Rhonna’s 21 day challenge or Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas challenge where we journaled along with creating visual art each day.
6.BONNIE:I see a lot of your images are cut out from magazines. What draws you to a picture in a magazine?
KARI:I have always been a huge magazine addict. For my art I especially love old Anthropologie catalogs. They style of photography, the mood, along with the texture and color of the clothing and surroundings, has always been very inspiring to me. I enjoy finding new color palettes that draw me in when I look at magazines. I especially love home decorating magazines. I just discovered Oilily catalogs and they are pure eye candy!!!
7.BONNIE:What are your favorite accessories or embellishments?
KARI:I go to a lot of estate sales and love to find vintage one-of-a-kind items for my art. I love sewing notions, buttons, fabric, ribbon, flowers, stuff like that!
8.BONNIE:Do you work secularly? Or are you a SAHM?
KARI:I work very part-time as a public librarian, but the majority of my time is spent at home with my kidsJ
9.BONNIE: Are there things in nature, every day life that inspire you?
KARI:I find inspiration all around me all the time. I enjoy organic things found in nature and am inspired by moss, trees, leaves, birds, plants, etc. I am also inspired by very “man made” kitchy items. I guess I have a pretty eclectic taste. I love to decorate my house with things that inspire me. I change my décor often, mainly by the season. I think it’s important to find beauty in the everyday.
10.BONNIE: What is your favorite piece that you have done?
KARI:It was hard to pick one piece. This page was from Rhonna’s first 21 day challenge. This book remains my favorite to this day. I have the rest of my art from this challenge on my flickr pageThis picture really depicts my style. The picture on the left is from an Anthropologie catalog. I love everything about it and wanted to add more. So I sewed on a piece of fabric in the upper right corner that came from a friend in Germany, along with the lace on the bottom. I like to try to use items from around the house in my art instead of always thinking I need to go buy something new. Since I didn’t have a round stamp, to make the circle around her hands I put a dab of paint on the bottom of a glass bottle. On the right page I added a photo of my hands with my daughters, along with my favorite paper of the moment (at the time). I like how it encompasses the old and the new, different types of images and different textures. Totally me!!!
11.BONNIE: How long does it take you from start to finish to do a page?
KARI:I pretty much always do them in less than an hour. I am very limited in how much “art time” I get each day. In order to get a page done, photograph it and put it up on my blog, I work very quickly. I like this style, because then there’s not time to judge it as good or bad, it is what it is for that moment in time.
12.BONNIE: What is your advice to someone looking to start one of these books (I call them "art journals").
KARI:Pick a general color palette or theme or something that inspires you and just get started! Go through your supplies and see what fits. Try new techniques and always keep an open mind. Things will pop into your life that are just perfect for the art you’re working on. Have fun!
13.BONNIE:What do you equipment and attitude do you recommend they have?
KARI:Remain very open-minded. Try not to have an end product in mind. Let it develop naturally. Enjoy the process!!