Five Questions for…Lisa Mitchell

I met Lisa two years ago when I taught in her studio in Barcelona. It was wonderful and I loved spending time with her – she made me feel welcome …plus..I think we have more in common when she even knows- LOL. I love her work so much- so see yourself.

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 1. What do you do to get into your creative zone?

If I am working at home, where I have my computer and Internet, I start out by making myself a mug of tea. (I “broke-up” with coffee almost two years ago, and I really enjoy tea now). I enjoy buying different kinds of teas, so that little ritual of choosing and preparing myself a mug is the first step in getting into my creative zone. Then depending, I work on my computer or go to my studio. On the computer, sometimes I spend some time on the net, checking out my favourite artists’ sites and blogs (Scrapbook-Trends, for example! 😉 which are always a great source of inspiration to help get me into my zone as well. In my studio, the physical space I create there is very important to help me get into the right space in my self for creating. So, the way things are set up and look to me is really important. For example, I have images, photos, art and other objects around my workspace that are there for a reason. Perhaps they remind me of things. Or are like little “altars”. And depending on the project, sometimes I like to have music playing. Other times I like complete silence. Sometimes I burn incense…So all of those things help. Then, once I complete a project, I usually need to do a thorough clean-up of my workspace and the studio in general. This helps me refresh my brain and “change channels” from one project to the next. When I am working on a project and get “stuck”, I usually get up and sweep the floor. There’s something about the physical action of sweeping, cleaning up all the little bits of junk on the floor and “clearing the air” that helps…and it usually helps give me ideas as well. My favourite place to get good ideas is either first thing in the morning, while I am still “half-asleep” in bed, or once I am in the shower!

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2. Do you ever create hidden meanings or messages in your work?

I guess you could say there are elements in my work that wouldn’t necessarily have meaning for anyone else. I think it’s only natural. I don’t really look to create hidden messages as a rule, it’s more of my own language to myself in what I create. I have in the past chosen specific elements in some of my work that have a particular meaning for me, such as in these two layouts. They both contain lots of elements that are symbolic to me.

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3. If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?
I would guess somewhere it would have to taste chocolaty! I love chocolate, and when I need a little “pick-me up” in the studio, it’s usually chocolate. Normally truffles! A couple of years ago, I was asked to prepare a Scrapbooking project for a workshop that would appear on a local television program in Catalonia, Spain. As this program dealt mainly with gastronomy, I created a mini-album project, titled “Everything Goes Better With Chocolate”, full of typical Canadian recipes with chocolate. I used white “puff paint” on the title, which I heated with the heat gun, and it really looked like whipped cream! It was really fun to do, and looked yummy! And I did a layout a couple of years ago, just for fun, titled “Sabor a Scrap” (“A taste for Scrap”). There were two photos of me drinking a “Scrapbooking in a Bottle”. I’m not sure what it would taste like, though!

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4. What is your favourite creation?

I would have to pick between two: my very first “official” layout from 2007, “Flow from her Light” is one of my favourites just because it was my first, and because of the fact that I didn’t have much for “official” Scrapbooking products or materials in Spain at that time, so I had to be more resourceful. So the “stars” that you see in that layout are actually dried cherry-tomato stems that I painted with gold glitter; the title I did by hand with white ink, simply because I didn’t own any letter stamps yet! The photo is of me, when I was about 3, and it’s special to me, so it’s a favourite one for that reason as well.

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My other favourite is an encaustic painting that I did in 2008, firstly because of how it came to be: I had no idea of what I wanted to paint. I just applied the wax and then turned the canvas board 45º a few times and all of a sudden, I clearly saw the shape of a head, and an elbow and a little hand, and so the painting came from what I saw in the wax. It’s also a favourite because I feel it is symbolic of my own artistic journey, or “birth”, if you like, “into” myself as an artist. and how I have grown in the past two years since I painted it.

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5. What is your biggest creative success so far and why?

Well, this year–next month to be exact–will be the second year that I have participated as an artist and author in a wonderful initiative in Barcelona, Spain that supports and promotes artist books and book arts: the “Festival of Artist Books and Small Editions” organized by the ILDE Cultural Association. I am really excited to have been invited this year to be a contributing author in their published edition of the Festival, as well as participate in the Festival’s other events, including teaching workshops, speaking at the conference and be present the day of the Festival itself to share my work with the visiting public. That feels like a big creative success to me.
However, my biggest creative success would have to be the arrival of our daughter, who is now 6 years old. Not only was the experience of being pregnant and giving birth to her one of the most important creative successes I have had in my life to date, giving birth to her was the catalyst for me eventually growing into myself as an artist. It came through her, and through my becoming a mother. So I have her to thank for that. I think I will always consider her my biggest creative success…there is nothing I could ever create that could ever compare to her.

I wanted to thank you, Nathalie for your invitation to participate in your guest blog post. It was a pleasure to be included with these other talented artists! Cheers from Barcelona!

LINK TO BLOG:

English: http://lisaemitchell.typepad.com/

Spanish: http://lisaemitchell.typepad.com/version_original/

Thank you you so much Lisa!

Comments

  1. I know Lisa and I must say she is one of the sweetest person I know. So warm and welcoming and a fabulous artist.

  2. Ah, Lisa, one of my favorite people on the planet. Loved reading your interview!

  3. Hello, Martha, lovely to meet you to!

    Thank you, Sue! That “Conspiracy” layout continues to be one of my favourites too, because it’s so powerful. Nice to meet you!

    Thank you, Tsila 🙂

  4. Tsila Sofer Elguez says:

    Thanks for your true answers

  5. Sue Clarke says:

    The Conspiracy of Fear is incredible!!! Also love your wax “baby” painting…I can see how she was “born”.

  6. Sue Clarke says:

    I like the thoughtful answers that you provided. I have to thank my son for his being the subject of so many of my scrapbook LO’s (even if he is sick of having me take his picture)! He is 8 years old.

  7. Hi Lisa _ Scrapbook in a bottle…may not be a bad idea! Lovely to get to meet you 😉

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