When F+W Media contacted me and asked me to help set up an on-line home for mixed media artists, I was beyond delighted. One of my favorite things about the work I do writing for books and magazines is to serve as a cross between a Mixed-Media Matchmaker and a Mixed-Media Maven: putting artists together with readers, editors and a wide audience of appreciative viewers and helping spread ideas and information. Over the decades I’ve been doing this, I’ve met tons of fabulous people–artists, editors, gallery owners. They’re my very most favorite people in the world: enthusiastic, passionate, maybe just the teensiest bit obsessed in the very best way, generous and helpful.
First, though, I should introduce myself, right? I have BA and MA degrees in English and used to teach freshman comp. In 1991, I wrote my first article for Rubberstampmadness, the granddaddy of rubber-stamping publications and, for many people, one of the very earliest introductions to mixed media. I wrote a couple of books, Stamp Artistry and New Techniques for Wearable Art, and in 2003, Sharilyn Miller, then editor in chief of Stampington, invited me to write artist profiles for Somerset Studio, Belle Armoire, and Art Doll Quarterly. Since then, we’ve added profiles for Belle Armoire Jewelry and Art Quilt Studio, and I’ve written two more books, Living the Creative Life (North Light Books, 2007) and Creative Time and Space (NLB, 2009). In the process of all of this, I’ve done a lot of my own mixed media explorations, teaching myself how to bind books, solder jewelry, make art dolls, alter clothing and, most recently, paint. The resulting work has been in shows and galleries across the country, and my favorite moment has to be the one when I walked into a voodoo shop in the French Quarter in New Orleans and saw my voodoo dolls for sale.
Along the way, I’ve met a ton of fabulous people. In the past couple years, I’ve begun doing podcasts and videos with some of my favorite artists, people I’ve met at retreats and through my work for the magazines and online. I love these–I love bringing ideas and information to people who may not have time to attend retreats and can’t always make the trek across the country to take workshops and meet their favorite artists in person. I’d been wishing I had a larger platform, a way to get things out into a world beyond my blog and website. Sure, I have a wonderful audience, but I don’t have a really wide reach. I thought about how wonderful it would be to be able to share the artists I meet with, well, everyone. What could be better than that?
And then F+W said, “Hey, you wanna help?” And I said, “Duh.”
CreateMixedMedia is a new community, a planned community in the very best sense of the word. The coolest thing is that I got to pick out some (not all yet, but I’m working on that) of my favorite artists and invite them along on the adventure. Some you’ll already know, and some you’re going to be delighted to meet. Some will be really involved, and you’ll hear from them on a regular basis. Others are incredibly busy, so they’ll pop in when they can.
We’ve set it up so it’s easy for you to find what you need, whether that’s inspiration or information, eye candy or a tutorial in how to needle felt, a reading list or a place to order gesso. It’s all here, along with all of these really wonderful people. As we get underway, you’re going to get to meet many of them through interviews and podcasts, columns and blogs.
I’ll be posting here often, sharing my various passions, new finds, cool people, ideas and inspiration. I love getting your notes and ideas, so feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org