Contributing Editor: Jen Cushman

Jen is a natural storyteller who found mixed media art a decade ago and never looked back. She’s drawn to the imperfect, the funky, the quirky, the artsy and the authentic: be it people, object or art. Jen is currently the Director of Education and Marketing for ICE Resin Susan Lenert Kazmer. She is also the author of “Art Chooses You,” a new art marketing column for Belle Armoire Jewelry. Jen is also a monthly columnist on CreateMixedMedia.com for the Creative Insights blog.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: An assemblage for the Craft Studio in the upcoming CHA Winter trade show.

Q: What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool/supply/material/ junkyard find?
A: ICE Resin®

Q: What is your least favorite technique that you still use anyway?
A: I can’t seem to get rid of my 12×12 Fiskars paper cutter that I used when I first started scrapbooking years and years ago. I have a really hard time cutting a straight line.

Q: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
A: Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano Murillo, aka The Crafty Chica

Q: What’s the most inspiring trip you’ve ever taken or adventure you’ve ever had?
A: Summer of 1989 when I spent 3 months in Paris studying French in the mornings and the afternoons wandering through all the amazing art museums. I was 21 years old and this is the summer I fell in love with art.

Q: What’s the last thing you cooked?
A: Seafood enchiladas, even though my son hates them and whined through the entire dinner

Q: If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
A: Crimson red

Q: Do you have a talisman/power garment/ magical thing you wear?
A: No, but I did make a mixed media necklace where I embedded the little dried stub of my daughter’s umbilical cord in ICE Resin®. I love this piece, but it gives some people the heebie-jeebies.  (I have a photo)

Q: What’s your favorite place in all the world?
A: My big bathtub with a candelabra hanging from my bathroom ceiling. On really hard days, I lock myself in the bathroom with a glass of wine,  good bubble bath and a glass of wine.

Q: What one thing do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
A: Write a novel

Q: What’s today’s Word to Live By?
A: Focus

Q: What do you listen to when you create?
A: Silence mostly, but sometimes I put music on really low for background noise. My first career was at a daily newspaper, and it was constant noise and chaos. I prefer calm and quiet now when I work.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: To change negativity into positivity. Yeah, Pollyannaish , I know, but we’d be such a different world if we focused on the good rather than the bad.

Q: With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
A: I would travel back in time and set up an easel next to the great Impressionist painters who worked plein air in Paris’ Montmartre during its art heyday

Q: When is your favorite time of day?
A: 9:30 p.m. weekdays when my house is quiet. My husband and children are all early-morning risers (ugh!) and everyone is out cold by this time of night. I get the house to myself so I can go back into my studio/office and do my work with total focus.

Q: Why do you make art?
A: Because I have to. It’s that simple. I get cranky when deadlines force too many days or weeks without studio time.

Q: What is on your workspace right now?
A: What’s not? Recycled silk sari ribbon, ICE Resin®, sterling and bronze wire in all gauges, crystals, heishi beads and about a dozen filled resin bezels.

Q: If you could re-do a classic movie, what would you remake and how?
A: The Wizard of OZ only I’m Dorothy and I’m wearing my ruby red stilettos (even though IRL I can’t walk in them) to have an artistic European rendezvous with the dashing Wizard, played by George Clooney.

Q: What is your first memory?
A: My father worked the graveyard shift. As a small child, he would wake me up every night about 10 p.m. to play and cuddle with me before he went to work. I think this is why this is still my most productive part of the day.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
A: Take classes, buy the craft books that excite you and inspire you, keep learning and honing your skills so your craftsmanship is always improving.

Follow Jen Cushman on her personal web site by clicking here.

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