Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ArtFire Interview - SmellyRhinoStudio

As an artist who relies heavily on Artisan websites such as Artfire, I thought you might enjoy learning a bit more about my favourite sellers. I'm starting off today with Rebecca from


She's funny, she's cool, a super-fab artist and we both love Johnny Depp. What's not to like?

Christy: First off, what role does your art play in your life?
Rebecca: To me, that's almost a strange question. I am an artist, so it's my life! I'm lucky, I guess, because I came from a family who encouraged music, art and science from the beginning. To me, there isn't really a distinction between the numerous forms of "art" that make up a person. It's all art: I've acted, played in a band, I sing and play guitar, write music and poetry, I sew, I cook and, of course, I paint!...I guess you might pose the question "What would you be without art?" Rebecca: "Um, sleepy, maybe, because I would just watch TV all the time". Can sleep be an artform?

Christy: Where do you live and what is it like?
Rebecca: I live in Atlanta, Georgia, which is like having Metropolis slammed into the middle of a trailer park. Once you leave Atlanta proper, you're in the South, honey! Being from the Northwest (Washington and Oregon) I have found myself feeling like an outsider at times, and then, conversely, the most welcomed that I have ever been. I stay because of the warm nights, tanks and shorts at midnight, sitting outside on a patio laughing with friends into the night? -Doesn't get any better than that! What I miss? --The clean fresh smell of Seattle air. The view of water and mountains everywhere you turn. The chuckle when the clouds part from Mount Rainier giving you a crystal clear view prompting you to utter, "Hey the mountain is out today! It's so pretty"--even though you've lived there for 30 years! I also missed skiing.

Christy: Ah, I remember those mountain views from Vancouver! Now obviously, you love to work with paint - who is your favorite supplier?
Rebecca: I love Sennelier pigments..ooh, so nice! -probably because they're French, and I'm a Francophile. For acrylic, I usually buy Liquitex.

Christy: If there is a new craft you could learn, what would it be and why?
Rebecca: I have always wanted a torch! I would like to be a welder, a grid iron girl, making big beefy grunt grunt sculptures, and then flipping off the helmet like Jennifer Beals, in the most feminine way, showing that woman power! Hey, I'm a girl, we want it all!

Christy: What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?

Rebecca: Back to wanting it all! To build a client base, and great continuing relationships with them. The most surprising thing for me in the last year has been the generous outpouring of support I have received from fellow artisans. I am completely addicted to sharing the love and support with others!

Christy: I hate being asked this next question, so I love directing it towards other artists. Where do you receive your inspiration?
Rebecca: I am inspired by everything. Shadows. yea, shadows. I'll see a shape and then I notice the way the light hits it and the shadow it casts..makes me see things. It goes from there. Also, I carry a notepad to take notes when the inspiration hits me, because it is rarely when I sit down to paint! Sometimes, a painting that may take only a day or two to paint really involves a month of mental preparation until I have the composition in my head. I also get lots of ideas when I am eating. (weird, huh?) Biggest idea moment: Just as I'm turning the lights off in bed and I'm decompressing; probably the moment when the most ideas come..I keep a sketch pad there, too.

Christy: Who are your other favorite ArtFire artists?
Rebecca: Christy Dekoning, Aliciascolors, Hartleysoaps, Ibreak4glass

Christy: What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Rebecca: Draw something...everyday! Sure, a lot of talent is natural. But, art is a skill, that grows over time, and the more you sketch, the better you get. Plus, it's like meditating. You have to get the stuff out. Just doodle, even. I could probably help you with your imagination, too. If you think you're not creative, start cutting up a magazine. Take pics of food and shoes and refrigerators and make a house out of it. You'll start to think differently, i guarantee it. I can't help you with a sense of humor, though.

(geez thanks Rebecca)

Christy: If you won a thousand dollar craft shopping spree, what would you spend it on?
Rebecca: I still need 40 pencils in my 120 count set! Don't laugh, $2.16 a pop adds up! Big Ampersand panels. Oh, can I buy a map chest with that? I need flat storage for art papers!

Christy: If you had the opportunity to do something you wish you could do, what would it be?

Rebecca: I would be working with Seth Macfarlane and Seth Green. OMG, I love that guy. If I could be a guest on family guy or Robot Chicken, my life would be complete. I am so silly, and love to do voices, so this is right up my alley!

Why do children want to be astronauts? How do think you could apply this to your career?
Rebecca: Because when you're a child, you don't have limits, anything is possible. It's too bad we learn to stifle ourselves. We could learn a lot by just lying on the grass head to head with a child and talking about our dreams.

Christy: What do you with bad art?
Rebecca: If it happened on a canvas, it usually sits around the studio for a while waiting to be painted over. With paper, it gets torn up. If I don't have a hard time parting with it, I am likely to think that no one else would want it either, so I don't sell it. I usually throw it away!

Christy: What food or beverage makes you really creative?
Rebecca: Cheap girly wine. LOL

Christy: Does art have to make sense?
Rebecca: HUH?

Sweet Elephant Painting

When you purchase this sweet little Elephant print at SmellyRhinoStudio, you're not only helping yourself to a fun piece of art to brighten your space, but you're also helping a greater cause. $4.00USD out of every $5.00USD raised from the sale of this print goes directly to The Elephants Umbrella ( - the Elephants Umbrella Fund (EUF) is the Number One Emergency Response Team Helping Save Asian Elephant's in peril from abuse, malnutrition, neglect, or overwork. The Fund is concerned with all aspects of an elephant’s well-being, and contributes monies to any cause that will ensure their survival. Every dollar donated to the EUF goes directly to helping the elephants.

And that concludes my first ArtFire Artisan Spotlight. Please leave your comments and let me know if you'd like more of this in the future!


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Manon Doyle said...

Great interview with Rebecca! Cool lady!!

smellyrhinostudio said...

Great Interview! I appreciated the wine and dine thing! Thanks for taking me to The Four Seasons for brunch. You are one class act! Totally worth the interview for that!

Christy DeKoning said...

Hi Manon - so glad you enjoyed it. Yes she is cool indeed!

Rebecca, you're so welcome. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard I spat champagne out of my nose.

Alicia said...

Great interview with one of my favorite artists! As a native Georgian I am obligated to get some ribbing in about that trailer park comment! *grin*

Kim said...

whoo hoo new blog design..
don't your works look fabulous across the top!!!
cool interview Christy...
I love Rebecca's style :) and sense of humour :)

Christy DeKoning said...

Alicia, Rebecca introduced me to your shop too - LOVELY - so happy to see you here.

Kim, you've been so busy with your murals lately. I can't wait to see the finished Degas in the studio! Glad you like the "new look"

smellyrhinostudio said...

Did someone say Degas? Right on!!