Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Artist Highlight of the Month: Fannie Narte

I am thrilled to announce the December Artist Highlight is Fannie Narte.  
Fannie is a multi-talented artist that I met through blogging who continues 
to impress me with her creative energy - spanning many different mediums, 
Below she shares with us all a bit of what makes her such a unique talent, 
besides being a working artist who makes the time to assist several charities 
that are close to her heart. 
  
" Most of us produce art that we enjoy creating 
rather than produce art that is saleable.  And if 
you’re blessed, you do both--produce art that is 
creatively satisfying and saleable.  I think that’s 
a dream goal of every artist." - Fannie Narte 
 
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process varies and changes from day to day and 
project to project.  But generally, it involves three steps: 
research, writing and creating the piece.

With your fiber art, do you begin with a sketch, or just work 
through to your finished piece?
When creating a realistic piece, I usually work from a sketch.  
When I create an abstract piece, sometimes I work from a sketch, 
but most of the time my ideas drive my creative process.  
During this phase, I continuously audition different elements 
and consider different techniques and colors until a pleasing 
design develops. The machine quilting or hand stitching is
the last thing I do before binding the finished piece.

If I’m creating a piece for an exhibit with a specific theme, 
I will gather all the information I can about that theme by 
doing extensive research online and reading books, making visits 
to a location if applicable, and conduct interviews by phone or 
e-mail. When I think I’ve gathered enough information, then I’ll 
journal my thoughts and ideas. It’s a way for me to understand 
the theme on a personal level. During this writing process,
questions surface, which means I need to do more research. 
This writing/research process may repeat itself until I “feel” 
that I’m ready to begin creating the piece.

In the busy-ness of meeting project deadlines, sometimes the fun in 
creating gets lost in the business of our work.  When this happens, 
I create challenge pieces.  I challenge myself by imposing limits such 
as time, technique, tools, and materials.  As an example, if I decide 
to create a postcard which is 4” x 6”, I will give myself one hour 
to complete it and choose a number, say, “three,” for example.  
I will only use three techniques such as thread quilting, appliqué and 
painting; three tools such as a sewing machine, paint brush, and 
credit card; and three materials such as pellon, fabric paper and crystals.  
One of the many benefits of this activity is that it helps me see things 
with fresh eyes and it takes me out of “my norm.” It’s also quick, 
fun and creatively satisfying.
 
For those of us who have never tried fiber art, how would you recommend
starting?
I guess the same process that I use to create a piece would apply here:
Research, Write, Create.  You might begin by studying the world of fiber 
art on the internet, by visiting your local library or bookstore, local
galleries, etc., to learn what kind of fiber art makes you excited.  The
studio of a fiber artist may contain supplies found in a painter's studio, 
a weaver's studio, a jewelry, beader, stamper, scrapbooker or knitter's
studio, etc.  A good place to begin your online research is Studio Art 
Quilt Associates <http://www.saqa.com/> (SAQA) and Surface Design
Association<http://dev.surfacedesign.org/about.php>(SDA).
Next write down your thoughts.  How did you feel when you saw certain
pieces?  Were you drawn to them because of its color, its texture or maybe
it connected you to a childhood memory?  Do you like realism art, abstract,
impressionism, etc.?  In this writing process, you’ll discover a place to
begin creating your unique fiber art.  Next comes the fun part—shopping! 
Then comes the messy part—create!

You are active in different charity organizations/groups, using your 
artwork to gain awareness. How can other artists become involved?
Yes, I am very active in donating my art quilts to benefit Alzheimer’s
research through the Alzheimer's Art Quilt
Initiative <http://www.alzquilts.org/index.html>(AAQI) founded by world
renowned quilter Ami Simms. My quilts are sold in the monthly AAQI online
auction<http://www.alzquilts.org/quiltauction.html>or they can be
purchased each year in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.

I joined the AAQI organization in 2007 with a promise of raising $1,000 
from the sale of my pieces.  To date, I am grateful to report that my art
quilts<http://www.alzquilts.org/narte.html>have raised over $4,000.
After three years, I met Ami in person for the first time at the Houston
International Quilt Festival last month.  It was a memorable meeting.  
My family and I serenaded Ami, the AAQI volunteers and customers with 
a song.

I also donate my art to organizations that support cancer research in memory
of my father who passed from lung cancer.

Finding a non-profit organization to support is easy because of the
internet.  Through your search, you may find an organization that needs your
illustration skills for a fund raising program they already have in place.  
If you find an organization that doesn’t have a program in place, but which
appeals to your heart, you may offer your services to illustrate their logo
or event posters, etc.  Connecting with a non-profit is a great marketing
tool and will broaden your customer base.

What is the one piece of advice that you would share with aspiring creatives
in a challenging economy.
“One” piece of advice . . . hmmm.  “One” gold piece.  I guess the answer to
that would have something to do with how you market your art and yourself.  
It seems that people either buy art that they visually love or people buy art
created by artists they love.  If your work isn’t being seen by the right
people, you won’t sell your art no matter how great your work is or what the
state of the economy is.

There are usual avenues that artists take to market their work such as web
presence, art fairs, challenge groups, etc.  Think “unusual.”  Discover what
makes you different from other illustrators and target your marketing
efforts.

For example, as an illustrator, what makes your work unique in that world?  
Are you a musician and an illustrator?  Could you merge the two in your
marketing efforts?  Could you write a silly jingle, add illustrations to the
song, record it on a CD and use it to market yourself?
Are you a history professor and an illustrator?  Maybe you could write an
academic article, include your illustrations and send it to targeted
publications.  You could also present your project to students in your
community and/or at local libraries.
Are you a homemaker and illustrator?  Could you write a humorous short story
or poem based on a personal experience as a homemaker and add illustrations
and send it to Woman’s Day magazine or other publications?  You get the
idea, right?  Keep thinking creatively and you’ll find your own unique way
to market your art.

Regardless of the state of the economy, most of us produce art that we enjoy
creating rather than produce art that is saleable.  And if you’re blessed,
you do both--produce art that is creatively satisfying and saleable.  
I think that’s a dream goal of every artist.


You are awarded a shopping spree in a local art store and have only 3
minutes to grab as many supplies as possible... what would you grab?
This was my first answer:  What would I grab?  I would grab my two
daughters, who are with me, arm them with a shopping cart each and let them
go. Here’s my second real answer:  I probably would grab sets of my favorite 
art supply Neocolor II wax crayons paints, paint brushes, paint accessories 
and canvases.
 
Check out Fannie's artwork at her blog or in her Etsy online store.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your words of encouragement
Fannie! Have a good weekend everyone - thanks for popping by! :)

7 comments:

Creativo Surface Design said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ami said...

How wonderful that you featured Fannie Narte for your readers! We are so blessed to have Fannie among the hundreds of quilters contributing to the fight against Alzheimer's with their needle and thread. We love her quilts because they touch so many hearts.

A highlight of International Quilt Festival for me was meeting Fannie in person. (The next meeting of the Mutual Admiration Society is tomorrow....)

If your readers would like to gain exposure for their work as they help a worthy cause, we invite them to consider supporting the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initaitive as Fannie has. Every quilt gets it's own webpage on our site, with a photograph, artists statement, dediation, etc. When the quilt sells the amount it earns for us is posted there also.

Ami Simms
Founder & Executive Director
AAQI
(www.AlzQuilts.org)

Lisa M Griffin said...

She is amazing! I think she will be a wonderful source of inspiration. Thanks for coming by and commenting about her. :)

Diana Evans said...

Oh how wonderful!!! Fannie is such an amazing Artist!!! Wonderful feature Lisa!!!

Lori Saul said...

What a wonderful featured artist- such depth of character and color in her beautiful piece!

marianne said...

Fannie always makes such delicate art. Lovely! And she is such a nice person as well.
Thanks for this highlight!

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