Sunday, June 1, 2014

Interview with Artist Laurie Mika Hastypearl

Interview with Mixed Media Artist Laurie Mika


I'd  say God knew what He was doing when He sent Laurie Mika into my life :)

I first met her in a transitional time in my life, at a workshop, in San Antonio.
I Hadn't Ever Been to an art workshop, so, I was a bit anxious when I walk in alone.
I'm a firm believer in recognizing and announcing  my "Noviceness", so I did.

Laurie doesn't care. 
In fact, I think she sees it as an asset, and she treats 
EVERYONE in her class as equals.
While you are learning at Light Speed, you don't know it. 
She makes it that easy and relaxed.

Laurie's style was exactly what I needed to see.
MORE and LAYERING are my favorite Colors! :)

She believes in MORE and LAYERING...but, Laurie's art is deceptively tricky. 
It may look easy to do, but there is so much experienced wisdom involved, 
and she knows just when to Stop!

I recently sent out a FB tease of one of her images, encouraging my friends to be watching for an upcoming mystery artist blog for those of you that saw you know.

Lets get started. I cant wait for you to see her answers!

 Laura: 1. At what age, did you recognize/feel, that you had an ability to express yourself artistically and what medium was it?

Laurie: I grew up drawing and doodling, so my first medium was a good old pencil and paper! I clearly remember drawing horses like crazy in the 7th grade!
2.Were you encouraged?

I would not say that I was overtly encouraged but my parents used to give me creative/crafty presents during the holidays and for my birthday, so in a sense, they understood my love of creating from an early age and that fostered a growing desire to "make things".
3.What/Who inspires you?

Medieval, Renaissance and Mexican Folk Art are my biggest influences. I have decided that these influences come together in Spanish Colonial art which I am passionate about. Travel inspires me especially when we are in locations to visit shrines and churches and to see examples of local arts and crafts and to go to local flea markets. Pinterest inspires me, such eye candy! Going to a museum and walking through their Medieval collection is sure to get the creative juices flowing. Jewelry design often gets me thinking of new ways to approach my clay work, There are countless artists, both from the past and the present that influence my work.

4.What percentage of the time, do you like your finished product?

I would say about 85 percent of the time I am happy with the finished product because with clay, you can wad it back up into a ball and start over...there are always chances to redeem something that is headed south!

5. Do you start and finish a piece, or do you work on multiple pieces at a time?

I used to only work on one piece at a time, but have noticed over the years that while I am working on one thing, it tends to spark another idea and then I begin something else. Ever so often, I have a piece where I start off totally inspired but midway through the process, lose the inspiration. I hate when that happens! Those tend to be the 15 percent of the pieces that I am not happy with.

6. What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?
 i.e. The idea? The process? The materials? Or none of these?

I would say all of these! I love coming up with the new idea or inspiration and can't wait to see how I can push the medium (materials) to make the idea come to fruition ( the process). It is the experimentation with the medium that brings me the most joy. I always love combining clay with just about anything else and seeing what happens.

7. I hear people talk about running out of ideas. Does that ever concern you?

I have the opposite problem, I have too many ideas and not enough time to execute them? I am often up in the middle of the night thinking about ideas and ways to do something new but get frustrated when I don't have the time in the studio. Teaching also keeps me on my toes coming up with new ideas.



8. I first met you at a workshop. You ARE a teacher, but it doesn't feel like it from a students perspective. You have a way of sharing, that feels like we are friends in your living room. You build confidence in every student, so that any "fear or anxiety" slips away. Can you talk about "teaching", from your perspective?

I never thought that I would be teaching, but once I did, I loved it and was hooked! I love sharing the knowledge I've gained over the years from all of my experimentation with polymer clay. I especially love having newbies to clay in my class because the medium is magic, and there are just limitless possibilities with it and to be able to share that with people and encourage them to express themselves through clay is incredibly rewarding. The fact that polymer is so forgiving, makes teaching with this medium a true joy. I don't think I ever taught a class where I didn't learn something from truly is a two-way street, the giving, the taking and the sharing of ideas and seeing how someone else interprets the process.

9. You are the author of, Mixed Media Mosaics: Techniques and Projects Using Polymer Clay Tiles, Beads & Other Embellishments, have a website, an Etsy shop, a blog and you teach workshops nationally and internationally...whats the next exciting frontier/idea, brewing in you head?

Retirement! Lol!

Actually, I will be teaching my first E course next year at an online polymer clay retreat!
This will be my first time teaching online though I have been thinking about it for a long time. Of course, a second book has been brewing in my head for quite some time, it is a matter of which way to proceed. There are so many options out there now for publishing. So, in a nutshell, I think the next exciting frontier will be exploring possibilities in the digital age!


So, there you have it! 

Start to Finish, Laurie, is as one of my friends says, Top Shelf!
Her work, her career, her heart and love of her family...who I meant to mention are involved in her business, make her someone to latch on to and follow.
Just I as did from that first workshop!

I hope that you enjoyed meeting her either for the first time, or learning something new about her since your first time meeting her.

I'm very thankful that she generously shared images of her art.
Be sure to check out her website and enjoy her extensive gallery, and  do some shopping! 
Also, check out her yearly schedule and see if there is a class that you can make, soon!

Thanks Laurie... You're the Best!

xoxo to all...Laura