Friday, April 15, 2011

Sarah Ann Smith - Hope, Maine

1.  What do you call yourself - art wise?   Quilter.  Art quilter.  Textile artist.  Interrupted by life!
 2.  How do you jump start your creativity when you are in a slump?  Don't know that I've had a slump per se.  Usually I am just too busy with life interfering with art or too tired.  That means I have a surplus of ideas and never enough time, so I just pick whatever quilt is hollering most loudly inside my head and let that one out next.
 3.  If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your art?   Make more!   Give some of it away... I would love to do a "quilt mural" project for the local middle school (first panel is done), the continuation of "Be Inspired, No. 1" into a series of six quilts with people and places from around the world.
 4.  Do you keep a sketchbook, journal, etc.?   Yes.  I'm not as diligent as I would like---it's that lack of time thing.  But I have learned how useful they can be, am constantly inspired by my friend Kathy Daniels' journals, so am trying to develop my own better "noodling around" habits.
 5.  Where can people see your other work this year?  shows, books, magazines, etc
My book (ThreadWork Unraveled), my blog ( and website, in my classes, the 2010-11 Quilting Arts Gifts issue, and whatever shows I get in (as long as I remember to apply in time).
 6.  Do you teach?  where?   Have paycheck will travel--yes, I definitely teach!  I prefer to teach places where I don't have to fly---detest airports--will gladly drive 2-3 days each way instead!  But I've been all over, and would love to go more places even if it involves an airplane.  Australia or Hawaii anyone?  My current bookings are on my website at
 7.  Is there a particular artist who had influenced you in your art life? and why?
Vincent Van Gogh - COLOR! Henri Matisse - exuberance and line; Auguste Rodin - passion and form; The artisans of the Sutton Hoo burial grounds (UK--in the British Museum) - design and ornament;  Edward Steichen - The Family of Man book/exhibit; grew up poring over the photographs and still do; The 8th grade neighbor girl who made the apron for my Barbie when I was 6--that got me started with sewing!
 8. Where or what show do you hope your work will be in someday?   IQA-Houston, again I hope...And if I ever make work I think suitable, Visions and Quilts=Art=Quilts, or if I can afford shipping the UK's Festival of quilts and the Tokyo show.
 9.  Describe your studio workspace.   In progress.  We moved in February 2011, so at the moment most of the boxes are unpacked, but I still need to paint the floor (I have a large semi-unfinished space in the basement) and get some closet doors made before I can really settle in.  Despite only having four small windows near the ceiling joists (space is semi-finished, we spray painted the joists and under-floor white so it would look more ceiling-like), I installed good lights with daylight bulbs so it is bright and cheery.  I'll have a 22 foot closet made by putting up design wall panels as sliding doors on one wall for the detritus of art and teaching (file cabinet, teaching items, books for sale, art supplies and stored quilts  inside--don't like working with too much visual clutter).  I hope to have a reading area, and my beloved Hoosier will be my desk.  I may even get to add a sit-down mid-arm machine this year....
10.  What 3 tools could you not live without?   MistyFuse. My Janome 7700 sewing machine.  Digital camera!
11.  What drives you to make the work that you do?  I can't NOT make my quilts--it would be like asking me to stop loving my kids and hubby or do without oxygen.  Just can't be done!  I love to make things with my make something from inside my head become real.  There are so many things I want to learn how to do in terms of creating the image, both conceiving it and then physically making it.
12.  How do you balance your life?   Balance?  does *any*one have balance? (Picture Sarah ready to teeter off a rope while tossing a thousand items up in the air.)  I seem to lurch from one urgent thing to another, hoping I haven't forgotten something important.  I know the insanity will slow down eventually, but right now I just try to make sure the family gets everything they need, and that I can still make enough art to keep myself sane!

Author of bestseller ThreadWork Unraveled
e-mail: sarah@sarahannsmith

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I really enjoyed reading your interview ... your writing is almost as amusing as you are in person! Can't wait to see your piece, on-line and in person.


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