Monday, August 4, 2014

Artist Profile - Natalya Aikens

Natalya Aikens
Pleasantville, New York

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words:Architecturally inspired and delicately stitched.

2.  Do you ever work in another medium and, if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it? Occasionally I will paint with acrylics or draw with markers or draw in my iPad. When I use paints or markers, the appeal is getting messy with my hands and really feeling the tooth of the paper and the texture of the paint. The opposite is true when I draw on my iPad, I enjoy playing with apps and seeing what different effects I can produce and there is no mess!

3.  What's coming up for you in your artistic world? Lots! I’ll be teaching at the Create Retreat in New Jersey on July 9th and 10th. My former entry for D@8 Rituals exhibit “Dacha” will be on view at the Osilas Gallery at Concordia College in Bronxville NY from July 10th to August 10th. My piece “The City” is now with Quilt National 2013 at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles until July 20th. And I am really looking forward to teaching at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops in March as I’ll get to devote five whole days to teaching playing with Photoshop and printing!

4.  Do you have any studio rituals? 
Not particularly, aside from making a huge mess when working on a project and then having a major cleaning and organizing session when I’m all done. Although sometimes that cleaning happens after several projects..

5.  Who has inspired you on your artistic journey? 
Oh that list would be long! All my teachers, and that includes my actual art teachers from high school through college and beyond, other artists that I have learned from in person or online and other creative people who have inspired my with their drive and perseverance.

6.  What are the 5 essential things in your studio that you cannot live without?
My Bernina machines (home and industrial), my thimble, scissors, matte medium and currently my stash of plastic shopping bags.

7.  What is on your design table right now? 
A home portrait for a client. It’s being created from the ephemera collected by the owner, including sheet music, passport page and a wedding veil.

8.  How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc?  
One day at a time, and sometimes just 15 minutes at a time. I’m striving for balance always…

9.  Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)?
Nope, it’s just me usually. Although my youngest daughter has been known to invade every now and then… ;)

10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Reflections?
Finding just the right photo to start me off from my gazillion of images.

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