Sunday, May 9, 2010

Barb Forrister - Austin, Texas

1. How do you describe yourself? I am a textile artist who likes to create in a 3 dimensional manner. I usually begin with a whole cloth dyed and or painted piece and build from there. I enjoy working with various materials such as beads, heat distressed plastics, natural and synthetic fibers to impart texture to my work.

2. What is your creative process? My creative process varies. Sometimes I work from sketches and other times, I dive right in and see where things take me. Even when I work from a sketch, I am always surprised to see how the finished piece has evolved.

3. What's your style? I enjoy working in a pictorial style with an emphasis on nature. However, I like to be flexible and work in an abstract manner as well. Two aspects common to both styles of my work are my propensity for 3 dimensional work and my desire to create art from recycled materials.

4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? I have been quilting for ten years, five of which I was immersed in traditional style quilts. In 2005, my focus began to change toward s more art oriented quilts. In November 2006, I attended my first International Quilt Festival in Houston and my eyes were opened up to a whole new world. I can still remember feeling like I had finally found my passion. I remember promising myself that one day, I too, would have my work displayed there. Since then, I have been blessed to be a part of this wonderful venue and to have a career doing what I truly love.

5. Do you listen to music when you make art? I do listen to music while I am creating art. If I am composing, I listen to classical and opera music. If I am in the construction phase, I tend to opt for contemporary or alternative rock.

6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? Fortunately, this does not happen to me very often however when I am creatively blocked, I try changing the scenery. I visit museums, galleries, art supply stores, watch a movie or just go for a walk and enjoy nature. In this way, I am able to look at my world through fresh eyes and gather inspiration.

7. Do you teach? Currently, I am not teaching but I have taught classes in the past. My favorite part of teaching is seeing a student’s eyes light up when they realize they have just made something wonderful.

8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? One artistic endeavor that I have would like to do is write some articles for publication. I would love to share what I have learned with other people.

9. How do you balance your family life and art? I am very blessed to be a full time artist and my family is very supportive. I am married to my best friend and soul mate and we have two beautiful teenage daughters. Most days, I work in the studio from 9-4:30 when the girls get home from school. At that time, I stop to visit with them and ask how their day went. This is a very special time for us. We each take turns cooking during the weekdays which makes it so much easier when I have to work at night. We band together to get the chores done during the weekend. This seems to work for us.

10. What is the best part about what you do? The best part of being a textile artist is that I truly love what I do! I enjoy the feel of the cloth and the hum of the machine as the piece evolves. I am happiest when I am in the zone.
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