Sunday, May 23, 2010

Muna Elias - Murrieta, California

1. How do you describe yourself? I am a yesterday kind of person...I like things to happen yesterday...not tomorrow or next week or even now...but a day ago. Being a mother of lots of little ones (7 to be exact) has helped me to become much more calm and patient.

2. What is your creative process? I am a process driven kind of artist. I LOVE trying to think of how I can use a new or creative techniques in my art work. I have a plan for everything, like color, and general direction, but I like the spontaneity of when things just happen. Some of my best art work started in one direction, but I made a left turn in the process and allowed myself to go in that direction. I recently started an art journal so I can get my idea out of my head and not worry I will lose the thought before I can start creating it. I now have pages full of potential art work that I know when the time is right I will get to make.

3. What is your style? I consider myself a surface design embellisher. I enjoy starting off with a solid color whole cloth. I then will dye, over dye, discharge, add fiber, add more fiber, maybe some paper or metal and then thread paint it flat. The stitching or quilting is my favorite part in the process.

4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? I started in garment construction and have made wearable art for both the private collector and Cooperation. I started making traditional quilt tops 15 years ago, but the quilting of the layers together is what I really caught my attention. About 4 years ago I made the real transition to make whatever it was that I wanted to make. I wanted to see my art hanging in my house, on my walls.

5. Do you listen to music when you make art? I absolutely listen to music when I am in my studio creating art. I like different music for different creative output. Something with a heavy base when I am creating fire in my quilting and classical music for creating calm water on a piece. Music really helps me get into the zone.

6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? I have not had a problem with being blocked creatively. I am inspired by my family daily. The kids help me to look at things through their eyes, not overlooking even the smallest of bugs or colorful sunsets. If anything, I get over loaded and what to create ALL what I see and NOW. So I have found that I need to step back and realize that I do not have to create it ALL.

7. Do you teach? Yes I teach, free motion and long arm quilting, I had to take a break this past year after giving birth to our youngest child. My favorite part of teaching is the fact that I can inspire others to try something that they may have had a fear of. Thread painting and hand quilting are my favorite things to see others come out of the box to create.

8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? Many..I think if I stop wanting to create, I will stop creating!!! I enjoy working with others on creative projects, so I have found a friend to collaborate with. The fact that I am a process driven artist, is the reason I will never run out of the need to create!

9. How do you balance you family life and art? This is tough and maintaining a perfect balance is wishful thinking!! The fact that 6 of the kids (the baby is too young) will create art with me is true harmony. At our house art is part of daily life. I might be playing with a new dye technique and next thing you see the kids go grab their fabric and we are all outside dying yards of fabric together. I do most of my major work at night between 10pm and 2am, when the kids are sleeping. They have their own art supplies which allows them to create when they want and I feel it helps them to want to create art too. We all go the quilt show together and they are the ones pointing out the "Best" pieces in the show. Having them be a part of quilting is what makes this all good and helps maintain balance.

10. What is the best part about what you do? The best part of creating art is when I have just finished a quilt and I share it with the kids and they look at it and their eyes light up and they let me know just how "COOL" it looks and how they think the have the best mom in the whole world!!! Or when I hang it up on the bottom of the stairs and my husband will stare at it and give me that smile..that, "it looks good look." Or when I have a piece hanging in a show and I hear ... now HOW did she do that? This keeps me going and puts a BIG SMILE on my face.
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