Monday, June 4, 2012

Artist Profile: Natalya Aikens

Natalya Aikens
Pleasantville, NY

1. What other ideas for this theme "rituals" did you have?  Other ideas were really just wisps of thoughts that never wove together. This was the only one that really spoke to me.

2.  Are you involved in any community or group projects where you donate your work?  if yes, what project or projects?   Not currently.

3.  Do you belong to a small group of like-minded artists?  yes/no  Name/where?  What is the best part of being part of an art group?    I belong to two groups: Fiber Arts North East, which is a group of artists in New York and Connecticut led by Jane Davila; and Fiber Revolution, a group of SAQA artists in the Northeast. Best part: being able to talk about art and exhibit together.

4.  Are you a member of a professional art organization, such as SAQA?  Have you ever held a volunteer position in the organization, and if so, what?   I am a member of SAQA and SDA, but I have not had a chance to volunteer yet.

5.  What is your favorite palette of colors that you use in your work?  Name 5.  Name 5 of your least favorite colors?   That's hard! All color usage depends on my mood of the moment. Five of my favorites could be: moss, black, scarlet, turquoise, silver. I can't name least favorite, because when they are needed in a piece, they become a favorite.

6.  Describe your creative work space in 20 words or less.  Are you messy or tidy? 
Fairly organized, continually evolving depending on the project being worked on. Only truly messy at the end of a project, tidy at the beginning.

7.  What is your creative process?  Think, draw, design, make or right to the design?
It varies, sometimes I think and then dive right in, other times I doodle first. Always intuitive though, going with the flow.

8.   Is there a particular object or shape that shows up repeatedly in your work?  Why?
Architectural details, especially windows predominate. I am very drawn to windows, what do they say about the window to your soul? 

9.   If you had to choose a favorite artist from another media, who would it be, and why?    OOhhh, how do I choose?? Currently I am in love with the work of Alexander McQueen, the boldness, the drama of his creations is breathtaking! I also love the work to two contemporary painters, whose careers I follow with interest, Tracy Helgeson and Carol Marine. I love the way Tracy uses translucent layers and Carol's bold strokes.

10.  Have you written a book related to Art Quilts and Quilting or have an instructional DVD?  If so, can you tell us the title or titles?   I have a DVD called Texture Transformations for Cloth Paper Scissors at Interweave.

11.  Do you make art full time?   If you have another career, would you describe what you do? and how you incorporate art into your life?   I do make art full time, while balancing motherhood. I have had previous careers in costume and fashion design, and find that elements of them are present in my current art form and the best part is that I am allowed to work from home!

12.  What is your most thrilling news to date in relation to your art quilt life?   I am happy to report that I had work in two galleries during Fiber Philadelphia this spring. I am looking forward to teaching at Create New Jersey this summer and in the suburbs of Chicago in November as a guest of North Suburban NeedleArts Guild.

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