Sunday, 29 May 2011

Culture? introducing Anika Starmer..

..We are setting of this week with the fabulous Anika Starmer. Anika has these great steady lines, always perfect in theyr form. This is colourful minimalism at its best. Anika is telling us about herself and her thoughts around her art today, so sit back and enjoy..
..Here it is, your shot of art with Anika Starmer:

-Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself, name, what country you live in, age etc?

My name is Anika Starmer. I was born in New York, but grew up and currently live in the small but lovely state of Maryland in the US. Besides making art, I like traveling, taking photos with my iphone, visiting museums, riding my bike on the tow path of the C&O Canal, picnics when the weather is nice, and daytrips. When I'm working in my studio at home my two dachshund buddies, Otto & Kasi, are always close by.

-What inspired you to start being creative?
I took my very first art class during my first semester of college, but I've been creative my whole life. My mom was a dried flower artist, my grandfather was a woodworker, and my grandmother was a painter, so I had a basement full of all sorts of art supplies and odds and ends to spark my imagination and creativity. When I got to college, I studied printmaking for 2 years before I switched to Graphic design to finish up my Bachelor's degree. After working in a design studio for a year I became somewhat disillusioned when I came to realize that creating designs for others isn't always as creative as I'd hoped it would be. I started to regularly doodle and draw in a sketchbook, just for the pure fun of it. It was the place where I could make art "for me". Six years later, I'm still doodling and drawing in sketchbooks, but I'm also creating larger works on paper, canvas, and panel.
-Is making art your full time job, and if not, what else do you do?
At this point making art is still more of a hobby than a source of income, but hopefully that will change in the future. I'd like to focus more on art & illustration as a source of income, but for now my Graphic Design degree comes in handy as I currently work as a freelance designer, creating everything from logos to ads to websites.

-Have you gone to art school, if yes where did you go and what did you study?
I received a 2 year degree in fine art printmaking from Montgomery College in Maryland. I got my Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from UMBC, also in Maryland. I've also had the good fortune to take workshops in jewelry & metal smithing and traditional weaving at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

-Where do you find inspiration?
I'm inspired by lots of things. In general I make it a habit to pay attention to my surroundings, wherever I might be. Even if my location might not seem that exciting at first glance, if I look a little closer, I almost always find something interesting to take note of.
Here are a few specific things that inspire me that come to mind at the moment:
bright and shiny things: neon lights, florescent colors, minerals & gems, glitter, the surface of a lake on a sunny and windy day, treasure, Fremont Street in Las Vegas
traditional crafts: quilting, glass blowing, weaving, ceramics, woodwork, bookbinding and more.
pretty much everything in nature: mountains, beaches, trees, moss, shadows, flowers, animals, leaves, rain, shells, insects, meadows, feathers, fossils, rocks, nests, burrows, clouds, and on and on…
connecting with others: I find it very encouraging to connect with creative people and see what they are making. Knowing that there are other artists, photographers, and designers out there that are doing what they love, and being able to see what they create and learn about their process is a huge inspiration to me. I also like to share my art with others. Receiving encouraging comments & feedback is very inspiring. Hearing what others think of my work often sparks a new idea or gives me a boost to keep exploring a direction or theme.
-Do you have a favorite artist and if so who and why?
I've had many favorite artists over the years, so I'll write about a few of them:
My first favorite artist was M.C. Escher because his work was so detailed and mind-bending. I had a book of his art that I would look through for hours. His tessellations still mesmerize me.
Georgia O'Keefe was another favorite, particularly her paintings of skulls, but also her flowers & more abstract works. I really like her smooth use of color, and stylized depiction of many of her subjects.
Gustav Klimt is a favorite for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he used gold leaf in his paintings. I also love the contrast of detailed, finely rendered portraits and bodies with the flat, cut-out shapes of garments that he often uses, along with the beautiful rich patterns and decorations.
Once I started to take art history classes, I zeroed in on Paul Gauguin. He seemed very brave to me, not only because he gave up his career as a stock broker to become an artist, but also because of his bold and unexpected use of color and outline in his paintings.
-Where can my readers see you`re work?
If they are near Baltimore, MD, they can see my work in person through May 2011 at Metropolitan Cafe in Federal Hill on Charles Street. If they aren't in the area, I write about what I do here:
I upload new work here:
I'm also a big fan of twitter
and love to connect with other artists, art lovers, and friendly people over there.
If that's not enough, I also have a tumblr where I post my daily iphone photos

culture? Anika Starmer!

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