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"In the Studio"
An Interview with Artist Sherylynne

(This interview is continued from the June 20 2009 Artellagram...)

Artella: Where do your creative ideas come from? What are your most significant inspirations?

Sherylynne: I believe that most of my creative ideas come from taking an image or idea one step further: to make it mine, to adjust the picture so I can see it more clearly. I take risks in my clothing style, and now have quite the reputation for dressing with "Sherylynne style." It is a modifier that my friends from all arenas and years of my life use when they report back to me that they say that they were out and saw"Sherylynne shoes," or a "Sherylynne skirt or jewelry." I can barely stroll through the Laguna Sawdust Festival without hearing my name whispered among friends as they point out a piece that reminds them of me. Or, if I compliment someone on their purse, etc, they usually say, "Yeah, I thought of you when I bought this." I gained this "fame" from taking chances: piecing outfits together that were never meant to come alongside each other. Textures, colors, time-eras all mix and blend into a piece of art. So, what I am saying is - experiment - don't be reserved or traditions - creativity can only grow from the norm to something new.

As many know, I am focused on collage art using gleaned items. This is the most enjoyable and safe way to experiment as you move flotsam and jetsam around on your surface, altering the composition until you create the composition that is most meaningful to you. Ideas form during these exercises and continue on the days that follow when you pick up more gleaned objects that might be fitting in your piece.

In summation, I would have to say that clothing and collage pieces are my most significant inspirations.

Artella: What made you start The Gleaner zine?

Sherylynne: Back in 2004 - 2005, artists asked me for a step by step "how-to" showing them how to recreate some of my art. I thought that I could create instructions with images and fashion an art zine for these artists. During the Christmas holiday, I was on my knees adding embellishments to rows and rows of Christmas cards across my living room floor. It was then that I realized that if I could create these handmade cards by the 100's then I could create a zine for subscribers. I added this idea to a journal that I later submitted to Somerset Studios, who followed up asking when this Gleaner Zine would be ready for publication. Now I was committed to this idea, and in yahoo groups on-line, I advertised for pre-orders stating that I would offer 100 copies of issue 1. I was forewarned that I might get orders for up to 300. I took a deep breathed and planned for 300, sold out before they were released, and eventually created and sold 800 copies of issue 1. Soon after, I saw one that sold on ebay for $70.00 - quite an increase over the price of a current issue: $14.00. Quarterly copies reached 1,200 through the support of reviews from Somerset publications and other sources.

Artella: Is most of the art you create related to The Gleaner, or do you find time to create art for other purposes, including projects that are "just for you"?

Sherylynne: In my past life, I was able to make art for others, or recreate something in my house (cupboard doors, storage containers, medicine cabinets shelves.) At this time, I am always gleaning for my subscribers, sharing finds, and great reads in The Gleaner Zine. Two years ago, I accepted an Education Director job that again curtailed my "free time." I am currently finishing up issue 18, and find that I am just as passionate about this issue as I was with the first. At times, when I was assembling 1,200 of a single page, insert or pocket of goodies, I lovingly handled each and every one with daydreams of how it would be shared with another artist, placed in another's journal or altered book, or just appreciated as a piece of art by itself. Amusingly enough, most subscribers tend to keep their issues intact, never using the inserts or recycling the pages after all.

Artella: What is the weirdest object you’ve ever used when creating a piece of art?

Sherylynne: Well, I am not certain if I would use the word "weird" but since art of different time eras offers another dimension to my pieces, I would say that items from the 1800's fascinates me the most. Pages from a quill and ink diary or letter, tobacco trading cards, colorful Victorian scraps, pen nibs, and tintype photos all make my heart leap when I find a place for them within my art.

Artella: What are your favorite books, movies, and music that inspire your work?

Sherylynne: I am enjoying the colorful movie "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." I love anything "Amelie." "MirrorMask," the journal and dialog in "The Importance of Being Earnest," also inspire me. "In the Realms of the Unreal" is artistic, as is the art by Rauschenberg and the designs of Ralph Rucci.

See Sherylynne's wonderful products in The Shoppes of Artella, here.

Want more artist interviews from Artella? Take a look at our eBooks Artist Profiles Assembled and Artist Profiles Assembled, Vol 2, and look at the "Ask the Artist" column every single day in The Artella Daily Muse, our daily online creativity newspaper.

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