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Thursday, 3 June 2010
Friday Finds... biancahewson
This is my 29th interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy!
during one of my Link Referral review sessions I came across this amazing Animal Art Etsy store owned by biancahewson. I just love her style and the striking monochrome images she creates, inspired by our hairy little friends! I think what makes her work so special is that it's easy to feel the love and affinity between Bianca and her subjects as each picture is of an incredible quality that can only come with time, devotion and heart. I hope you enjoy her interview and dont forget to stop by her store, leave a heart or two and maybe take one of her spectacular pieces home with a purchase :)
(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)
-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) Hi, my name is Bianca Hewson, born in Leeds, England. I am married and have a 3 year old monkey (sorry son) and 2 adopted dogs. I have been living in Almeria, Spain now for nearly 3 years and taking a break from teaching art. We previously lived in Bermuda for 5 years.
-- What is your business about then? I was missing the practical side and creativity of the classroom and I love creating pieces of art work, I was getting twitchy not doing anything. I also have a real passion for dogs, so I had time on my hands and started creating monoprint dog portraits. I started selling them at Saturday markets and did a few commissions, but the summer heat was a killer and standing on a stall for 6 hours in the scorching heat was just too much, so I set up my Etsy store. To be truthful I don’t consider it a “business”, because I would be creating the images anyway, I have to keep sane. Etsy is a way to show my current portfolio collection and hope there will be some purchases on the way. I know that’s the wrong philosophy but I don’t want to be stressed with the pressures of business………maybe that will and should change?
-- How did Etsy come into your life? I was browsing the internet for new gift ideas and stumbled upon it, I have been hooked ever since.
-- Are you working a day job too? No, After being a Head of the Arts and teaching art in the U.K and Bermuda in secondary schools, I was constantly buzzing with the timely commitment of the job. Although I love teaching, it took a near fatal illness to open my eyes and realize I needed to refocus my life. I had a 3 month old son and the horrors of being so ill really challenged my place in life. We decided to uproot ourselves again move closer to family, and spend quality time together. My husband went back to work in U.K after a year off, and now commutes to Spain!!!!!!! I do still trawl the internet looking for a new job, but it would have to be right for us all.
-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? Oh crikey, since I remember. I have always loved art, and believe it is passed down from my heritage, I still paint with a brush my great granddad used it must be over 100 years old, more of a stump really than a brush, and I use the letterpress set my Great Uncle gave me. I studied art getting my BA(Hons) in fine art in 1996 and then completing a P.G.C.E to be a secondary school art teacher. I think I always felt at home and safe in the art room at school, and wanted to provide that kind of experience to someone else.
-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? I adore dogs and love to try to capture their real character. I have always had Old English Sheepdogs in my life. After 2 died in 1 year, I adopted and now have 1 beautiful Old English Sheepdog and 1 “muy feo” Catalan sheepdog. I have a passion for print and love the spontaneity of monoprint, the feel and quality of the medium lends itself I think to capture the true soul and character of the dog. I have now started to look into other subject matter, including anatomy and teddy bears(my mums favourites). Oh and I also have a collection of beach glass and pottery that I found in Bermuda that I am slowly listing.
-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Soulful, spontaneous, heart-warming.
-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? Well, taking my little one to pre-school, and then picking him up, gives me a time frame to work around, some days I research for inspirational photos to base my art work on, if I have a creative head on I normally can complete 2 images in the day time. Also we are continuing to improve our house and the land, oh and I have to have a chat with both the Spanish farmers about what we are doing wrong!!!! However we do get fresh fruit and veg straight from the tree and ground for free, so I go along with their suggestions.
-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? I love printing, monoprinting, linoprinting, collagraph, etching. I also love photography and painting and need to devote more time to these.
-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? To keep creating, involve my son in the process along the way, start teaching again, inspire others.
-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? Creating a big arty mess with my son, going to the beach, snuggling my dogs, cooking, eating curry, traveling, music, driving, laughing at my husband breaking his back digging in the scorching sun like a crazy fool ..........I tell him not to, honestly!
-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Prints, vintage kitchenware, kids stuff, dogs.
-- Any last words? All out of my own words so a quote:
"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck