Guest curator Amy Ng
Amy Ng is an art and design magazine editor turned illustrator; who currently teaches at The One Academy, Malaysia on topics about creativity and illustration. As a self-taught artist, she regularly writes on the topic of entrepreneurship, illustration and creativity; deciphering clues and shedding light on the intersection between them. She keeps a blog at pikaland.com where she experiments with her ideas, and it's also where she organizes projects with artists and illustrators around the world.
Q: When did you decide to do what you do full-time?
A: I realized that I had to give my dreams a shot when I was an editor of an art and design magazine. I was already working on the blog during my spare time, and while it all began as a self-learning initiative, it became a lot bigger than just myself when I started to organize projects with artists all over the world. I left my stable job not because I was convinced that I could earn a better living at showing up on Pikaland full time, but it was just something that made me excited to wake up to everyday. I'm currently a creative consultant for a PR firm and an adjunct lecturer as well. I'm really lucky because I now get to choose which jobs to take on, and I'm mainly only taking on assignments that would help me grow alongside Pikaland.
Q: When did you buy your first piece of original art?
A: Oh wow, my first piece was by Heather Smith Jones, and it was a small piece entitled "You Turn Rain into Rainbows" in 2008.
Q: If you had one piece of advice to give any other entrepreneur or artist, what would it be?
A: I could go on and on about this! But if I had to say just one thing – it's that it's important to not just follow what others are doing. While I encourage my students to follow and even trace the steps of masters or their idols to find out how they got to where they are, I also tell them that it's very important to step away from Pinterest, or Facebook and have more conversations with themselves about what they love, what they want to say, and what sort of causes do they want to champion. It's easy to lose yourself with all the noise surrounding us, and continually asking these sort of questions will help guide their journey. I find that it also helps to reduce unnecessary pressure to measure themselves against other people's standards.
Visit pikaland.com for more information about Amy Ng.
Guest curator Jennifer Judd-McGee
Jennifer Judd-McGee is an artist living and working in Northeast Harbor. Freehand papercutting, mixed media collage, and drawing are her favorite mediums, and she draws much of her inspiration from her coastal Maine surroundings and the patterns and forms she sees in nature. She attended College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine and spent many years working in womens healthcare before pursuing her art full time. She has shown in numerous galleries across the US, in Canada and Great Britian over the past six years, and was recently commissioned by the New York City Subway’s MTA Arts for Transit Program to create a poster displayed across all subway stations throughout New York City. In addition to showing her work in galleries and online, she is represented for licensing and illustration by Lilla Rogers Studio in Boston, MA. A few of her recent freelance editorial and licensing clients have included Maine Magazine, I Pop Magnets, Modern Twist, Canadian Union of Public Employees, The Art Group , Habitat , Target, Land of Nod, Georgia Pacific, Timberland, Storey Publishing, Hallmark, CLYNK, Greenbox Art, and Wild Apple. Visit jenniferjuddmcgee.com for more information.
Guest curator Sandra Apperloo
Sandra Apperloo is the founder of artisticmoods.com; a fun and ambitious blog devoted to share daily inspirations from the art world. She spends lots of time at events and on the web to look for new creations by makers that inspire her. She also loves to look for inspiration abroad; this spring she traveled Japan to meet her favorite artists and illustrators for her international blog project and she will be making some new creative encounters in Mexico next year.
Q. Why do you think purchasing original art is important?
A. Staring an image image that appeals is a wonderful experience. It can make you happy, nostalgic, sad, drift away on little dreamy adventures or just leave you thoughtless and focused on nothing but the beautiful painting. Whatever the experience is, I think it is more powerful when the piece you're looking at is original. There are more structures and details to absorb which makes the image more intense and the artist more admirable. I'm always a little honored when I put the work of another creative up on my own wall.
Q. What are a few of your favorite pieces of art that you own?.
A. There is one piece in particular that stands out for me: an original painting by Naomi Okubo; one of my favorite artists, based in Japan. Naomi offered it to me as a present when I visited her at her home studio in Tokyo for my blog. That gift made me feel pretty special! It's framed in my living room and brings back many beautiful memories of my trip to Japan. Naomi uses many colors in her work. To experiment, she creates several little try-out paintings which she works out in detail. So the painting she gave me is actually a sketch of an original, but it's gorgeous nevertheless..
Q. What is your favorite social media platform for finding artists to feature and why?
A. I spend lots of time looking for inspiration on Instagram. There are so many creatives that share their work on there. What makes Instagram most interesting for me is that I've come across many beginning artists that don't really have websites or other social media networks yet. For example, I got super-excited when I stumbled upon the paintings of South Korean artist Someyoung Lee. Instagram is a pretty amazing place to make unique discoveries. And it's addictive too...
Guest curator Susie Ghahremani
Susie Ghahremani is an award winning artist and illustrator currently based in San Diego, California. Her client list includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chronicle Books, among many others. Susie was kind enough to answer a few questions and provide us with her picks.
Q: Why do you make art?
A: I feel like visual language is the best one I speak, so this is how I must converse if I want to be understood! Plus, I feel happiest when there's a paintbrush in my hand!
Q: Why is it important to buy (or hang in your home) original art?
A: Aside from the ever-important reason that in owning original art you're supporting the work of original artists, I think it's also important to surround ourselves with what's in our hearts and our minds. Hanging art in the home gives us the chance to express that side of ourselves.
Q: When did you decide to be a full time artist?
A: My mom would probably say that it was always the case, but for me, it was sometime around age 21 when I realized it was a daydream that could be attainable.
Visit boygirlparty.oom for more information about Susie Ghahremani.
Every so often we will ask some of our favorite artists, bloggers, thinkers and/or doers to choose 12 of their favorite pieces from our collection. Enjoy!