maanantai 26. tammikuuta 2015

Featured Artist of January 2015 : Monika Holloway


                                                             
"Unicorn Magic"
(c) Monika Holloway
coloured pencil and PanPastel on Stonehenge paper, 
11"x14

Hello blogging world :)

It's time for the first featured artists interview of 2015. 
This time I'm interviewing greatly talented Monika Holloway.

Tell us about yourself. Who you are and what kind of artist you are?

I'm self-taught fantasy & fairy artist based in the UK. I work mainly with watercolors and colored pencils but I love exploring new mediums. I recently started incorporating acrylics into my work and I'm also learning how to paint with oils.  There is so much to learn and so little time...

I love creating whimsical fantasy worlds and filling them with creatures who inhibit these places - fairies- unicorns - mermaids and elves. I also enjoy painting fantasy/surreal portraits and landscapes - they are great fun.

I'm also a violinist, an avid book lover and a mother of three very cute but also very demanding children. They are my biggest fans and harshest critics at the same time.

"Dreams take flight"
(c) Monika Holloway
watercolor and colored pencils on illustration board
11,5 x 14,5

"The Sorceress"
Watercolor, colored pencil and acrylics on illustration board
11,5 x 14,5 (c) 
Monika Holloway

How did you started your artistic hobby/career? 

I first started painting about four years ago after discovering fantasy art, literally stumbling across it. I quickly became fascinated and inspired by existing work of some of the fantasy artists. Seeing all that magic they create I decided to learn how to paint with watercolors  and it just took off from there. In less than a year I was already selling my work trough Facebook and Etsy and I never looked back - art has become not only my passion but also a profession. I feel like I'm rediscovering myself trough art, like I've finally found my voice.

"Hidden Treasure"
Watercolor and colored pencils on illustration board
11,5 x 14,5
(c) Monika Holloway

"Mermaid's treasure"
watercolor on illustration board
11,5 x 14,5
(c) Monika Holloway

What are things that inspire you?

My biggest inspiration is and always will be nature. Nothing can measure up to the beauty of this world we live in, there is no question about that. We humans aren't the best part of it and perhaps that's the reason I prefer to paint and draw fairies, mermaids and all kinds of fantastical creatures. I struggle to find beauty in humans but I believe we can find peace and redeem ourselves trough love - and that also means love and respects for nature because we would mean nothing without it.

Do you have message in your art?

It's a difficult question. Every artwork I create bears a different message. Sometimes hidden within the title of the painting, sometimes within the way I portray my characters/settings. I enjoy using symbols in my art. I just drop them there and let the viewer find them and make their own interpretation.

"Winter Rose"
watercolor and colored pencils on illustration board
11,5 x 14,5
(c) Monika Holloway

Do you tips for aspiring artists?

Only one: never give up. Every single one of us gets told "No" many, many times along the way but we must never give up or let it affect us. I'm still at the stage where I hear "No" a lot more often than "Yes" but I strongly believe we must never loose focus and forget what we've set off to do - creating art is a journey and if that's what we love, if that's what sings in our hearts then no amount of rejection will change that. Sure people will try to knock us down, sure we will doubt ourselves plenty of times along the way. But if you are an artist, you'll quickly get used to that. Trick is to pick yourself up and carry on learning, discovering and creating. Let the rejection motivate you to become even more fabulous.

Where can we find your works?


You can also find me on Twitter @monikaholloway

Many thanks to Monika for taking part of this series of interviews and sharing your beautiful artworks and stories behind them.

Much love and light
Niina

keskiviikko 14. tammikuuta 2015

Creative Tuesday: Something New



Creative Tuesday - challenge theme is to illustrate a word for 2015.
Something to inspire and motivate.

I guess my biggest problem overall is lack of focus. I tend to start new things with enthusiasm but soon get fed up, so focus will be my word for 2015.
  
This year I'll focus more on everything what I'm working or doing.



For those who asked about this sketchbook. It's really simple to make. Shroo has great tutorials in her blog.

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate all the comments.
 I do my best to visit all the blogs that take time visiting mine.

Love light and inspiration
Niina


tiistai 6. tammikuuta 2015

This year will be more... zen



Hello blogging world

I hope you've all had great start on 2015.
 I'm not a big fan of new year resolutions. But this year I decided to make an acception
and promise something for myself.

My resolution is to lower negativity from my life

My 2014 had deep ups and downs.

This one was a combination of both:
 As some of you may know I work in a handcraft shop that is owned by a friend of mine.
 I started there in Autumn 2014.

Just before I got the place I had an interview for one major Finnish design brands (I won't tell what it was but you propably would recognize the name if I would tell you).
Anyways I went to the interview parantly I was chocen as one of the candidates because I had a degree from art and crafts.

I think it was the most horrible work interview I've ever had. They were looking for a seller into a new store and the lady who interviewed me was very pushy. She constantly ask; am I a top-seller? what are my selling methods?
Can I be aggressive and talk all the clients to buy as much as they can (even if I personally wouldn't believe to the products).

For me personal experience tells that sellers who do all that most likely loose their customers than make sales and I was quite dissappointed that they were looking for pushy sellers. I quicly realized this wouldn't be a very good job for me and I asked the interviewer about their ethics which seemed to annoy her.

So next day my friend hired me to her shop and few days later the interviewer lady called me and said they didn't pick me and I politely said I got another job where my zen- like attitude is more appreciated.

It all turned out very well  for me as you can see and why am I writing this here is that if someone get's into same kind of situation at some point in life is good to hold on your own values.Who on earth would like to work as an agressive seller?

I am very zen and I'm happy with that.
There are enough aggressive and warmongers in this world don't you think.

From zen- spirit to zentangles.

I think it's fun since I've done zentagle art for ages I just called it "random pattern doodling" but word "zentangle" actually sounds very fitting now :)

Here's my new collection of envelopes.



 Life would be boring without Giraffes
 

Shared with Creative Tuesday

- Niina



sunnuntai 4. tammikuuta 2015

Soft hearts


I hope you've all had lovely time in these past few months.
Nature is sleeping here.


 My holidays went peasefully and I managed to leave time for creativity also.


Here's my latest painting called "Soft hearts".
I'm planning to print some greeting cards soon for the spring (valentine's day, easter ect.)


“That's the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.”  
- Ray Bradbury
 
 "Soft hearts"
(c) Niina Niskanen
watercolors on paper
2015 

 Greeting cards and other products made from this design here.



sunnuntai 21. joulukuuta 2014

Blessed Winter Solstice

 "Aurora"
(c) Niina Niskanen
acrylics, 2011

Blessed Winter Solstice to all my friends and readers

 ........................

I'm taking part on "Gift of love" art -swap.

There are many great giveaways going on.

I'm also adding some art for the giveaways

You can win one of my bookmarks or ACEO paintings.

To enter visit here:




You can find more info about the "Gift of love -swap" here:

Love and light
Niina

maanantai 15. joulukuuta 2014

Winter colors




Hello fellow bloggers 

Inspiration Avenue- challenge this week is about colors of the holiday season.

Lately my paintings have had lot's of blue shades.

Blue is interesting color. On my first year at artschool we discussed about that what color snow is?
First I said it's white but then I looked outside and I wasn't so shore. In the morning snow had blue shades and in the sunset it was all pink and orange.

We don't have much snow here now. There is little bit on the ground but I hope there will be more.

 I really love snowy winters.

(picture taken in 2012)

Here is my latest painting called "Frozen field".

 "Frozen field"
(c) Niina Niskanen 2014
acrylics on canvas

Original is listed on my Etsy-shop here.

I also found these wooden shapes I did a year ago at woodwork. I finally
decided to paint something on them.

So here is a wooden creature called "dream owl".
Also listed to my shop here.




I also submit to paint party friday

Thank you for visiting
Niina

lauantai 13. joulukuuta 2014

Featured Artist of December : Katerina Koukiotis

"Ghost of a rose"
(c) Katerina Koukiotis, 2007
charcoal and colored pencils

Hello blogging world

Time for the December featured artist interview. December artist is Katerina Koukiotis.
Katerina has amazing talent to portray people and emotions in her artworks. I hope enjoy them as much as I do.


                                                                                        "Kitty Magic"
                                                                                  (c) Katerina Koukiotis
                                                                                               9 x 12
                                                                       color pencils & charcoal, 2014



 "Heart stitches"
(c) Katerina Koukiotis
color pencils & pastels
8.5 x 11
2013

 Tell us about yourself who you are and what kind of artist you are?

Hello
I'm a Greek  self taught artist based and living in New York for most of my life
I specialize in  traditional portrait and fantasy art , i mostly like drawing fantasy and non fantasy
characters,people , animal art and the last couple years i have experimented with more anime manga art
which i enjoy very much
 i work in different mediums from pencil graphite to charcoal,color pencil , pastels , watercolors acrylics.

 How did you started your artistic hobby/career?

Almost 9 years ago i started doing my art professionally
  but i feel i was an artist all my life since i was little
it was always something i did  and enjoy it to be able to
do it professionally and share my art , ideas
is very special  :) and means a lot to me.

 What are the things that inspire you?

A lot of things inspire me fairytales, fantasy art, fantasy  books in general, nature,
other artists inspire me greatly new ones, classic ones,
music, fantasy movies ,a lot of different things,inspiration sometimes
comes out of the blue when least expect it.

"Madame Butterfly"
(c) Katerina Koukiotis
8 x10
color/ pastel pencils
2014

"White Christmas"
(c) Katerina Koukiotis
color pencils
9 x 12
2012

 Do you have a message in your art?

Sometimes  especially if i create an artwork specifically for
a special or moving event , for example my drawings and art i did for 9/11 had a special
message and meaning not only to me but to people viewing my art,
 however i  like for people to make up
 their own stories when they see my art ,
my drawings may mean something different to me than to someone else.



Many thanks Katerina for participating also big thanks to all great artists that have been taking part of this serier of interviews. 

Much love and light
Niina