Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Repeats Studio Shoppe

This week's featured artist is Jodi of Sweet Repeats Studio Shoppe, aka Jodi is based in Aberdeen NC, outside of Raleigh. She's been an Etsier for 3 years and opened shop August of 2007.
Sweet Old World HeART - Joy
How did you choose your shop name? I started my blog (Sweet Repeats) before I started my Etsy shop. Originally my blog was a place to share my thrifty finds and cool bargains that I discovered around town. I had a real need to be frugal during that period of my life and instead of being ashamed, I opted to embrace my thrifty side and make a hobby out of yard saling and thrift store shopping. It was my dream at the time to open a shop that was more than just a thrift store. I envisioned having a store where customers came and found unique items 'upcycled' into artful endeavors. Thus, Sweet Repeats was born.

As time evolved though, I turned to art to heal some old wounds and began showcasing art on my blog more than my thrifty goodies. It was actually one of my blog readers who became my first customer when she requested to purchase one of my collages for her daughter. I couldn't have been more thrilled! That request was definitely a turning point for me. I started to believe that just maybe, maybe...I was an artist after all.

What is your specialty and what drew you to it? I am a mixed media artist/painter. I have come to be known for my distinctly textured paintings that often incorporate whimsical subjects. While my work isn't monochromatic, it's close. Typcially, my paintings have only 2-3 main colors that are then complimented with black and white, sometimes with a touch of some surprising contrasting color.
My favorite subjects right now have been houses and villages. I have been drawn to this subject for a while now, I suppose it's because I'm so far from home (I live over 600 miles from my nearest family member) that I am constantly revisiting the places where I've lived and loved.

My Hometown

Another reason I paint so many different houses and villages is that out of everything in life I have, one thing I don't have yet but want so badly is a home of my own. I want my kids to remember our family in a house that is ours. I'm almost consumed by this desire which sometimes I feel like it's a regret....a regret that I have yet to have achieved this goal of mine. My paintings help me cope and sort out my feelings of homesickness and desire to accomplish greater things in my own little world. I do all of this in a happy whimsical way though, which I think people enjoy seeing the brighter side of life despite our struggles. It's like a statement of optimism, in my own creative way.

Pick one item you have created and provide link either from your shop or flickr. What inspired the “birth” of this item? As I stated earlier, one of my themes over the past year has been on home, community, the sense of belonging, and finding that place in the world you can lay down your roots. I've interpreted my theme in a whimsical way using colors of blue, white, black and pink. My work is distinctly textured which is symbolic of the layers of our lives, emotions and motivations in this world as we embark on our own journeys.

Does this item have any personal significance to you? This piece is also special to me because I created it as part of a series of work in which a few pieces were selected to be featured in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. In that issue, I wrote my first article! I can't tell you how much that whole process has changed my life. I feel now more than ever, that I am truly on the right path in life.

Jodi's article in ClothPaperScissors Magazine!

What is your favorite part of the process of creating your item? Truthfully, I love coming up with happy color combinations and creating background after background. It's almost like the thrill of the trip, the planning, the seeing everything come together just before you get to the final destination. Of course, I love when I finally complete a project, but it's often met with a tinge of sadness that the journey is over with....and then, before I know it, it begins all over again!

Please briefly describe a workday in your “studio” and how you created this item. I work full time as a bank manager so a day in my studio is something I rarely get. Rather, I work at night, stealing away a few minutes or hours whenever possible. On the weekends I make up for what I don't do during the week. A lot of Friday nights are spent working feverishly into early Saturday morning. I try to do as much as I can in the few hours that I can muster here and there but at the same time, I doubt myself that I'm even doing enough.

Regardless, I'm still happy with all that I've been able to accomplish without any formal training. As far as my process goes, I typically incorporate a lot of paper items and acrylic mediums which add texture to my work. Then I slowly build up washes of color with acrylic glazes before I complete my subjects. I like to embed secret messages in my pieces....some you can see, others are not to be revealed to anyone but myself.

If this item is part of a special line that you do, has there been an evolution in your process? For example, if we were to compare the first one you made to this one, what differences would there be, if any?
This piece is actually part of an ongoing project that I'm doing where I am revisting every place I've lived over the course of my 40 years (shhh!) whether it's the town itself, or street where I resided. I have been working on this series since July of 2008, and believe it or not even with all the paintings I've completed, there are still more towns and streets I have yet to commerate with my work. It's been an eye opening journey to say the least!

The only thing that I have been doing consciously different than when I first started is to work in groupings of no less then three pieces at a time. I feel that collectors and potential buyers appreciate having groupings of my work that can either stand alone, or make a nice statement when bought together.

You can follow Jodi on Twitter, check out her blog, see her portfolio on Flickr, and visit her shop!


Jeanne Rhea said...

I am so glad to know you and your interviews are all so thoughtful and enlightening. The best to you!

Lucy said...

Thank you "ACE" team and Beth for having me on your blog interview series!! Lots of fun :)

Newfangled said...

I love Jodi's work and I'm proud to say that she lives near me in NC! (I'm in West End). I especially love one of her newer pieces - Sweet Old World Heart.

Great article!