Tuesday, November 11, 2008
An interview with the talented Lyse of ImagineStudio!
I am thrilled to present an interview with Lyse Marion of ImagineStudio. I'm a huge fan of her work and after learning more about her, I'm even more impressed. Thank you so much, Lyse for taking part in this interview and sharing more of yourself with the online world. To see more of Lyse's amazing work, please check out her Etsy store, ImagineStudio where she's currently offering free shipping!
Where did you first learn the art of collage?
Around the age of 15, I started taking art classes and continued exploring many different techniques and mediums within a creative arts program at college. I studied drawing, painting, metal and clay sculpture, etching, carving, silkscreen, and collage. I fell in love with doing collages and it became my primary medium for artistic expression ever since.
When did you make the move to digital art?
In the late 70’s my collages where mainly photomontages using images from magazines to create new single images. They were often about war, peace, women's issues, exploitation and similar issues of the times. In the early 80’s my collages became more like assemblages whereby I would incorporated many different objects unto a base photomontage I had done, thus exploring textures, depth and more abstract forms of self expression. This lead me to work on new-found art collage pieces, small assemblage sculptures and jewellery during the 90’s. I returned to my initial passion for photomontages in the late 90’s as a need to express my feelings, thoughts and at times overwhelming emotions in relation to the work I was doing with people with severe mental health disorders. My photomontage collages during this period were dichotomized and polarized...half being about social exclusion, isolation, social injustice, poverty etc... and the other half being about the beauty of life, hope, spirituality, love, friendship, wonderment, colour, etc.
It is my constant need to express myself through collages that brought me to explore the digital editing tools about 6 years ago. Since then I have been working on transferring the collage art form into the digital world. Layers upon layers of thoughts, emotions and research have been turned into transparencies, textures, colours, depth, emotions, portraitures, etc. This virtual digital world of seemingly endless possibilities has given me a new take on my artwork, allowing me to pursue even further my undying need to produce lyrical, evocative and sometimes provocative
Do you ever put hidden messages or images in your collages?
I can’t say that I put hidden messages or hidden images in my collages. I do however, often try to convey emotions, thoughts or ideas beyond trying to state the obvious. I know that I have an inclination towards symbolism and some form of mysticism or spirituality and I love poetry. Perhaps it is these that seep into my collages and makes one feel that perhaps there are hidden messages.
I believe that the fact that I work with layers of images and transparencies may also contribute to that perception, but nothing about my work has an intentional component in regards to wanting to send a message other than that of hope, beauty and life.
A few weeks ago someone told me that my artwork had an intellectual feel to them. I was very surprised to hear that because I had never felt that about my work, but after reflection and taking into consideration my life experiences and non-conforming temperament, I have decided that person is probably right. I cannot separate my mind, heart and soul from my artwork. I guess I do use all three to create my collages and as such certain parts of my unconsciousness could certainly reveal itself though my artistic expression.
What I feel, when I step back and look at my artwork, is that many of them appear to have something to do with different aspects of the soul, life’s fragilities and tender moments, one’s capacity to overcome life’s obstacles or challenges and our ability to transform not only our life, but also the way we live it and envision the rest to be.
Each is a story unto itself and for me it permits one to take flight in one's own imagination and find a place to acknowledge and the freedom to feel what we do.
If you had to choose ONE artist's work to fill your home with, who would it be?
That would be impossible for me. I enjoy so many different artists, styles and artistic movements that I would be devastated if I could only choose one. I can tell you whose artwork I mostly have on my walls right now…that of my husband. I must be his biggest fan! Other than his work, I have a few pieces from Etsy artists, a few from artist friends and some of my own.
In your Etsy profile it says you've worked for over twenty years with people with mental health disorders. What has that experience taught you?
It has taught me about some of life’s ultimate sacred beauty involved in joy and tribulation, about the power of hope and the power of support and encouragement. And that the most important and poignant inspirations come from individuals who overcome life’s obstacles. It has taught me about empowerment and the possibility of transforming one’s life.
Where do you find your inspiration for your collages?
I would have to say that I have two fields of inspiration. The first being, the love I have for others and the love that I receive and my ability to daydream. The knowledge of everything I have and the gratitude I feel. My family and friends' support and encouragement, my two cats, my love of life and all it has to offer.
The second being my love of art and the sometimes overpowering awe that I feel when I see certain paintings. It is difficult to describe this feeling other than to say that I am inspired to bring back out or forth it’s essence but within a more modern context or environment. It is as if I feel that they still have something important to convey about our humanness, life's joys and tribulations.
Other than those two major fields of inspiration, I also like to have fun with my artwork.
What is your favorite collage in your store right now?
I have always had a rebellious nature against the status quo, whenever it imposes limitations on human rights or calls upon bigotry and prejudices. For a number of years the majority of my collages where comments on conformity and critiques of social injustices. In this sense, Above the Odds, which is kind of a remnant of my past work, is still a favourite of mine because it ultimately symbolises the beliefs and values I hold dear in life. I also feel a strong personal connection to it because it is a reminder for me that no matter life’s challenges, I too can rise above the odds!
Is there anything else you'd like Etsy readers to know about you or your art?
I would like for them to know that I literally place all artworks on the same level. I believe that creativity is what is important, no matter the art form, style or technique. This is not to say that I personally enjoy all other artworks, but I do admire the creative process involved in expressing oneself through art. In other words, I love the idea of creativity and it’s process more than I love art just on it's own.