Doing What I Love - By Sarah Angst
December 08, 2014
Posted By: Shaunescy
I am so thankful to be doing what I love. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to make a living by creating things. At age six I invented a pillow that turned into a blanket. Good concept, not a great seller. I blame the marketing. As a teenager I started making overalls out of funky upholstery fabric. They sold better and my friends loved them, but I continued searching for my medium of choice.
After college I settled on printmaking. As an artist it was hard for me to sell that one painting or sculpture that I had spent weeks or months working on. Printmaking sounded like a great concept. I loved the way block printing looked and the graphic images it produced. Plus, I was able to create many originals that looked almost exactly the same, keep one, and part with the rest.
I now make my living as a printmaker. I have hundreds of ideas I’d like to create and I hope I am able to produce at least half of them in this lifetime. A few years ago I developed an obsession with alphabets. It started when my good friend gave birth to her twin boys, Finnly and Oliver. I created a frog and an octopus print for them.
From there I came up with ideas for an entire “Creepy Crawly Animal” alphabet. That led me to start brainstorming the text and images for a dog alphabet, and a Rocky Mountain alphabet, a Christmas alphabet, a cabin alphabet, birds, flowers, even desserts. I have over a dozen alphabet concepts I would love to create before I die.
Now, by some miracle, I have one alphabet series complete. I’m shocked that I got it done, because 14 months ago my husband and I had our son Hayden, our first child. He’s the real miracle here. It took us six years of major medical intervention, miscarriages, and a failed IVF attempt before we finally conceived through another IVF cycle in Denver.
He is a joy and a blessing and is seriously the cutest, sweetest, nicest baby I’ve ever met, but he also takes up an incredible amount of time and can leave me completely overwhelmed. I thought after all the years of trying that I’d be so happy and grateful once we did have a baby that none of the normal mommy woes would even enter my mind. I was wrong. Having a baby is hard; wonderful and amazing, but hard.
I also felt my art business was like my first child and even though I was an exhausted, emotional basket case, I could not neglect it. As an artist and now a mother, I felt I needed to create or I would lose a huge part of myself. So that is why I am so excited to have this new body of work to share. It also seems appropriate that it’s an alphabet. With a toddler around we are constantly looking at children’s books and I would love to publish these prints and the accompanying poem into a book in the near future.
The series entitled “An Illustrated Alphabet” has no real theme; it’s just fun and interesting images that anyone can appreciate. The originals are hand carved, hand printed, and hand painted linocuts that are colorful, bold, and graphic. Starting with anemone, the series has everything from a horse, to lemonade, to a robot; it even has a unicycle. The originals along with individual framed letters, giclee reproductions, and an alphabet poster will be on display and available for purchase at tart in the Emerson.
Click here to see a video of how each original print is made:
tart is a contemporary art gallery and boutique that carries handcrafted art, jewelry, and gifts made by local and regional artists. tart is an integral part of the Emerson Center for Art and Culture and of Bozeman in general. It is a wonderful gallery space and I am grateful to be showing my work there.
Any of these pieces would make great gifts to hang in a child’s room, put on a friend’s desk, or just to enjoy at home. I hope you can come down to tart and check it out in person.
Please join us for an opening artist’s reception on Friday December 12th from 5 to 8 p.m at tart 111 S. Grand Ave in the Emerson.