Name: Natasha McHardy from Penelope Brown
Website links: Penelope Brown
What do you make?
I design original hand-pulled silk-screened prints. They come in two colour and multi colour versions, and in three different sizes. Each piece is printed on to wood and supported by a hand made modern looking box-frame, so they end up having a sculptural art object-like feel.
What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by so many things, some of which include folk art from all over the world, pop art, old advertisements, modern fabric prints, vintage toys, things that use bold colour and pattern in their form or design. I am also very much inspired by seeing other artist's work, whether it be sculpture, painting or something else. Often I get inspired just by having conversations and sharing ideas with other artist friends. Friends are an invaluable inspiration.
How did you get started?
I did my under grad and Masters of Fine Arts at UBC and I have been making art for over 15 years now within a contemporary art context. Basically, I realized that it was " making things" that really made me happy and that I identified with being an artist so why not try to make an income from what I enjoyed doing. Being involved in the contemporary art world (producing critical and relevant art works) is not an easy task and certainly not a huge money maker. So a year and a half ago I decided to extend my practice by including a lighter, less serious line of work that utilized my skills, allowed me to have a little more fun, and had the potential to generate an income for myself. I wanted this new line of work to be separate from the more critical work that I was already engaged with so I attached a separate sort of pen name to it, "Penelope Brown". I already had a studio, and a basic knowledge of silk screening, so really I just needed to buy a few supplies and get going.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
One thing I am doing more often now in my multi-colour prints is incorporating the use of transparent inks. This means that I can create more colour in my design with careful planning. For example, a transparent yellow laid over an opaque white creates yellow, while laid over an opaque blue creates a green. All of this can be a little tricky in the design faze of production because the printing order in terms of colour really does matter. If the order of printed colours changes, the entire piece changes. This is something I am still working on and getting better and better at, but still find a little tricky.
List one of your favourite websites and why you like them
I am still not much of a computer person, and spend little time on line, but I do enjoy a wonderful food blog written by a woman named Jeannette Ordas called, "Everybody Likes Sandwiches". I really like cooking, watching cooking shows on TV and reading about cooking and naturally love this blog too.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I am pretty green myself, and trying to learn as much as I can from other business people, but I guess I would tell people to try and have some fun! Also, I think it is important to set up a regular work schedule that works for you and stick to it.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I think all good art must involve craft. A good work of art, whether it is a play, novel or sculptural work of art must be well crafted. I believe that craft can exist outside of art and feel that good craft doesn't need to involve art at all. My work involves elements of both.
(photo images courtesy of Penelope Brown)
If you are interested in being featured, please send us an email at info(at)gotcraft(dot)com.
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