I am so pleased to bring you the very first feature of the month, an interview with Ann~Denise of Whim & Fancy Designs. What makes her blog stand out is her photography, her ability to tell a story with her photos and of course her lovely crepe paper creations. I wish I could display them all here. Instead I encourage you to follow the links in this post to see more of her lovely pieces. Click any of the photos to be redirected to her work.
Ann~Denise is also a current panelist for The Artful Elite. I thank you for volunteering and for taking the time to do this interview with me.
Q: What catches my eye when I look at your blog posts is the artful way you compose a picture. Your Marie Antoinette Birthday and Halloween spreads are perfect examples. Tell us how you went about setting up your photo shoot. Do you set these up in your home or a studio?
A: First and foremost, I love doing themed vignettes! When I set up for a photo shoot, it really depends on the theme, some require a more grandeur setup than others. Day and evening light will produce different types of pictures and can enhance the artwork and compliment it. I usually incorporate simple but yet elegant props, mercury glass, tiny lights or a luscious piece of fabric. I have a holiday room in my house and in this room I usually change the decor every holiday!
Q: How long does something like this take you?
A: It usually takes me anywhere from two to three days to set up my holiday room and when there is no holiday to celebrate it goes back to an eclectic french traditional decor. Now, if you are wondering where I keep everything? Well let's just say that I don't park our cars in our garage. I also get the best light in the house in this room. Because I set this room for the current holiday it makes it the best place to shoot my artwork.
Q: This leads beautifully into my next question in which I was going to ask if you take your own photos or hire someone?
A: I wish I could say that I was a super photographer but I do owe a lot of my touch-ups and fancy photo work to Picasa and Picnik. I love these photo /editing programs. These programs are free and so user friendly that I encourage everyone to give them a try. Although Picnik does have an upgrade program for a affordable price ,the basic program can still get the job done. I use a Panasonic Lumix digital camera and I photograph what seems appealing to me, not always trying to center the picture or make it perfect but more whimsical and spur of the moment kind of picture taking!
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this piece?
A: Let's talk inspiration ~ My idea for my Halloween Party and Props photo shoot came from a very good soul and friend Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist! For the past two years Vanessa has hosted the most sensational blog parties! This particular blog party wanted a Halloween theme where anything goes!
Q: I saw Vanessa's blog at Halloween and I agree with you, it was just incredible! I just love what you do with crepe paper especially your petticoats. How did you become interested in this medium and where does your inspiration come from?
A: I became interested in crepe paper about thirty some years ago! Crepe paper has always captivated me and I was always the one in my family to decorate for all the birthdays and of course crepe paper was fun, easy to use and also very inexpensive and still is!
As I grew older I was fortunate enough to be inspired by Amy Bartell, who was my elementary art teacher. This was back in the day when school actually taught art as an actual class three times a week. She was a fascinating person and inspired me with all the uses of paper and crepe included! I never had a formal art education and all my skills are self taught and a gift from up above!:)
Q: How do you go about putting a piece together?
A: I am constantly researching crepe paper and everything that surrounds it. I make it my business to be very well versed on the art of creping and crepe paper itself. Sewing is also one of my passions and I found that paper is definitely sewable. When I set out to sew crepe, everything just evolved. Hence the party petticoat was born from the love of my crepe paper and sewing and birthday parties!
Q: I can relate to pieces just evolving once you start getting into the creation process. I find that happens a lot in my art as well. Do you have any particular artists you find inspiring?
A: I wish I could say that there is one artist that I find inspiring but the problem with that is I find inspiration in just about all artist, mediums, genres'. Sometimes it's in the colors or uses of paints, fabrics, papers, etc. Because many of my ideas come from feelings and childhood memories, I find that my primary focus comes from my inner passion for the love art and creating.
Q: What would you tell other budding artists to inspire them to move forward with their dreams?
A: This is one piece of advice I give to others, find what makes you happy and what flows from within your inner soul. Never try to imitate but create from your heart and your own two hands.
Q: Beautifully said! Bravo! Where can we learn more about you and your work? Where can we purchase your work?
A: I am pleased to say that I am a guest artist and some of my work will be appearing in a close friend, mentor and gifted artist, Lisa Kettell's newest book, Art Circus, coming out his February in all major book stores and can also be preordered through Amazon books. Also one of my petticoats will be featured in Somerset's Apronology, date to be released. My work can be seen on my blog Whim & Fancy Designs and my etsy shop by the same name, also on Glitter and Grunge, a co-op of talented artists and Lollishops, a frou frou friendly marketplace.
Thank you for this wonderful interview Kellie, I hope this is okay:0 and your readers will be enlightened and find inspiration in this.
Thanks so much again for being with me today Ms Ann~Denise. I have enjoyed speaking with you and yes, it is absolutely perfect! I am so impressed with what you are doing and with your works and I can say I find great inspiration in your pieces. They are absolutely gorgeous! I appreciate your time and graciousness today. I wish you all the success the new year can bring you.
Disclaimer: All images posted in association with this post remain the sole property of Ann~Denise and Whim and Fancy Designs. Any reproduction or distribution either wholly or in part without her express written consent constitutes copyright infringement. Please respect her art!