Back in the Spring, while looking for a Mother’s Day Card on Etsy, I stumbled across the wonderful art of Susan Farrington. Right away I fell in love with her warm style, rich texture and delightful characters and critters. (Some of my favorites being her insect Cabinet of Curiosities series!) I hope you too will enjoy her whimsical illustrations and mixed media collages!
BT: Please introduce yourself and your medium.
Susan: I’m Susan Farrington and I am a mixed media artist. …Never met a medium I didn’t like.
BT: When did you first discover your creative talents?
Susan: I have been creating since I was a kid. I was encouraged by my Mother to learn to sew, decoupage, work with clay, draw, paint…there’s no doubt in my mind that she is why I am an artist.
BT: What themes do you pursue in your work?
Susan: Whatever inspires me when I sit down to work.
For years I have been an illustrator – great work but the imagery is driven by the assignment. So when I am working on personal pieces I think about what I love.
Recently I was in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and saw a small sailor’s sketchbook. I kept thinking about that piece and then created a series of collages using the idea of a sailor’s sketchbook as a jumping off point.
BT: What “fills your well” and inspires you to create?
Susan: I love keeping a journal. In it I put sketches, postcards, ephemera, flotsam. When I am ready to start working I will often go to my journals and they provide the inspiration for whatever will come next in my work.
Also, sometimes an object or material will suggest a piece or series. For example I found an old book of do-it-yourself projects for children at a yard sale recently… yellowed paper, great texture… I started to use the images in a new series of collages. I’m excited to show them on my Etsy site and on pinterest soon.
BT: How do you handle creative block?
Susan: I have a small studio and it’s often quite messy, so when I don’t feel inspired to work I will often start tidying… There is so much stuff in my studio that I will often come across something that I have put aside to work on later and that will help me to get started. During these times I will also start a ‘to put in my journal’ pile, the act of adding to my journal will often trigger ideas for future work.
BT: If you had a superpower, what would it be, and why?
Susan: I would like the power to heal. Everything.
I would also like a cape.
BT: What artists do you admire?
Susan: I admire all artists but I especially admire the anonymous women and men throughout history who have made art for their own enjoyment… folk artists.
Susan: I have several but like to keep them to myself.
BT: Any words of advice for aspiring artists?
Don’t get discouraged.
Don’t compare yourself to other artists.
Be grateful you can do something you love, even if it’s just for a short amount of time every week.