Artist Spotlight: Susan Farrington

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!

Susan Farrington Mixed Media

“Let Me Count the Ways” Mixed Media

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.

Susan Farrington Mixed Media

Clipper Ship Original Mixed Media Collage

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.

Susan Farrington Illustrator

Sketch Journal

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.

Susan Farrington Mixed Media

Mosaic Cut Paper

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.

BT: What is your dream project?Susan Farrington Mixed Media

Susan: I have several but like to keep them to myself.

BT: Any words of advice for aspiring artists?

Susan: Yes.
Keep working.
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.
Have fun.



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