It’s so much fun stumbling across the expressions and explorations of another artist – one of my most delightful finds has been the work of the Ephemeral Gecko. I love the wild freedom with which Eph works (and plays!), experimenting with a wide variety of media, techniques and tools. Most of all, I love how Eph is always creating and posting new art – it’s an inspiration and encouragement for me to continue to make time for my own projects, especially when life feels like it’s too full of other activities.
I hope you’ll enjoy the interview below and follow the Ephemeral Gecko’s blog for yourself!
BT: Please introduce yourself and your medium.
EG: Hi, my name is Eph, and I’m a mixed media artist, (maybe ‘jack of all arts’). I started out with watercolour and ink before discovering digital art and manipulation some decade or so ago. More recently I’m rediscovering physical art – the utter kid-like joy of splashing and spilling, chopping up and gluing, stitching and so forth. I’m an advocate of the ‘try anything’ school of art-thought!
BT: When did you first discover your creative talents?
EG: Right from the youngest age I’ve always enjoyed creating more than anything else…from finger-painting on the kitchen work top to making clothes and homes for my toys. I haven’t stopped since then. I’m blessed with a low boredom threshold, it means I can’t sit still doing nothing, so I always have a few projects on the go that I can pick up any time and keep myself busy.
BT: What themes do you pursue in your work?
EG: On a subconscious level I seem to gravitate around themes of inter-connectedness and imperfection, maybe a metaphor for the lives we all lead. Based in the abstract, there’s often a surreal edge to my art. My passion is for color, there are color groups I incline towards, but I like to keep mixing ideas to explore new possibilities.
BT: What “fills your well” and inspires you to create?
EG: Gosh, what doesn’t?! Since starting to study art formally I’ve become much more aware of contemporary artists, and I love to drink up the visual delights here in blog-world. These riches have a powerful effect on my imagination. As do everyday sights – the shape of a fallen leaf, the line of windows on the side of a building. The more I look the more I see. The more I see, the more the ideas flow.
BT: How do you handle creative block?
EG: First off, I try really hard not to get discouraged. Blocks comes and blocks go, there’s very little rhyme or reason that I can fathom, so accept ‘this too shall pass’ (deadlines permitting!) If time and circumstance allow I get busy on something else altogether… I clean the bathroom, I hack down weeds in the garden, I do that long put-off paperwork.
I also find looking out to others for inspiration – galleries and exhibitions, blogs, site & books – these can all help dislodge the block.
BT: If you had a superpower, what would it be, and why?
EG: I think time travel would be wonderful. I’d love to visit times and places in history that fascinate me, I’ve got a fixation on Victorian London going on just now, so that would certainly be first on the itinerary!
BT: What artists do you admire?
EG: I’ve got an eclectic (and very long) list of artists I admire, from Bridget Riley to MC Escher, Gustav Klimt, and Salvador Dali. Then there are contemporary artists who I find enormously energizing – Ruth Issett, Archan Nair, Wendy Allan, Alice Vander Vennen, Jill Ricci, Irina Vinnik and so many more! Vibrant use of color and detailed form really appeal to me.
BT: What is your dream project?
EG: Right now I would love to create a really large scale piece, incorporating textiles and papers, found objects and experimental styles. For now it resides in the ‘dream studio’, that exists only in my mind just now but I hope to actualize sometime soon!
BT: Any words of advice for aspiring artists?
EG: Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up. Keep chugging away and practicing, and above all, enjoy the process!
I find almost every artwork goes through a period of frustration, of looking pigdog-ugly, of having ‘gone so wrong’. It took me a long time to realise – usually it just isn’t done yet, that’s all. Sometimes a piece of art needs to be left to germinate – put away out of sight for a time (days, weeks, years) – when it comes back out it will speak to you and you’ll pick up where you left off. If not? Put it back away again, it’s just not ready yet.
These are the things I constantly remind myself!