Artist Interview with Dani Choate

design-team-2017Today it is my pleasure to introduce the next Lulu Art Design Team Member for 2017.

Introducing Dani Choate from Pyglet Whispers. Dani is known for her beautiful mixed media artwork, particularly her cute whimsical girls.

I asked Dani to tell me about herself and asked her a few questions over a virtual coffee.

Dani Choate is a mixed media artist, designer and art journaler form Sydney. After studying Graphic Design in the early 90s she spent the next 12 years immersed in the Natural Health and Alternative Therapies industries. When her children were small she was inspired once again to return to art making. These were adventures in soft toy design, zine editions, lino & gocco printing, ATC & ACEOs, book page line art and a hobby turn at children’s fabric design.

Her current work is most often whimsical, feminine and full of colour & pattern. She displays a playful, childlike quality within each of her pieces.

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Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I predominantly spend my time being a mum to my 3 young girls…7, 10 & 13. I am a mixed media artist, designer and illustrator. I am also a collector and source and sell all kinds of vintage and eclectic bits and pieces, not only online but also from a space that I have at a vintage emporium in Sydney’s Alexandria. Arting is my release, my time. The moments I can be most, myself.

How/when did you get interested in art?

I think I have always been interested in ‘making things’ and creating. I cannot remember a time that it wasn’t just a natural part of how I functioned.

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Can you remember one of the first things you drew or painted?

Aside from preschool painting and creating and at home as a child with my mum, a teacher…. I do remember a particular time when I was about 8 or 9 when I saw a stranger painting a seascape at the beach. I remember being particularly transfixed by what he was doing. I stood behind him and watched for ages until at some point he turned and offered me a small canvas board and a paint brush. He set me up next to him and began to show me step by step how to paint the water to get the foam at the top of each wave and how to paint the clouds to get a little shadow on each fold. I remember thinking it was a bit like magic!! Seriously…I must have painted that particular image a thousand times over the next few years, practicing and perfecting what I had learned from him. I was not very good at it…but I was hooked at trying to be!


What is your favourite piece of work you have created?

Recent favourites…

Do you have a favourite artist?

So many favourites… the list is really never ending. Currently I am inspired by artists like Estee McLeod, Maria Pace-Wynters, Lizanne Tran, Helmtrud Kraienhorst, Hanna Ekegren, Tina Berning, Kyoko Uematsu. Cori Dantini, Gustavo Aimar, Claire Desjardin… do I have to stop??

oppurtunity-c_wm_resizedWhat is the best thing about being an artist?

Exploration, possibilities, expression, immersiveness, stillness, clarity – the space it draws you into.

Do you like to have music playing while you create and if so what kind of music do you listen to that inspires you?

I have current favourites but they are always changing… at the moment I am listening to a lot of  Mansionair, Rufus, Palmistry and Christine & the Queens .

What is your favourite thing that you often include in your work?

Faces, flowers, pattern and colour.

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What are you doing when you are not creating?

Adulting, taxiing family members and scrambling to make a living… would much rather be arting.

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What are your favourite products to use

White sharpie, acrylics, posca pens, caran d’ache neocolour II, collage & spray paint (when I get a chance)

Do you have any tips or inspiring words to share?

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As a younger person I was encouraged to approach the world from a perfectionist standpoint. I grew up in a family where art and art making was given little importance and doing only what you were good at was valued over doing what you loved.

In my experience, this perfectionist standpoint makes it very difficult to ever begin the process of art making. If you begin to create something, with an attachment to a specific outcome, you give yourself  no room for error, no room for exploration, no room for mistakes. Yet, mistakes are important, mistakes are our teachers, mistakes are in fact, vital. Mistakes allow you to observe yourself and your responses and to explore your capabilities. Mistakes give you the gift of being able to discover your new ‘edges’ and have faith that abilities that you didn’t even know yet existed will always be ENOUGH. Embrace the mistakes that you may make within your art. They are the teachers that we can rely upon to guide us along our way.

Where can we view your work?

INSTA: http://www.instagram.com/pygletwhispers

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCq2T-XZ-aTUS4x64N5xbbA (Dani Choate)

BLOG: http://www.pygletwhispers.blogspot.com.au

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pygletwhispers
https://www.facebook.com/danichoate.com

SHOP – http://www.society6.com/pygletwhispers

Do you have any upcoming online or offline classes where we can enjoy learning from you?

It has been in the works for a while but hopefully this year I will be holding some local workshops – will keep you posted!

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Dani, our next Lulu Art Design Team Member. Pop back tomorrow to see Dani in action when she creates a free tutorial for you.

Happy Creating,

Hugs,

Kylie - Signature

Lulu Art Supplies Store

Kylie Fowler Website

Colour Me Positive – Week 22

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This weeks prompt was chosen by our feature artist today, Dani Choate.  It’s a quote by Neil Gaiman and it’s all about being brave enough to keep moving FORWARD, not letting perfectionism get the better of us and not being afraid to make mistakes especially in our art!

This is an excerpt from Neil Gaiman’s blog:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”

So let’s all get out there and make some big wonderful mistakes along our journey and see just where it takes us!

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Our extra (optional) journal prompt is:

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake on your page!

This weeks inspiration:

I chose this weeks inspiration page as it was one that challenged me. I don’t like my handwriting and I’m always worried that I’ll ruin a page that I otherwise love once I write on it! This page was inspired by an online class with Donna Downey. I took a deep breath and went crazy with my fineline paint applicator and I actually love how it turned out in the end.

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Our Feature Artist – Dani Choate (Pyglet Whispers)

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Tell us a little bit about yourself …

Dani Choate is a mixed media artist and art journaler from Sydney. After studying Graphic Design in the early 90s she spent the next 12 years immersed in the Natural Health and Alternative Therapies industries. When her children were small she was inspired once again to return to art making. These were adventures in soft toy design, zine editions, lino & gocco printing, ATC & ACEOs, book page line art and a hobby turn at children’s fabric design.

Her current work is most often whimsical, feminine and full of colour & pattern. She displays a playful, childlike quality within each of her pieces.

What is your favourite quote?

So many quotes out there…but at the moment the quote speaking most loudly to me is:

“Go and make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. BREAK RULES. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. MAKE. GOOD. ART.” ~ Neil Gaiman

As a younger person I was encouraged to approach the world from a perfectionist standpoint. I grew up in a family where art and art making was given little importance and doing what you were good at was valued over doing what you loved.

In my experience, this perfectionist standpoint makes it very difficult to ever begin the process of art making. If you begin to create something, with an attachment to a specific outcome, you give no room for error, no room for exploration, no room for mistakes. Yet, as I am beginning to understand, mistakes are important, mistakes are our teachers, mistakes are in fact, vital. Mistakes allow you to observe yourself and your responses and to explore your capabilities. Mistakes give you the gift of being able to discover your new ‘edges’ and have faith that abilities that you didn’t even know yet existed will always be MakeMistakesENOUGH. Embrace the mistakes that you may make within your art. They are the teachers that we can rely upon to guide us along our way.

I will have a video up on YouTube shortly showing my process with this page. It began as a scrap page that had stuck together and torn a hole through to the next page (mistake)…also dropped a bottle of ink on it half way through (mistake) … pretty happy where it ended up 🙂

What inspires you?

Music, art, colour, pattern, numbers … road trips, op-shops, vintage paper, old handwriting … disconnecting from the everyday, anything unusual, eccentric, hidden or extraordinary… my girls.

Where can we find you?

1462844754408Insta – @PYGLETWHISPERS
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pygletwhispers
YouTube: – http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCq2T-XZ-aTUS4x64N5xbbA
SHOP – http://www.society6.com/pygletwhispers
Etsy – http://www.thriftypyg.etsy.com
http://www.pygletwhispers.etsy.com

 

breezeWeek 22 Prize Draw:

For this week’s challenge prize Dani has generously donated this A4 edge to edge giclee print of “Breeze” printed with Epson Archival inks using Canson Infinity paper, Epson R800 printer (frame not included).

We will draw a random name on Friday 10th June from those who have uploaded into the Week 22 folder by that date. So you have two weeks to complete the challenge.

Entry is open to everyone who participates, no matter where in the world you are. It’s not a game of skill, you won’t be judged on your artwork. It will be a random draw. So have fun, upload your photo and you may get a lovely bonus!

Wk20_WinnerWinner of Week 20 Draw:

Now it’s time to draw a name from the photos loaded up into the Week 20 photo album. Today’s lucky winner is Anne Boorman Spiteri. Congratulations Anne! Here is the page that Anne created about Wonder.

Make sure you check out the photos in the Facebook albums. There is some amazing work in there. What a great place for inspiration. Make sure you leave a few comments while you are there.

Please remember:

It’s ok to skip a week and jump in wherever you can. Don’t feel pressured if life gets busy!

Don’t compare yourself to others. We’re all in different stages of our art journey. You’re an artist and you’re amazing no matter what level you’re at. Just have fun and keep going.

Please PM or email me if you have an urgent question as I’m more likely to see it. The facebook page moves so fast it’s so easy to miss comments.

Have fun, be happy and support one another!

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