All photos are of Violette's home, and art!
Click on the many links to explore more about Violette,
in youtube videos, her blog, and a television show!
All my life I felt like the odd ball. Mother’s comments negatively verified that feeling. I never understood why I needed to surround myself in such robust color, why everything about me needed to be artistically loud, why it excited me so, until I walked through the door of Violette's Magic cottage and into my soul during an artist's open house. Finally some fruition; I felt this euphoria as my eyes were stunned with excitement. I was not alone. Finally another such as myself, lover of color and whimsy!
My purple walls seemed tame in comparison. We clicked immediately; conversation was quick and easy as the two Gemini’s found countless similarities! I owe my new found creative path to Violette and her alone! She convinced me to start a blog, and tempted me to draw. At 47 I was convinced I couldn’t draw a line. Oh I’m still in the embryo stages of my creative endeavors, but I have passion and I have paint!!
You too can discover a side of yourself you never imagined existed once you open the pages of Violette's vibrant new book “ Journal Bliss” It takes you step by step through the creative process, sharing "prompts to unleash your inner eccentric." I could go on forever about how inspirational Violette is, how I’ve witnessed Violette facilitate classes igniting creative juices in women with her heartfelt encouragement! None of what I say does her justice! When I opened her book I got goose bumps, my gauge for excellence. Colorful and direct this book will explain how to quiet that daunting inner critic to move into your creative spirit!
As part of the Virtual book tour you can read Violette's answers in green!
Gosh....I've made so many mistakes i can't even count them! Let me see.....I suppose the biggest mistake would be listening to the naysayers who pretty much told me to stay small by not reaching for my dreams. They actually never said it in so many words but their lack of support or veiled sabotage efforts did that. My Mom always called me a "dreamer". Her intent was that i not get hurt by reaching too far and that i had to be practical. One friend told me that whenever i received compliments for my art that folks were simply "blowing smoke up my *bleep*". Seriously, he really did say that. This was a man i respected quite a bit. Beware of those who steer you off your path - step away from them. They can be toxic. That's my advice.
What is the most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you creatively?
Hmmm........great question! The most unexpected thing is that I'd find my first REAL mentor while volunteering at a place for Street Kids - Covenant House. Never in my wildest imagination did i think he would appear there. I thought that i would have to make an effort to contact a mentor. I did not think he/she would simply show up! The Universe works in such mysterious ways don't you think? This mentor believed in me and created my first brochure about 10 years ago.
My first meeting with you is proof the universe throws a few surprises our way!
What have you learned from other artists lately?
Oh I'm always learning. Sometimes i learn just from looking at their art online - whether it be the courage to try a new technique or gleaning a bit of inspiration by witnessing their expression. Right now I'm taking an online class from Traci Bautista on creating a large Coffee table book so I'm learning about her method of doing things - it's very vibrant and free! Some artists such as Sue Bleiweiss (fabric/mixed media) have kindly helped me to understand how to create online classes. She shared some experiences with me. I have Kelly Rae's book and am learning how to create a la Kelly Rae. I take what i learn and then put my own spin on it. Sometimes what i learn is that i should push myself a bit further and not be so stuck in doing the same thing. I believe it's a good idea to learn from other artists - it helps you to stretch and grow.
Was there a pivotal moment when you knew you were an artist, when was that? And did you have a difficult time labeling yourself as an artist? Violette you may have answered that already...
I think i did answer that....but I'll reiterate it here (an I'm probably mentioning a different story) - i think it was about 13 or so years ago when i finally could say that i was an artist even though I've been creating art and teaching art for many many years. It was difficult for me to say i was an artist. One of the pivotal moments was when my friend Sharon would speak for me in shops - she would say that i was an artist and that she encouraged me to create and sell my work. Eventually i realized that i could not let others always speak for me and that i had to OWN being an artist myself. I believe that my Bohemian tribe (supportive friends) encouraged me to believe in myself and saw that i was an artist. First they believed in me and then i believed in myself as strange as that may seem.
You speak of your inner gremlin, once that voice is hushed do you ever get frustrated with your art?
Do i ever get frustrated? Oh yes.....i still do when things are not turning out the way i had hoped. Those times are not as often as they used to be. Even when something is not turning out well i can always use it as a collage background or paint over it.......even a crummy drawing can find it's way on my blog to describe what i am going through. It's all fodder. I don't so much get caught up in how things SHOULD look like - the Gremlin though is often yammering in my ear telling me that things don't look right or that so and so does a better job than me etc. Mostly......when my "Joy Wagon" is well fueled i have no problem silencing the Gremlin. I do fall off the Joy Wagon and have to refuel it now and then!What piece of art that you’ve created has made you the proudest and why?
I can't really say that there is one piece of art that made me the proudest. Well i guess giving birth to my kids Jessica and Ryan is my finest work of art. But if you're talking about REAL art - a body of work such as my book Journal Bliss would be my proudest - not so much about what it contains even though i am happy with the results but I'm elated with having stuck to my dreams and pressed on forward despite all of the setbacks, rejections and pitfalls. Also i wanted to reach as many people as possible and i believe with a book you can do that! That's the proudest creation for me!
What was the most surprising reaction you've had to your eccentricities?
The most surprising reaction to my eccentricities was when i would drive my painted Glittergirl van (which is now retired and living in my driveway). People would sometimes look at it in disbelief - some asked me if i was a clown and others asked "what the heck were you thinking?". Mostly though my Glittergirl van elicited excitement, joy and curiosity. The inspirational words would often prompt people to ask themselves if they were in fact following their bliss or if "they were working like they don't need the money". At least one newspaper article was inspired by something a writer read on the Glittergirl van.
Have you ever considered licensing your art, for ceramics and such?
Yes i have but i haven't tried hard to find the right company. I have sent out a few packages here and there which were met with rejection. I'm not the greatest at sending tons of marketing materials out - i guess that's where a virtual or REAL assistant would come in handy eh? I would like to have greeting cards, prints and canvas giclees made of my work.
Is there anything you've personally conformed to that you never thought you would?
Well just recently at my daughter's black and white wedding i wore pointy black stilleto-ish shoes which drove me crazy. I wore them because i wanted to look "semi normal" at the wedding. Towards the end of the evening i took off the shoes and put on my Birkenstocks and danced around with glee. I'm sure people thought i was nuts but that was the best part of the evening for me. Can you tell that i don't like to conform?
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Dream destination never traveled?
Greece (one of the tiny islands) - I always wanted to leave a note that said "Gone to Greece - back in two weeks!"
To make a 6 figure income so Mr. G could quit his job and work with me!
Favorite paintbrushes and why?
I don't have any favourite paint brushes - whatever is handy is good to me!
Outside of art, favorite thing to do as a child?
Go camping with my family to Shushwap Lake every summer.
Right now it's lilacs because they are in bloom - i can't pass a lilac bush without smelling the flowers. Soon it will be all the flowers in my backyard like geraniums, petunias, verbenas, lobelias, alysym, sunflowers, nicotiana and heliotrope.
Favorite dessert or sweet?
I'm not really big on sweets apart from the occasional chocolate - but if i had to choose I'd say my blueberry pies.......i make a mean pie!
Thanks Sherrie....i love how your mind works! Being a Gemini like me - i am not surprised! I appreciate you participating in my Virtual Tour and spreading the word!
Thanks Violette for your candid answers, I enjoyed being apart of your blog tour!
Journal Bliss in now available in bookstores and online here!