Oh, what a lovely treat for you all for today’s edition of Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Amy Ruppel, an artist with seemingly unlimited talent. & endless energy. You may have seen some of Amy’s work at Target last year (she created a line of holiday goods for them) or seen her Tinymeat wallets. Maybe you came across her artist designed Chuck T or you’ve heard about (or were lucky enough to attend) one of her arts shows this year at Rare Device, Grassy Knoll Gallery or at Lab 101. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure you’ve heard of Amy or at least seen her work somewhere. I’m a bit amazed by all the projects and creative endeavors she is involved in…I hope she keeps it up, because I just love her work!
Read more about Amy & her work below. Also, see some images of her new studio and well as some of her past and current work. Enjoy!
1. What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?
Hi! My business is called @my ruppel illustration. But I do more than illustration these days. I create and sell small paintings online in monthly sales, and I have art shows pretty much every month as well. I lend my drawings to lots of products as well (surface design).
2. Do you have a mentor? If not, who would your dream mentor be?
My mentors are the other artists in my life. And there are so many here in Portland these days! It’s becoming quite the hub of internet-wise artists. My dream mentor would be Orla Kiely or Angela Adams. They are doing what I’d like to one day, lending their talents to a broad range of products and such.
3. What are your inspirations in your art and in life?
Everything around me, really. The Internet has opened so many doors to the showcases of people’s creativity in the form of blogs and Flickr. My favorite blog of all time is design*sponge. Everyday design really influences the colors and shapes I use in my own work. Mid-century modern design, and Scandinavian design especially. I can only strive to add my work to their repertoire. My favorite painter is Milton Avery. I adore his landscapes. I think I learned simplicity from absorbing his work. If you asked me who my favorite artist was today, I couldn’t tell you. There are way too many! I love the wave we see now of illustrators as artists.
4. Is your home messy or organized? Which one do you think is ideal and why?
It is an organized mess 😉 I have a huge art collection, and I like to see it all at once if I can. There are small shelves in my living room covered in little paintings and plush sculptures. My studio is slowly going in that direction as well (being covered in inspirational work I’ve collected). Tiny Showcase and Etsy have been a great source for inexpensive but wonderful prints.
5. What three things can’t you live without?
Ooh… grilled cheese. Beeswax. And my camera.
Amy’s wax table. Amy uses the encaustic painting technique in much of her work.
6. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
I do most of my shopping online: Tiny Showcase, Etsy, and I love Huset for Scandinavian goodies. It depends on what city I’m in when I am out in the world shopping in actual stores! I have my faves all over.
Magazines: I read Discover, The Walrus, The New Yorker and Dwell, mainly. I flip through Martha Stewart for the pretty pics… There’s no time to read!
7. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
The best is that I get to do what I love, every day (and make a living from it). The worst is when I take on too many projects at once, because I have a hard time saying no to all the cool projects I get asked to do.
8. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
Indie to me means being away from the societal mainstream of what is expected of you, I guess as an artist, in this scenario. An indie artist is original and true to their craft.
9. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
I am reading “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” by David Sedaris. I am into the TV show “Fringe” (I am a closet Science freak – for I was a science major in college then switched to art). And am LOVING Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL. I am listening to Luna – my favorite band, even though they are no longer together. When I want to get my dance on I listen to Cut Copy or BRMC, and when I am mellow it’s Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens or Dirty Three.
10. What’s one thing you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew when you were a kid?
To take everything in stride and not react to quickly. To think it out.
11. What’s new? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
I am painting quite a bit these days, trying out new mediums and styles. I designed a shoe for Converse for the 1HUND(RED) project (am artist #19), and I am very happy with how it turned out, and to be a part of the fight against AIDS. There are some other projects in the works with some great companies, but I can’t discuss them yet… I am redesigning my web site, and starting anew blog this week, so I will be posting most of my life updates there.