Debbie Schramer [flowerdreamer]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I am a Nature Artist.....I create beautiful little fairy furniture, fairy houses and little forest people from nature.....flowers, twigs, moss, leaves, pods, etc. I also paint, do collage, photography and some sculpture. I write poetry and children's books as well. I am a very gentle artist, sensitive to nature, children and beauty in life. I try to share what is beautiful, inspiring and unusual.
What is your message?
What I am trying to say through my art is that we need to look for what is beautiful in life......we need to give to others what is good and kind and gentle in ourselves. We are all still little children deep within ourselves and children are amazing.....they are forgiving and funny and honest and beautiful. My message in art is to be like a child. Not irresponsible, fitfull or uncompromising, but sweet, using our divine intelligence and being a light to the world. That is what I hope my art reflects......these things.
Your biography in four lines.
I was born in California and lived near the ocean for many years, but spent more time in Washington state. I am a self-taught artist, primarily although I have had some art classes and many years of dance and music. My husband is also an artist and we have two sons; one is a filmmaker and our other son is a composer. My husband and I have an art gallery in Salt Lake City and also give children's art classes.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
My art work can be seen at these sites:
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
I am mostly inspired by nature and children. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially out in the country, a rural life is the happiest for me and that is where I am most inspired and moved to create. I love animals, am amazed by children and am very touched by just the artistic beauty in nature itself. Nature is art! I also am very inspired by other artists.....there are so many incredible artists in the world who impart such beauty and gentleness in their art!
What role does technology play in your creative process?
I mostly use nature and other art mediums for my art, although I do use the computer for my photography and writings. I like using a scanner to do collages and also use our cameras for photography.
What is art?
I think art is what people create to give their souls to the world. People who are creative have a deep desire to share something......they are connected to something else besides themselves.....something that is of another world. I think artists or anyone creative has a longing for life that is better, more beautiful, more moving, more sensitive and less wordly. I think art is a way to find oneself and to understand who we are spiritually and emotionally. I think art should be beautiful, though. I am very offended by negative art.....it isn't art at all but a confused mind trying to be an artist. It would be better if people were to find the good in themselves to create art......not to shock people. People are innately offended by bad art.
When do you get your best ideas?
It depends. Sometimes, it seems like my creativity is overflowing and I can't keep up with the ideas at that time. It's wonderful and exciting and exhilarating when I have that much energy and positive feelings. Other times, I feel like part of me isn't here; it must be somewhere else looking for emotion or inspiration somewhere else in my spirit or my mind, because sometimes I am helpless to create, lost to some other force. I think my best ideas happen when I am happy, when the people whom I love are happy and when I am not worried about money or our situation.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
I can usually tell if something I am working on is good or not......just by how I feel about it. If I don't get a good, happy feeling about a painting or a work of art, I feel like I haven't quite reached that vision or that image that was in my mind. If something is good, I am excited, grateful and anxious to share it with others. But sometimes, I create something that I totally don't think is good at all and other people love it, so sometimes I just need to stand back and think about the work I've done and be objective......think like a child. Ask myself......what is good about that piece?
Three creative ideas that you would have liked to have created?
I want to paint a huge canvas, wall-size.....really bigger than myself. What a wonderful challenge that would be. I feel totally confident that I could do an incredible painting on the largest canvas I could work on. I can't wait for that.
I want to work with children more.....teach children art! I envision myself working with a wonderful group of children and creating fantastic murals, masks, costumes, puppets and other creations. It is a vision I see in my mind fairly often. I love doing art with children. They are amazing and so exciting to be with and create with.
I also would love to make chandeliers.....something I've thought about and wanted to do for a long time. I have some very different ideas. Not normal chandeliers, but very unusual ones. Beautiful, amazing and very different!!
I believe I will do all these things sometime!!
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
I started writing poetry when I was 11 years old. I think that's when I could sense that I was a creative person, but I grew up in a very artistic family. My parents are both musicians and composers, my Aunt was an artist, my grandfathers were musicians, my ancestors were writers, etc. I think even when I was three years old, I felt the creativity in life and knew that I was a part of that.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
I think because they are driven by something unseen or perhaps not even understood. I think creative people are possibly not so proficient in normal things like cooking or sewing or fending for one's self. I know I am not particularly a practical person. I am very emotional, driven by my creative self. Perhaps it is, too, that creative people want others to understand their visions, their ideas. I think it is worth studying and understing.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
I do some modern more contemporary work, but I am mostly inspired by the impressionists and older artists, although actually I love many, many more modern artists. My art is a mix of old and new.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
I think art should be evaluated with sensitivity and maybe even first impressions. But after that, a person, if they are inclined to do so, should try to understand what the artist is saying. I can usually tell immediately if I like a work of art in just a few seconds, though. It is just whether is touches my heart in some way.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
I think they should if they want to, if they don't, they should just do want they feel like doing. I don't follow rules like that; I try to go by the visions I have or feelings.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
As I said, the impressionists are so inspiring to me. I like so many of them because their works are soft, gentle and ethereal. Many modern artists also inspire me. I'll list all of these later.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
I think it's wonderful. I think it's essential even if the economy is lacking, I think art is crucial to a society to lift the people's spirits and hopes.
Is art necessary?
Yes, definitely. Especially for children and youth. Art should not be taken out of the schools. If anything, it should be an every day acitivity in every school.....all the arts. We cannot just use our minds, we must use our souls and our creativity to share who we are with the world.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
Yes, it is very painful!! I look at all of my artwork in our gallery and feel like they are my children, but not children in the normal sense, more something of me that is my voice, my language and my story. I love sharing what I do with others, and wouldn't want to just keep it all to myself, but often it is heartbreaking to sell my art. It is a difficult thing......I am happy when someone wants to buy my art and grateful but then also miss that piece very much.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
I don't like saying that the artist is bought. That is not true at all. The buyer is purchasing a creation of the artist, they are not taking the artist themselves home with them. They are taking something of that artist's life with them, to remember them and to cherish them.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
I just go by my feelings and my ideas. Sometimes I don't even know what the next step is, I just start creating and it then often feels like someone else has taken over for me, directing me. I love that experience, it is exciting, comforting and amazing!
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
I think that is fine. How else could we see them. I don't have a problem with that. People might not be so inclined to go to a museum that has only old art in it, contemporary museums are exciting because there is a mix of the old and the new.
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
I have worked with art dealers, gallery owners, reps, etc. fairyly often. They have been very helpful and have assisted me in having quite a lot of success. I really would love to work with a mentor, though, someone who sees my potential as an artist and would help me either financially or guiding me with suggestions, support, etc. I really need someone who will take me under their wing and be able to help me be more successful. I have always felt there is someone out there for me like that, but haven't found them yet. It would have to be someone gentle, sensitive and caring.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
I have worked with children a great deal as a teacher; I am most happy really working with children. I have been an Estate Manager with my husband, I have worked in offices, restaurants, etc. I don't have a lot of college training so I haven't had the most amazing jobs, other than working with children......those were jobs that I truely cherish and remember.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
Anything artistic, anything with children. I enjoy gardening, working with other people on an interesting project. I love interior decorating and would be thrilled to work in that field, but in my own way.
Do you personally collect any items?
I love interior decorating and have boxes and boxes of magazines about interiors, homes, gardens, etc. I also collect old things......old fabric, dolls, dishes, old photos, tiny treasures and especially things from nature. I have a huge amount of things from nature!!
Which websites do you frequently visit?
I visit Ullabenulla every day. I also enjoy many blogs.....
a view to
katherine dunn's blog and website (an incredible artist)
abby try again
the destination might be the journey
la porte rouge
lobster & swan
little brown sparrow
miss clara (an amazing artist from France)
house of bliss
and so many others, many from Ullabenulla and many from my own blog
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
Believe in yourself! Don't think that you are not talented or that you can't do art. Be yourself and learn to appreciate what you create. Everyone is artistic in some way; we just lose the belief in ourselves as we grow out of childhood, but we can get that back. Just take time to learn who you are artistically and do lots of art, try lots of mediums. Study art, think about what you like and don't like. But mostly, believe in yourself and your talents!
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA