Courtney Ryan [thescoopatboops]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I'd consider myself a silver sculptress.
I sculpt fine silver PMC, and I'm very proud of every sculpted charm and pendant I've made. I sculpt pretty much anything. Mostly, I sculpt bracelet and necklace charms. Sculpting silver is my favorite thing to do in this world. Pmc is precious metal clay that is required to be fired in a kiln. Pmc is almost the consistency of potter's clay and it's made up of silver dust particles mixed with a gum/clay base. When you fire it in a kiln the gum base is burned away and what's left is your beautiful fine silver pendant. It's a long process sometimes, but I really come out with some beautiful pieces. I really love using any type of clay, and I'm good at it. Though PMC is by far my favorite medium. I make custom order charms all the time and love what I do. A custom order is when someone asks me to make a charm that isn't in my shop. Sometimes it's the first time I have ever sculpted the request, but I've never failed making a request, and I make almost every request that is asked of me.... If you need a bear charm, I can sculpt it, a deer, a windmill, a spinning wheel...I can do it all. I've been able to sculpt every custom order I've gotten so far, and the number is in the hundreds and rising. I've sold around 700 things just in my shop online alone. I really love getting good feedback for all my hard work. I also love hearing all the stories that come along with the charm requests. I never thought making charms for people would be so gratifying. Making money is important, but with art I think sharing your craft and having people apprectiate and love it is even better. I really love spreading my art around the world. To know charms of mine are being worn and shared around on the other side of the world, makes me extremely happy.
I also take all the photos for my website myself, and I would consider myself a photographer. I also make crystal wands carved out of real wood and using real crystals of all types. I collect gemstones, raw crystals and faceted stones. So my wands are some of the best. I'm also a sketch artist and have drawn some tattoos logos etc for people. I've consumed myself so much with Pmc, I haven't finished any large drawings in quite some time. Though, I frequently doodle charm ideas and sketch quite often. I used to make gemstone beaded jewelry, but since I don't make/carve the gemstone beads myself, sculpting and drawing became more important to me.
Please enjoy my website and remember, I take custom requests.
What is your message?
Please respect art and the artists you buy them from. Everyone should love their own work, and people should really learn how to appreciate other people's achievements, creativity and differences.
Your biography in four lines.
I love all types of art. I have been crafting all types of things since I was a child and I have won awards because of it. I was a little girl I used to only buy really small trinket toys, sculptures and figurines. When I say tiny, I mean tiny. Example, Jenny's dollhouse. I've always been fascinated with tiny sculptured objects and now I'm proud to make them myself.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
www.thescoopatboops.etsy.com I upload pictures of MOST of my charms available.
Please check them out, I'm sure you will see something you'll love.
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
Considering that I sculpt bracelet charms, even a toaster will give me inspiration. :)Objects in life, animals and LOVE insprire a lot for me. My friends also inspire me and give me good ideas to work with. They let me know about things they haven't seen me make yet, therefore helping me make more charms for more people to enjoy.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
I use an electric kiln to fire my pieces. I use a dremel to sand my pieces. Other than that I don't really like to use machines or technology to make my pieces. I want all my pieces to be created with my hands and some water, that's all. Though, I do want to learn how to use a soldering torch. It would help me a lot in my crafting to learn how to do it myself.
What is art?
When do you get your best ideas?
It could be from a dream. I get ideas when I wake up and when I go to sleep. It can be anytime, and I'll get ideas.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
How should a work of art be evaluated?
You should look at art carefully, every bit and every little piece of the creation. If it looks like a 2 yr old made it in two seconds, and a 2 yr old didn't make it...then it isn't art and don't buy it. Art should be easily noticed as something that took time and thought. Also people who copy other people are not artists.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
Hopefully any artist wouldn't completely reinvent themself, but changes are always needed here and there.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
I admire all artists.
I try to make new things, not something someone has already done before.
I admire, yet I don't let anyones work influence mine too much. I love to be the first the only and extremely different.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
That of course would be great, butI think the public should spend their tax money, etc. on things that are more important for the goodness of all humanity.
Is art necessary?
Some people express themselves through music, others through art, some through dance. It's all about the person. Not everyone enjoys art and not everyone is good at it. Though I think everyone should love art and respect it.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
Those would be the charms I learn how to re-create for my own purposes or I'll make a mold of something just in case I'll want one in the future. If it's a piece I enjoy then I would really be happy to sell it.
I think if it pains you too much then either
A) don't sell it.
b) make a copy or a mould so you can have one for yourself.
c) sell it to someone you know so you can see it when you please.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
Hopefully it isn't the artist who is bought. I'd really like to think it's a piece of their personality. I can admit there have been some not-so-nice people with great art. I'd like to think I'm just buying their art, in that case.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
I love it. It shows respect and carries on the love for the artist's work.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
animals, contraptions, food items.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
Carving or sculpting the actual piece is the best part. The kiln does the firing, and the sanding part isn't as much fun. ;)
Do you personally collect any items?
Actually, I collect a lot of stuff. I collect glass and gemstone figures. My largest collection is of my gemstones. I also collect silver jewelry/jewelry and shells from the beach.
Which websites do you frequently visit?
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
There is only so much you can do to sell your work. Some of you won't sell the first day, week month. Just remember to work hard and make good looking art and people will buy. REMEMBER, ART SELLS ITSELF.