Friday, November 20, 2009

In the Craftlight: Carapace

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Tall, Texan, hopelessly addicted to scifi, cheesy monster movies, and musicals. Devoted to comics, illustration, and my husband, all of which go together. Generally cheerful.

Oh, and I'm prone to being unconscious against my will. It really interferes with all the fun stuff above, but I'm working on it. Someday, I will be awake for more than 10 hours at a time!

What is your craft?

Illustration. I work in any medium that seems interesting, but every piece or picture I make has a story to tell. Sometimes I don't know what that is until the piece is done. Those are some of my favorite pieces, because then I get to learn their story while I'm working, and I love hearing new stories.

How and when did you get involved in it?

I don't know that I ever officially became involved with art. It's not like I'm in a guild or anything.

My first exposure to art was from the illustrations in stories I read. Some of the greatest artists in the modern era put their hearts into illustration; I couldn't help falling in love with what I saw. There were pages and pages of art made for short stories that were never meant to survive, little fables for toddlers and adventures for eight year olds, and they were glorious! And the stories I read made me want to tell my own. And pencils and paper were almost free for a kid, so I gave it a try. No one stopped me! I've just kept going since, and try to improve as I go along.

How would you describe your style?

Adolescent. That's not pejorative or anything. But I feel like I'm finally beginning to learn what my style is, and watching it develop in unexpected ways. So it's sort of hard for me to claim at the moment-- stylized fantastic realism? If anyone has a good tagline for my art style, I would sincerely love to know it. But man, don't ask me.

Who inspires you?

I've come to believe that it's not a question of being inspired; it's about being able to focus on just one idea out of all the ones that bubble up in the brain every day. If I could do justice to even a tenth of the ideas that headsmack me every day, I'd be a happy artbug.

That said, my husband is the one who most often fires me up to get stuff done. He's an artist too, and it just ticks me off to see him sitting there all smug and working while I'm not getting anything done. That, and his ability to give really good criticism, make him indispensable to my ever actually getting a piece done.

What inspires you?

Pretty much everything! Hence the focusing problem. The hard part isn't getting ideas, it spotting the good ones. And, somewhat painfully, spotting the ones I can serve well. So often I get ideas for large sculptural pieces, or hyperreal illusion paintings, which I cannot create. So when my mental inspiration file is overfull and unsorted, I like to put on an album I know really well, drink three cups of coffee, and clean the toilet and bake cookies and scrub the oven. I get my best clarity doing stuff I really hate and would rather not have to do ever.

This is why I got so much art practice in during high school math lectures. Sorry, notebooks of the past!

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Watercolor, pencil, and my dear sweet precious Cintiq tablet, of which I am not worthy.

Do you have any particular favorite pieces that you've created?

No, not really. I like to have fun making a piece, and there are a few pieces I hated doing, start to finish. But when a piece is done, it's done, I'm bored with it, and I want to move on! This is a problem, by the way, because my Creator Attention Deficit sometimes kicks in when a piece isn't done yet. Thus I have many many pieces I will theoretically someday maybe perhaps finish later.

Where can we find you online?

My shop

and my blog

are really my only venues. Though you can always contact me from either one! I love personal correspondence to an unhealthy degree, and even if it takes a while, I will write back if you ask!


  1. In love with the medieval rose maiden piece :D
    I'm so impressed, and jealous, of how Carapace describes what she does, and doesn't do. She's so honest, and funny, and *real*.
    xo to Her.

  2. Wow, thank you! You make my shop photos look so good.
    And it was a fun interview, too!:D

  3. What lovely art. Thank you for sharing Carapace with us!