Monday, June 14, 2010

June Member Interview: Sharon DiGiulio

Sharon DiGiulio

1. What inspires you to create?

I think I wake up inspired! Actually a lot of times I wake up in the middle of the night and have to write things down in my journal, just so I can get back to sleep. I am inspired by my dreams, nature, my past experiences and mostly other people and their zest for life. I’m very attracted to life lovers.
2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I think art pursued me! I was always exposed to crafty things as a kid: fabric, making candles, weaving, macramé, knitting, etc. I took arts and crafts during the summers, and then taught at the same facility when I was in high school. My original degree pursuit was business, but after my first semester I switched to a Fine Art Major. I took all kinds of drawing, fiber, design and printmaking classes and was really having a great time. As a junior, I realized that I was going to be supporting myself in one year and I still really did not have a direction. I started taking classes in the Industrial Education department in design layout, screen-printing and offset printing. I figured I could always get a job at a newspaper or printing company. That was a real job, right? I certainly did not want to be a "starving artist".

3. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Wow, that’s a tough one…Hmmm. I’m stumped. How about a talk show host? I love to talk! That might be sort of fun!

4. What other jobs have you had that aided you on your artistic path?
Well, let’s see: I worked on the assembly line at Chrysler engine plant three summers to pay for college, was a graphic designer for a full service offset printing company, worked in package design for a cosmetic company, was the art director for a screen-printing company, sales for a printed circuit board and screen-printing supplies company. I learned all the ins and outs of meeting deadlines and customer needs, jumping through flaming hoops of fire and making sure that the promises I made were kept. To me, teamwork has always been my way of accomplishing anything. I found Jerry’s Artarama in 2000. I’ve worked here the longest out of everywhere…10 years. It feels like home. I’m able to use all my skills. I am allowed to run my part of the business as if it was my own and I love that. It gives me a freedom that I’ve never had in the past. I get to meet all kinds of interesting and talented people and it just makes it easy for me to pursue my art career at the same time. I am constantly surrounded by excellent talent and inspiring energy.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
The acrylic aisle is my favorite. That’s where I meet most of my new friends! I like stocking the shelves, reading labels and finding out about new products on the market. Other places I love to shop are the fabric stores, flea market and thrift stores. I also love to recycle and reuse items both in my real world and my art world. I am a collector of "stuff" in general. The challenge is to keep everything orderly. I'm still working on that...

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
At this point, I’ve dabbled into most areas that I enjoy and then some. I think I'm actually trying to consolidate my interests. I just want to experience, play, enjoy and work experimentally. I like to discover new techniques and surprise myself. That is really my joy in creating. It's all about discovering at my own pace and my own time. Documenting the path, the trials and errors, sharing what I love with others. I'm not really a competitor, but more a simple professional artist, wife, mom, business woman, friend and life lover that loves what art brings to my table. My hope is that I can share my passion freely with other like minded souls. Collage, sewing, acrylic painting, photography and encaustic painting are my current art addictions and not necessarily in that order...

Sharon is represented by Artsource Fine Art Consultants and Gallery, Nicole's Studio and Art Gallery both of Raleigh, NC and The Seam Shoppe of Key West, FL. Her work is in shops in Nantucket, Carolina Beach and Key West. DiGiulio is the event coordinator for Jerry's Artarama and Art of the Carolinas. She offers art demonstrations in high schools, universities, retirement communities and at Jerry's Artarama. She also offers free art lessons on line, teaches workshops in the area and has two DVD's available. Sharon and her husband Joe, also an artist, recently built a studio at their home in Raleigh where you'll find them creating a good part of the time.