Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Featured Member Interview: Shannon H. Binkowski

peace and love
What inspires you to create? Lots of things, really. I love colors and possibilities; I love words and textures (both physical and visual). I love growing things, especially dandelions (this does not endear me to my neighbors), and the wild abandon of trees. I love things that are funky and retro, particularly if they have nice bright colors involved.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you? I've been doing bead jewelry for years, mostly teaching myself as I would find new things to play with. I always tended to think of myself as more of a crafter than an artist; not building from scratch, but assemblage with a decent eye. My family was very crafty, so there were a lot of things I tried growing up (tie-dye, marbling, some crochet, the beading, etc.) that let me indulge a love of color without trying to do anything like *painting*, for which I had decided early I clearly had no eye and so had given up on. My friend Linda has been helping me find my way back to visual, rather than wearable, art.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
"draggin flies"
Still not sure how comfortable I am calling myself an artist, but I don't suppose it matters, really.
Creation and craft has been one of the constants of my life--I've never been a professional, just a hobbyist, but I've always had a connection to creating no matter what else I was doing. School, teaching, and retail have all had that creation running right alongside.

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path? I taught the evening lab sections for college Astronomy classes for several years, and I loved it--the brilliances and depths and vast distances grab me. I've also spent a huge amount of time working in little Hippie health food stores, and those tend to be some customers who seriously love their colors. Being around that atmosphere of energy and creation is a lot of fun.

At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Ooooh, depends what I'm working on--used to be I'd head straight for the bead section, but I've tried to keep a general moratorium on things I'm not actively working on, and moving into flat arts is extremely absorbing. Right now I tend to head for the paper and paint aisles, because I'm trying to learn more about those.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so? I would like to learn... well, probably all of them, actually. I would like to learn all the things, However, out of deference to my husband, the space in my house, and the status of my bank account, I'm trying very hard not to acquire too many new media. (It's not actually working.)

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Honestly, I'm not sure; there are a bunch of things.  I'd love to make a living on my art, and on the other hand, I'd love to get a Hippie health food co-op set up in the South Raleigh or Garner area.  Ultimately, however, I don't focus on just one thing very well, and while it means that my art and life can be broad, I do a lifelong dance with the whole 'Jack of trades, master of none' thing.
Thanks for the interview, Shannon...we look forward to seeing what your next foray into the artistic unknown will bring!