Monday, April 24, 2017

Featured Member Interview: Shannon Binkowski

CMMAG President Shannon Binkowski shared the following in her interview: 

"Harvest Nights" 
1.  What inspires you to create?

I love watching bits come together to make something different, especially when that something different is also wonderful. I love taking beads and wire and turning them into a necklace. I love taking paint and paper and turning it into something that is pleasing and pretty, or turning an eraser into a stamp, or any number of things that become...transformative.

2.  When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?

Art has definitely pursued me. My family did a lot of making when I was  younger and I wasn't interested in a lot of it til much later, but it's always been there. My mom and grandparents would have loved to teach me to follow their arts, from the fancier stuff all the way down to basic cooking and sewing, and I was just not engaged with it. So much so that when I started to move toward art later I don't even see the way they saw. On the one hand I love getting to learn and discover new things, but on the other I would love to go back and learn the lessons they would have loved to teach me.

"Safe as Houses" 
3.  When did you begin to call yourself an artist?

Definitely not til after I joined CMMAG, and honestly I still have a bit of trouble with it sometimes. Growing up I knew people with very definite ideas about what does and does not count as Art, and somewhere in my brain 'artist' is still connected with fancy fine art pieces and everything else is filed under 'craft'. The rest of the great people at CMMAG have been really supportive in helping (or sometimes making) me stand up and claim it, though.

4.  If you weren't an artist, what would you be?

At this point in my life? So many things. Many of them would probably include writing somehow, as that was my first love and creative outlet. There is so much I'm interested in, and so many fascinating things to pursue. But now I definitely add 'artist' to the list of things I am, no matter what else I follow or do.

5.  What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?

Working retail (especially at the health food stores) has helped me learn to focus on details and how to work around limitations. Working with the Astronomy department changed the way I see things, and the way I look for solutions; it also helped teach me how to combine information to make bigger leaps forward.

I think any job you have, even the soul-crushing ones that we've all had and hated, aid us on our artistic paths because they help shape who we are. They are part of why I am who I am and why I see the way I see, and my art wouldn't be the same without them.

6.  At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?

If there's not a specific mission I'm on? Clearance. That's where I've discovered some of the most interesting tools and toys, and where I'm most likely to run into something I never knew existed. Other than that, I love the sparkle of the bead section and the wonderful bits and bobs and stamps and punches in the paper craft section.

"Butterful Music" 
7.  What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so? 

Part of me, a big part, wants to learn all of the things. All of them. Not even necessarily because I think I would be a great potter or painter or paper maker or other things that probably don't start with P, but just for the experience, and because there are almost no art forms or techniques that can't be transferred to other media in some way. Realistically, I am aware that my wallet and studio space are neither one infinite, and so I have to tell myself sternly that I cannot start a new art form.

8.  If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?

This answer may well change later, because answers like this often do, but right now? I think I'd love to have a little art café, where people who didn't have experience, or space, or materials could come and make art, and where local artists and crafters could have some storefront space.

Sounds idyllic, Shannon!  Thanks for the interview.  


Jeanne Rhea said...

Enjoyed your interview, Shannon. So happy to know you and love your enthusiasm for all things Artsy. Your willingness to share what you know and your work as guild president has given all of us so much. Thank you.

Penny L Arrowood said...

BRAVA! I always love seeing what you are up to, and loved hearing more about your creative interests and pursuits. See you in the Clearance Section ;)
- p

Sharon DiGiulio said...

Great interview Shannon! Welcome to the "Dark Side" as I call it, but really it is the "Bright Side"...Happy creating with such enthusiasm! - Sharon