I was honored to be nominated for a Liebster Award by Sarah of Drawing Sarah. I "met" Sarah via the MATS community, and she's a wonderful artist. To participate in the Leibster Award, I was required to tell 11 random facts about myself, answer Sarah's 11 questions, and nominate 11 other new blogs (less than 200 followers like mine!) to do the same and ask THEM 11 questions. It's a fun way to discover and share other blogs with our readers. There are a group of MATS artists who agreed to participate. Check out their blogs, people! You'll be inspired!
Here they are:
11 Random Facts About Me
1. I'm allergic to cats, but I LOVE drawing them, and always try to sneak them into book illustrations.
2. I love to invent recipes and have been known to enter recipe contests.
3. I don't have any tattoos -- maybe it's a generational thing? lol
4. My favorite appliance is my Vitamix.
5. I have been in several (some major) earthquakes in California, Japan, and most recently in New York!
6. When I was three I toppled a percolating coffee maker onto myself which resulted in many 3rd degree burns. My mom who was a nurse for 30 years, immediately immersed me in ice water and wrapped my wounds before taking me to the hospital. As a result, I only have a teeny scar on my right arm now which shrinks every year.
7. Ever since almost drowning in the ocean in Mexico over 20 years ago, I won't go in the water unless I can touch the bottom.
8. My height is less than 5 feet.
9. My favorite paint color is Cadmium Red.
10. I make lists every day.
11. I find it hard to live without peanut butter.
Sarah's Questions for Me
1. When did you first know you had a talent for art?
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, so I always knew I loved it. It just made me happy so I made art constantly. As for talent? I guess I felt like i had something going when other kids would ask me to draw things for them. :)
2. What is your favorite medium?
Lately, I've been enjoying ink and watercolor and acrylic. I go through phases.
3. Do you ever fear the blank page?
I've come up with some work arounds to this, so now, no! One is to work really tiny. I make book dummies that are about 2 inches across when I first start a book project. Another way is to doodle upon awakening. I get some of my best ideas that way. I'm half awake, so there is no censuring or critique from my left brain.
4. What is a goal for 2015?
To become a better artist, to make pieces I enjoy making, to open an online store to sell prints of my work.
5. What is the most challenging thing about the art you make?
To appreciate it. I always find flaws in everything. I need to remember that so much is about the process. They can't all be gems. Failure is a must.
6. Describe a typical day. Do you keep a schedule?
It depends on what work assignments I have. If I am sketching, I like to do that in cafes, so I go in the morning. In the afternoon, I paint and work on the computer. If I am doing finishes, I am usually glued to my computer for most of the day. I try and work out in the early morning before my husband and son wake up.
7. What inspires you most?
Seeing great art either in person, online, in books, on film. Walking around my neighborhood (Brooklyn) and looking at the landscape and the people.
8. Coffee or tea? What is your favorite drink?
I love coffee, but it doesn't love me, so I have to limit it. I've been making genmai (brown rice green tea) cha every day with slivers of ginger and pickled plum dropped in the tea pot.
9. What is the best art advice/tip you've ever received?
A quote attributed to Oscar Wilde: Be yourself - everyone else is taken.
10. Are you a self-taught artist or did you go to art school? Where? For self-taught, did you read books, take online classes, etc.?
I think I'm both. I did go to art school. I got a BFA in Illustration at Art Center College of Design. But I have learned so much after that, just on my own. I love taking online classes -- skillshare.com is one of my favorites. I've learned digital things on Lynda Weinman's site (she was my first digital instructor at Art Center too) http://www.lynda.com/And I've learned so much from Lilla Roger's MATS courses.
11. What is your favorite social media? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Any others?
I love Facebook because of the MATS community there. Also it's great for keeping up with friends and family. And I love Instagram, because it's so visual. I post there every day as part of my daily sketch routine. You can view these at: https://instagram.com/melissaiwai1/
11 Questions for my Nominees
I'm going to have to steal some from Sarah, because I thought they were really great!
1. What are your art goals for 2015?
2. What medium do you use?
3. What is your process of late for creating a piece of art from concept to finish?
4. How did you come to be an artist? Did you do other things before this? How did you know you wanted to become one?
5. Have you traveled much? What is your favorite city, town, or place and why?
6. What do you do when you get frustrated with your work?
7. How do you manage your time -- that is, how do you carve out time in your life to do your art?
8. What is something you are grateful for?
9. What is an inspiring quote that you'd like the share?
10. What is the best art tip/advice you've been given?
11. What would you tell a child who says they want to become an artist when they grow up?
Well, I think that's about it!
I'm looking forward to reading my nominees' answers!
Thanks for you all reading here. :) Until next time...