Artist Interview - Jane LaFazio
Holiday season is upon us & that means that greeting card season is too. Keep reading for our interview with artist Jane LaFazio to hear what she had to say:
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Jane LaFazio and I’m a mixed media artist, working in watercolor, collage, and textiles.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Watercolor, pen, and pencil.
How and when did you get into art?
I have a degree in Graphic Design, but I never thought of myself as an artist until the early 1990s. I took a community education course in drawing and realized that if I just sat still, looked closely at what I was drawing, and drew what I saw, not what I thought I saw that I was a pretty good artist. An actual artist!
How has your practice changed over time?
It ebbs and flows. I started painting large, frameable watercolors, and then worked with fabric, making art quilts, and now, for the past few years, I’m totally immersed in working in my mixed media sketchbook, combining collage and ink and watercolor.
What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve created? Why?
That’s impossible to say. I’ve had many favorites over the years…Hopefully, it’s the last piece of art I created.
What’s the best piece of art advice you’ve been given?
“Make what you love! Don’t try to please others with your art.”
What are your favorite mediums to work with when creating greeting cards? Why?
Ink and watercolor. The art reproduces really well, so I can make multiple copies. I also enjoyed collage on cards, with fabric, paper, and stitching it on my sewing machine.
What are your top greeting card tips?
If you are going to mail them, make sure they are not too thick or too fragile.
What’s one art tip/technique you can share with us that you find really helpful?
I think that drawing realistically with just a pencil is underrated. Not only is it fun, and relaxing, you can build your skills of observation by limiting yourself to shades of gray only. It helps you really look at the darks and lights in the object you are drawing, and that’s what gives drawings dimension. Oh, and I always draw from real life, not photos! I think it makes a huge difference in how you portray the object and it’s a fully original creation.
Do you have any secret tips or techniques you use to salvage a piece when you make a mistake?
Collage is your friend! You can always cover up something you don’t like with some paper or fabric and create a collage. And, cut it up. Usually, things look great when you’ve cut them into pieces.
What is your favorite Strathmore paper? Why?
Surprisingly, I really love the 400 Series Textured Artist Trading Cards. I use them for small watercolor paintings that I insert in my handmade art journals. Also, 500 Series Imperial Watercolor hot press, since I always use hot press watercolor paper for my art journals.
What art materials could you not live without?
Pencil, pen, watercolors, needle, and embroidery thread.
What types of colors are you drawn to for your art and why?
Red is my favorite color to wear, and I love painting pomegranates! In my artwork, I love shades of green…. And the combo of pink and orange.
Who are your biggest influences (or who were when you started doing art)?
I took a lot of workshops, and I loved magazines like Cloth Paper Scissors (no longer published) and Quilting Arts magazine.
What’s the most common art-related question you get from your followers?
They often wonder how I can create nearly every day. I tell them it’s because it makes me happy and keeps me relatively sane in these crazy times!
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