Inspired to Create- A Chat with Deb Weiers
We had a fabulous time during our very first Inspired To Create session with Deb Weiers on June 27th. Deb shared so much great information and we had some really good laughs. People attended from around the world and many were up way past their usual bedtimes. Special thanks to Judy Rough who provided our technical support and to all of you who were able to attend and contributed so many wonderful questions. I learned a lot!!
Deb Weiers is a mixed media artist working from her home in rural Alberta, Canada. She works mainly as an intuitive artist and has an odd and unique style. Deb creates wonky, distorted faces and creatures. She tries to connect with the viewer through emotion and her work often portrays either struggle or humor. She sells her work worldwide.
I’ve admired Deb’s work since I saw it in Art Journaling Magazine several years ago and we’ve met and continue to meet in many online classes. Somewhere along the journey, we were lucky enough to connect in person at a fabulous Sara Burch workshop in Castle Rock, Colorado in 2018 hosted by Jeanne Oliver. What a treat to create along side Deb, Sara and so many wonderful artists.
Follow-up Answers and Information
Some of Deb’s Favorite Supplies:
Nib Pen with Hunt Extra Fine Bowl Pointed Nib 512 or 514 for thicker lines
Some of Deb’s Favorite Online Instructors:
Please note: This is not an all-inclusive list and she hopes she didn’t leave anyone out. Deb encourages everyone to explore with a wide selection of the amazing instructors available to us online and in person.
Deb’s Journal Covers in Metal:
Deb has had a few questions about how she created these covers. Here are a few links you may want to check out. It looks like Joann Fabrics and Crafts and Amazon have the tools and metal sheets available.
Mad About Metal (Book)
Metal Embossing with Stencils (Youtube)
Additional Questions and Answers
1. What type of journals do you use?
Earlier on I used the Bee Paper Company Super Deluxe mixed media journal 9×9”, 93lb paper. Now I use the Strathmore 500 series Mixed Media Paper 11×15” journal, 90lb paper.
2. It is scary using inks – how do you correct mistakes? Or, do you embrace mistakes?
Both, you can correct mistakes by using white gesso overtop (you can do this with the colored inks in areas too, by blending back out again). You might have to use two layers of gesso, letting it dry in between layers. Often I will just embrace the mistakes because they add interest or character.
3. How do you find time to work the land, take care of your mom, being on social media, and then finding time to create?
I make creating a BIG priority in my life, so it trumps TV, town, hairdos, etc. I am fortunate enough to have developed good organizational skills and I can be pretty efficient in that regard. I kind of ‘skip the housework’, I think it is highly overrated, lol. I only do the basics in the house, I don’t worry about dust and the house might not get swept for a week (we have a total of 26 feet traveling in and out daily). Being on a farm, I am able to get away with this. My husband cuts my hair with a buzzer so no time wasted there (I don’t even have to comb it it is so short, haha). Also, I think having a ‘routine’ helps me to get everything accomplished. There are certain times of year of course where I have less time to create (once the gardens start coming in strong) and times of year when I have more time to create (winter).
4. At your kitchen table studio, how do you store the multiple pieces you are still working on?
I generally just pile them up unless they are wet, then I have to place them somewhere else until dry. The fortunate thing about mixed media is that a few extra ‘marks’ are a plus rather than a minus. And I don’t usually work larger than 15×22”.
5. Have you taken life drawing classes, with an emphasis on head studies?
When I did the 2 year visual arts program at our local college (2000) we had to do live figure drawing in one semester and I hated it, lol. I had absolutely no interest in drawing humans at all, not even the face. In 2016, after I discovered online classes I signed up for Lets Face It 2016 (www.karabullockart.com). It was a year long class and it got me absolutely hooked on drawing faces. Since then I have practiced through different online classes.
6. Can you give us some tips on how to find our style?
Pursue what you love and think about what you love and what you are passionate about. I am passionate about equality, helping others, animal welfare, the planet, and more. Find out what kind of mark making you like and what colors you like, what topics you like, what kind of pictures you like, things that you like visually. And put in the hours, the more hours you put in, the closer you will get to ‘your’ fingerprint. Ardith Goodwin’s classes helped me tremendously to find my own style and voice in my art.
7. How many times has your art evolved over the years?
Multiple times, and still evolving. I hope it will never stop evolving because I always want to grow and push the envelope in my work. My biggest fear is getting into a ‘comfort zone’ and staying there.
8. Have you traveled a lot? What places do you love?
Yes, in my earlier years I traveled a lot. I loved everything about Africa and a very unique trip into the interior jungles of Brazil. At this point in my life I love home the most and you pretty much have to drag me off the farm. I have no desire to travel at all, and that was even before the COVID-19.
9. Do you collect interesting images to use for collage and what are some of your sources?
I mostly use photocopies of my own work for collage. I learned that magazine images are not archival so I quit using them (because I sell my work). If I wasn’t selling my work I think National Geographic is a great source for images. I have made a few ‘pattern’ sheets that I use for collage all the time (white pen on black paper, one with dots, one with stripes). A lot of my earlier work can be torn up and used for collage. I also have some chunky lettering from a magazine (I think it was a David Bowie magazine) that I photocopy and use. I tear it up enough that it is not recognizable for copyright purposes.
10. The UHU glue doesn’t bubble when you add water soluble products on top?
No, I have not had that problem at all. I get a good layer of glue on the paper that I am glueing down. Then I wait until it is GOOD AND DRY before I put the clear gesso on top. After the clear gesso is dry I can use fluid mediums on top and it has not bubbled.
11. I saw a cable TV Network’s cover art that looked distinctly like your work. (Sorry I forget the network). Was it yours?
Yes, it is mine. It is DarkMatter TV and they contracted a bunch of my work to use for their promo material. I am pretty excited about that!
12. When and why the mouths in your latest work go over the face frame?
I can’t remember when that started but I believe it was after I did a ‘smeared lipstick’ mouth and I liked the look of it. After that I tried a mouth running off the side of the face and on it went from there. There was no underlying reason for it, just experimentation.
13. Any suggestions for where to purchase art supplies online?
I actually purchase all my art supplies at our local art supply store so I am pretty much in the dark about online art supplies.
14. Deb, any thoughts on helping me and my fear of sharing art live?
Yes, first I encourage you to be proud of your work right from the get go. You spent time at the table – that is a BIG thing!!! And don’t worry about what others might think. We are ALL on the same journey, we are just at different points along the way. I have found that the online art community is so supportive of everyone. I think you might be pleasantly surprised if you shared your art. Also, hang your art in your own home. I have done this since I moved out of home at 17 and I think it has helped me to value my own work. (I couldn’t afford to purchase art at that time and I have always disliked bare walls). I learn so much from everyone who shares online no matter where they are on the journey. I hope that helps.
Connect with Deb at these links and Take one of Her Classes
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