Friday, December 10, 2010

Street Art and Works on Paper: Interview with Sara Barnes

About the artist: Sara Barnes maintains the blog Brown Paper Bag about works on paper and much more that fosters creativity.

What inspired you to do your blog Brown Paper Bag?

I had been reading art blogs like Booooooom!, My Love For You is a Stampede of Horses, and Design for Mankind for a while and was inspired by the connection that these bloggers were making with artists and readers.  I enjoy writing, creating websites, and looking at art, so blogging seemed like the perfect outlet for me to express myself.  In school, I majored in illustration and always loved paintings and drawings, which is why my emphasis on works on paper. 
Why do you enjoy Street Art? Could you name your favorite Street Artists and why?

I grew up in suburban sprawl and was not exposed to street art until I moved to Baltimore, Maryland to attend college.  I love how street art is a response to the environment, often working with abandoned buildings or areas to create a dialogue between the city's inhabitants and the landscape.   I like Gaia, who does a lot of work around Baltimore - the style of the work is beautiful and to the average viewer, makes street art seem less about graffiti and destruction and something more beautiful.  I also really love the work of Zosen, a street artist whose bright colors and large scale murals really catch my eye.
If you could give young artists some advice, what would it be?
As cliche as it is, i think it is important to work hard and be self-aware.  Figure out what makes you happy in your work and do that.  Eventually you will find a way to make your passion work for you.  Also, don't be afraid to play and make mistakes!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interview with animation student Betsy Bauer

About Betsy Bauer: Betsy is an animation student at Ringling College of Art and Design. She was a Visual Development Intern at Sony Pictures animation. She also freelances for the Disney's publishing division here and there.

Why did you pursue a career as an artist?

Unlike a lot of people pursuing careers in animation, I have a very specific moment when I knew that this was what I wanted to do.  When I was four or five years old, I remember laying on the floor of the basement in my family's house watching the Disney Channel special "The Making of the Lion King."  At the very end of the show, the announcer said something along the lines of, "Maybe one day a little boy or girl watching this TV special will grow up to be one of the next great Disney artists."  I felt like he was talking to me specificially!  Until that point, I hadn't really made the connection that people actually grow up to do this for a living.

Throughout elementary, middle, and high school I continued to take as many art classes as possible, always with my goal of working in the animation industry in sight.  My passion led me to the Ringling College of Art and Design, where I will graduate with my BFA in May.  While at Ringling, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Sony Pictures Animation.  It was a dream come true--especially since I was working with industry veterans who were, in fact, IN that early Disney channel "Making Of" special!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from a lot of places.  First, I'm inspired by my peers at school.  I think being in school just lends itself to being inspired--you just have to soak up as much as you can while you're there.  Also, if you haven't set up a Google Reader account, do it now!  There are so many talented people on the Blogosphere.  I'm also a hoarder when it comes to art books.  I own just about every single "Art-Of" book that is currently in print.  I'd like to get into purchasing photo reference books as well.  And, aside from all of that, I really enjoy reading and traveling.  It's so easy to get trapped in a bubble when you're an artist and I think it's important to constantly break from your comfort zone.

In one sentence, what advice would you give young artists if they want to pursue their dream?

Don't let the naysayers discourage you.  People working in those hard-to-get positions come from somewhere!  Who's to say it can't be you?

                                           Tigers by Betsy Bauer (

                                                       Hippo Love by Betsy Bauer (

                                                   Charlie and Zhuzhu by Betsy Bauer (


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