Friday, February 11, 2011

Illustrator Maria Bogade: "Daydreaming"

Maria Bogade is an animation artist and children's book illustrator from Ludwigsburg in Germany. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about being a daydreamer, getting sidetracked and her favorite artists.

What are your themes in your work?

The themes vary a bit, but I think it is always a story I am telling and mostly there are kids involved. Sometimes fairytale themes sneak into an image, depending on the project I am working on. I really like to play with backgrounds and characters that are in action in some way. Sometimes I end up finding myself playing far to long on an environment and dreaming myself into the scene, but in the end I hope that helps my illustrations.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Life is the biggest source when it comes to getting inspired. Sometimes it's a scene you get to observe on the street or family and friends. Daydreaming is another big inspirational source. I've been a daydreamer for as long as I can remember. I often dream through a story over and over before drawing it to get a feeling for the characters and what the scene, I set the characters in, will look like. 

Did you ever want to do something else besides art?

Not really. I've always wanted to do arts in one way or the other. I got sidetracked, when thinking I would never be good enough, but in the end I ended up were I am now and I have to say, it is good. I struggle like every other artist with my art, never being satisfied, but that is the motor that keeps us going and growing.

Is it hard being an artist today?

I am not sure whether it really is hard. Of course there are a lot of talented people out there, but that is something I truely treasure as this can also be inspiring. I think if you work hard and have a style that serves the market you want to work in, you can make a living from it. Also the internet with all it's platforms to sell and promote your art is something that surely can help. I do see a lot of artists selling their artwork online and it seems to be working pretty fine for them. So maybe being an artist is just as hard or easy as it ever has been. 

Do you have favorite artists?

Yes I do, but I am so bad with names. I really like Shaun Tan's art and Oliver Jeffers'. But their are also artits like Christopher Denise, Alina Chau, Manu Arenas and many many more that inspire me and make me feel like I have a long way to go yet. And there are the old masters, that leave me with awe. John William Waterhouse, William Turner and Carl Spitzweg are three of my very favourite and I admire their gift, especially the way they dealt with light in their paintings. 

What are your current projects about?

One project though is an ongoing side project I do with Australian writer and poet Jennifer Poulter, a wonderfully talented person. Like most of my projects it is a picture book we are working on, that will be finished soon. The poem Jennifer wrote tells about life and leaves me with an enormous amount of freedom, when it comes to illustrating it and telling a story alongside the poem visually. I really enjoy it, as the story I get to tell in the illustrations is a little different to the one being told in the poem but they accomplish each other.

Sandra McArthur: "Natural elements"

 Sandra McArthur: Sea Song,

Sandra McArthur is a painter from Australia. She has always been drawing, but it wasn't until college, when Sandra was training to be a school teacher, that she finally knew how much experimenting and creating meant to her.  

What inspires you to your work?

I love walking on the beach at all different times of the day. I am inspired by the natural elements, the sea, sky and the wind.
 What is it like being an artist in Australia?
 There are many things to inspire you to paint in Australia, especially our beautiful beaches, climate and many opportunities to study art.
 You work together with young talents. What do you learn from them or what can you show them?

I teach children and adults of all ages. I am particularly interested in helping teenagers find their way in expressing themselves through art. We experiment with many mediums and styles.
 When are you most creative?

I love working to music, all sorts from country, rock to meditative style and find I need to set aside a good 4 hours, this is the time I need to complete a painting. 

Sandra McArthur, Restless

Sandra McArthur

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Whispering Tree: "A single chord"

Eleanor Kleiner and French bassist Elie Brangbour have a shared passion for music and travel. With their band "The Whispering Tree" both have fulfilled a dream: they are able to bring their unique and magical folk/rock music to many continents. When they are currently not travelling, Eleanor and Elie live in New York. With tradeyourtalent Eleanor and Elie speak about listening to great music and pursuing their dreams. 

What inspires you to your songs?

Eleanor:  I think just day to day things and general thoughts and feelings kind of collect over time and then eventually something will surface and take shape.  
Elie:  To me music always comes first, it could be just a simple chord inspiring the whole progression or an idea, a concept that somehow translates itself musically... Usually listening to great music is always a good source of inspiration for me.

Has it been difficult getting to where you are now?

Eleanor:  I wouldn't call it difficult.  It would be WAY more difficult for me to be an accountant or lawyer or something normal like that, I love being a musician, having this dream and pursuing it.  I love that I didn't follow a conventional path.  It only becomes challenging when you start to look elsewhere for approval or when you focus on what you don't have as opposed to what you do.  
Elie:  Difficult? I don't know... convoluted would probably be closer to it! I got lost doing a lot of things I didn't like doing at different points in my life and I feel like I'm finally on the right path.

When do you know, you've just finished a great song?

Eleanor:  I know it's good when I want to play it all the time, it doesn't even have to be finished...I have this tiny little snippet of a song that I've been playing on a loop for a year now. 
Elie:  A few days later when I play it again and it still sounds awesome!

If you could give advice to young artists with just a couple of lyrics, what would you sing to them? 

Eleanor:  Off the top of my head I'd say "Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be," but I guess that's not specifically for artists.  
Elie:  Can i give you a chord progression instead??? :) E7  A7sus4  B7sus4  E7

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Singer/Songwriter Yestyn Griffiths - Glass Pear "Live and die by the heart / it may not have eyes like your head/ But it knows by feeling / which way to go / Every time"

Desire, love and lost feelings - the songs by singer/songwriter Yestyn Griffiths from Glass Pear are a combination of a hearbreaking voice and beautiful lyrics. I have been listening to his songs all week and I really can't stop... (Listen for yourself: ).

"Say it once" and "Where is my home" are my personal favorites. Yestyn was born in Wales and he is the brother of recording artist Jem. His songs have been featured in episodes of 90210, Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill. We will definitely hear lots more from this artist! With tradeyourtalent he speaks about the recklessness of passionate love and knowing when a song is really done.

What inspires you to your songs?

Inspiration is a mystery isn't it? I said in a recent interview that meditation inspires me. That's true. There's definitely a well of creativity that surges up when I'm deeply relaxed. But I also am inspired by witnessing all the wonderful things about life - the uncontrollable energy of children, the dignity and wisdom of old people, the recklessness of passionate love, the buzzing energy of a city, the quiet of nature...

Has it been difficult getting to where you are now?

Yes, I'd say it has been a creative ordeal! But it hasn't all been difficult. Like life, its been both joyous and challenging.

When do you know, you've just finished a great song?

Well, I don't know if I've ever written a truly great song, maybe its an illusive dream that keeps me passionate about writing. When I write a song that I love I often have a surge of emotion about it. As in the poem below, my heart knows when a song is done.

If you could give advice to young artists with just a couple of lyrics, what would you sing to them? 

Live and die by the heart
It may not have eyes like your head
But it knows by feeling
Which way to go
Every time.

Glass Pear - My Ghost


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