Janet H. Bludau a.k.a. Janet Marie Heese and Janet Hodges is an artist whose preferred medium is oil painting.
1. What age would you say you first began creating art?
As early as I can remember I looked at the world through an artist's eyes. I paid attention to color combinations and patterns as a young child.
I had a definite opinion on the wallpaper for my bedroom. I arranged and re-arranged furniture in my home, thinking about the balance of scale and the juxtaposition of colors.
My very favorite gifts were new boxes of crayons, colored pencils and paints. I remember making big tissue paper floral bouquets and selling them to the neighbors. My aunt taught me how to do paper mache and I then spent a summer making bowls and selling them.
2. Did you create for the fun of it, because you simply couldn't not create art or some other reason?
It was just how I wanted to spend my time when I was little. If you gave me the choice of creating or playing kick ball, well, you know the answer!
3. What age would you say you first began defining yourself as an artist?
Now that's a tough one. People have always described me as artistic but calling yourself an artist means to me that you consider it your full time endeavor - what "you do." That was about 10 years ago I suppose, yet it was a process.
4. What are your opinions about being paid for art? Do you consider yourself a professional artist?
Yes and Yes! Anything you end up doing even close to full time becomes a job eventually. If you have deadlines or have client's requests to consider, it is a job. You may love your job overall but it does become a job like any other career. I have no hesitation saying that artists should be paid if I am understanding the question. We pay for all kinds of possessions and aesthetics for our homes and bodies. "Of Course" is my answer!
Yes, I do consider myself a professional artist. Typically when an artist is entering a show and they are asked "professional vs. amateur," professional means you have sold your work and/or have shown in a formal show. I have done both for some years now.
5. Have you had formal training? If so, how do you feel it has helped you as an artist? How do you feel it has hindered you?
That depends on the definition of "formal." I do not have a degree in art. I have a Business degree. My "formal art training" includes classes through the UC Berkeley Extension Art Program and the College of Marin Art and Design Program. I have taken numerous classes and workshops with highly skilled and successful artists. For several years I owned an Interior Design / Furnishings business. This experience helps me to see art in a practical way if you will, in addition to an artistic way. In other words, I enjoy visiting a client's home and viewing the space they are hoping to fill. I like making suggestions that help them match my art with their interior.
6. If you could create art with a different medium than the one you are most well known for, what would it be?
I have experimented just a bit with mixed media, using specialty papers and thick gessos and combining them with paint. I have liked the results. This would probably be what I would incorporate into my work if I decided to switch it up a bit. There are only so many hours in a day however. So many artistic avenues hold appeal for me, but I really do want to focus and stay on the track I am on for now!
7. What inspires you? Do you have a "something" you do that when you do it ideas for new projects just seem to flow? Do you ever record your ideas for future use? If so, what is your favorite way?
So many things! I find inspiration by going to art shows and galleries and museums. I am inspired when I have lunch with my fellow artist friends and discuss art.
When I am in my studio and not sure what to work on next I do one of the following:
- I have a huge file of torn out magazine pages of everything from photos of paintings to paint chips to scenic shots of beautiful color. That is usually all I need. I see a color palette I love and I'm off and running.........
- Another thing I do is go to books. My home and studio are FULL of them. Art books, design books, gardening, graphic design and travel books. A photo of a beautiful beach on Maui may shout out at me, "paint the ocean!"
- I keep art notebooks on everything from addresses for my mailings to notes from workshops to my section titled "IDEAS."
- Last but certainly not least is my Art To Do List: I almost always have a list of clients and what they are looking for. It may be a commission that I already have secured and I know exactly what I am supposed to paint, or someone who wants me to call them if I do anymore paintings that are large and floral.
I am never at a loss for long. I feel as though I need to be given 3 lives to use up all of my ideas...
8. What's your favorite curse word?
I just can't share it here! However, let me say that I have been known to have a potty mouth. I have a love/hate relationship with "bad" words. They release pent up frustration in the best way! However, at the same time, I am trying to curb my mouth around others - it just doesn't create a very good impression!
9. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Two come to mind. A writer: I have a list (I love lists) of things I would like to write about. One of them is a mysterious financial scandal I was part of years ago where a group of us were swindled out of money. Another would be short stories about my neighborhood. Also, there would be the funny dating tales in my past.
The second profession would be a dating service. I love giving relationship and dating advise to others!
See, it's all about the creative!
10. What's next for you? What else is possible?
Next is more art production and larger pieces. I would love to have a bigger studio space where I can really spread out and work on several big canvases at once. My dream would be to find a gallery that lights my art career on fire! They would hold sell out shows for me and have a list of clients ready to see any newly created works. That is my fantasy!
Anything else to share? Wow, what else........ How about this: I have an incredibly encouraging and supportive base of family and friends that work on propelling me to become more and more successful at what I choose to do. What would be better than that?
If someone would be interested in seeing, buying art you already have created and/or commissioning you for an art project, what would be your preferred way, currently, to have them contact you?
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