Oh how I love Twitter. You meet so many interesting, talented, wise and witty people. A short while ago @canvascloset replied to one of my tweets and I soon realized she was the same local artist whose work I have admired from her email updates. Before I knew it I was emailing the artist, Andrea Stajan-Ferkul to ask permission to blog about her.
Andrea is an artist/illustrator who began her post secondary studies in Fashion Design, but graduated from the Interpretive Illustration program at Sheridan College School of Art and Design. She studied painting under the renowned Canadian artist, Helen Lucas.
She invited me to her gorgeous, recently renovated home where she has her studio to chat about her work.
Although all of her paintings are quite lovely her “dresses” are some of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen. She embellishes her paintings with fabric pieces such as lace and velvet. They are even more beautiful in person than they are on your screen and are 30” x 60”.
This painting entitled “Cocktails in Emerald City” recently sold and will hang in a formal living room (where cocktails are served!)
Who inspires you?
The impressionist painters are a great influence, as are the more graphic, contemporary painters like Mark Rothko and Jasper Johns. I am also heavily influenced by the high fashion illustrators of the 50's and 60's.
Describe a typical day in the life of an artist?
Coffee. My day always begins with a coffee. I'm lucky because my morning commute isn't too bad. It's about a minute walk down the stairs to my home studio. I spend about an hour each morning responding to e-mails, tending to administrative tasks and sorting through a huge pile of fan mail (just kidding). After the business end of things are taken care of, the creative work begins. I usually work on one painting at a time but the wheels are always in motion in planning out the next one. This gives me the option of going back and forth between a work in progress and one in it’s preliminary stages; ie. sketches, sourcing out reference material and canvas prepping. For the most part I work normal work hours but at times find myself working late into the night.
What advice do you have for young artists starting out?
First and foremost, be true to yourself. Secondly, it is important to learn the business end of things; creating the artwork is only half the job. Network.
How has Social Media helped your business?
I haven't experienced the full benefits of social media as yet, but twitter has connected me to many creative and like-minded people. It has introduced me to the world of blogging where I find a tremendous amount of information, inspiration and wit. I play with the idea of creating my own blog, but it seems like I can never cross an item off my to do list without adding one more.
Any interesting collaborations in the works?
I'm currently focused on painting works that will be unveiled at Barrymore Furniture Galleries this upcoming Fall. They have invited me to participate in and help organize a collaborative 'art and home interiors' event, where my work will be featured (along with a few other artists.)
Thank you Andrea for giving us a peek into your studio and your inspiration. It was wonderful to meet you. (Andrea didn’t want to have her photo taken but I read somewhere that sometimes people buy the artist, rather than the painting – so I convinced her to!)
If you are looking for original art for yourself or a client, please contact Andrea directly. If she doesn’t have the perfect piece for you, she can create it.
Andrea has kindly offered a set of 4 'GOING RETRO' prints of vintage dresses (unframed and printed by Canadian Art Prints/ Vancouver) for a giveaway.
The image sizes are 7"x14" but including white border, they're 11 3/4"x 15 3/4".
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I will choose a winner using random.org on June 30th. Good luck!