Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Close Up Interview with Coloured Pencil Artist Belinda Lindhardt

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am an artist and designer running my art and design studio – creative hardt  studio . Included in this is running the Australian Coloured Pencils Network www.colouredpencils.com.au.

I am a volunteer on the committee for the Central Coast Art Society as the Newsletter and Website Editor,  and I am also the mother of 2 young boys. I guess you could say I am rarely bored! J

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
Fundamentally underneath in all my areas of work I love helping /sharing myself with people in various capacities.  In design I love being able to come up with a design or technical solution (that can sometimes be incorporated with my artistic abilities ) and for them to walk away as a happy customer. As an artist I love seeing people’s responses to my art and  finding out what they take away from it, the joy or reminders it can bring people when they view it.  I love love love teaching people coloured pencil techniques in my workshops and sharing my coloured pencil knowledge with other like minded artists which why I started the ACPN. 

My volunteer work is really about giving back to the community and helping people out with all the experiences I have acquired to help them bring and develop art in my local area.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design/paint?
Usually it’s a theme or an emotion a “moment” that draws me in to want to capture that. With still life work, I notice colours or textures of subjects such as flowers or fruit, that don’t last very long or can easily be overlooked that I feel I want to try to capture in detail to highlight their beauty. My contemporary works are often about women and emotions that many of us go through in our lives  - I like to express that and find that can provide something that others can relate to.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Caring, honest, kind, “a woman of many hidden talents”  

 Swirl Pot

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My first job out of design college was a web designer for a large ISP back when we handed coded all of our html and the web was just taking off.  From there after many people wanting websites I started my own business and have continued as a web/graphic designer which had both design and technical skills  - (which wasn’t usually that easy to come by) . About 10 years ago when the internet boom died off I started to get back into art as well after discovering some wonderful coloured pencil artists overseas and have been hooked on and ever since.

Describe a typical day in your studio space?
I am most creative early in the morning so I will often be up at 4.30-5am to get a couple of hours in first thing.  Usually with some day pages and a bit of exercise. Then I stop for a bit of family time and to get the kids off to school etc. During the day I will often be doing client design work working or specific projects. I block off my hours into chunks and give priority to certain tasks, before stopping again mid-afternoon for school pickup. In the afternoons, my brain is usually abit jammed up so then I usually will be doing less brain intensive tasks such as filing or emails for the afternoons, and i generally try to stop about 4.30 till about 8 which is family time. 

Depending on the day I will either fall into bed not long after that or sometimes I can fit some painting in J. 

As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?
For me at the moment its basically time and energy. Due to all of my commitments I find it difficult to spend large periods of time artistically, so it’s all about short bursts (which is why i find colouredpencils so good ). It’s frustrating with so much on my plate I know I am in a bit of a transition period with young children for the present time and I am ok with that J I also have to be mindful constantly that I need to support  business my family so I often  trade my “art” time  for working on “design” or business projects so it is a bit of constantly juggling act.

Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
I have worked out that I am most creative in the mornings, so i try to sketch out ideas and concepts in the mornings this is when I am most fresh. In the afternoons I may do things like preparing materials painting canvases etc so I am all ready to go for the morning session. As well as all the admin and marketing tasks I need to do for art and the ACPN keep me very busy so I have weekly and daily review sessions with myself to work out what needs to be done that day.  

 Like a rose

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I connect online through the ACPN (which is one of the reasons I started it) as I specialise in coloured pencil artworks I couldn’t find any other local Australian CP artists so I find that a wonderful way to connect. I connect also through my volunteer work with the CCAS (artcentralcoast.asn.au) and attending local exhibitions and being involved when I can. I also have a few artists that i follow and connect with on facebook and in real life so this is also fantastic way to connect with people.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Spend time working out what your passion is and follow it. Don’t worry too much about the other stuff, that will come if you love what you do!

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I would love to hold one day a real life exhibition for Australian Coloured Pencil artists like they do in the UK & US.  I would love also to one day attend their exhibitions and travel again. 

What is your proudest moment so far?
Earlier this year I was asked to attend  a school where they had been studying my artwork in their classrooms as an “Australian Artist”.  I got to speak in front of the school and see all the artworks done by the children which was work that had been inspired by me.  I did two sessions with years 5 & 6 and talk about my art and process. Loved it!

Who do you most want to meet and why?
I would love to meet some of my coloured pencil art friends from the US such as cp artist Arlene Steinberg and Ann Kullberg, they have been such an inspiration to me.

 Luscious Pear

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
Trust my gut, if it doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t!

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I am currently reading  for the second time “You can heal your life” by Louise Haywood.

That is such an inspirational book!

For artists wanting to get into coloured pencils I would recommend Arlene Steinberg’s book:
“Masterful Color” http://www.arlenesteinberg.com/MasterfulColorPage.htm

 Tree Girl Orange

Where do we find you and your products?

I try to separate my business and my art information somewhat (tho sometimes they are blurred)

My art website is at: www.belindalindhardt.com.au

My design & illustration business is at: www.creativehardt.com.au

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