5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Robyn Wells

Craft & Design

Robyn Wells of robayre is a crafter and graphic designer with a unique aesthetic and fun sensibilities. Robyn is a self-described inspiration junkie, and she finds inspiration in the simple things. Yet her work is anything but.
One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of
1. I am proud of my Artomat contributions. If you are unfamiliar with Artomat, it is an organization run by Clark Whittington, where he converts old cigarette vending machines into art vending machines. Contributing artists (AIC or Artists In Cellophane) create original works that are small enough to fit through the machines and then sold in tons of machines world wide. I have created two sets of 50 original miniature paintings. The second series started as 50 original collages and then I built 50 miniature canvases and recreated the collages as original paintings. I also made this video when I released my second set. It’s been a while since my last contribution and I’m so ready to do it again. I’ve started cutting the wood to build my frames. I also have multiple concepts for other artomat series’ as well and would love to finally send in prototypes for them.
Two Mistakes You’ve Made in the Past
1. This is really hard for me. I rely so heavily on my natural instincts when it comes to my art making. It is so rare that I scrap a piece. Take a long break, yes, but throw it away, no. A bad piece is just a piece under construction, or a learning experience and it doesn’t drag me down . I may look at pieces from my past and cringe, but they were part of the development that got me to where I am now. I guess one mistake would be not trusting in my own instincts when I was younger. I think that was a product of Art school, sadly. It was like you have “it” or you don’t. There was no education on how to develop and find your own style and confidence in your own vision. Thanks to art teachers at the community college level first, I knew there was always room for development, and talent isn’t something you are born with. But with the competition and cliques at University (even among the teachers and students) it was really hard to ask for guidance and find a niche that fostered comfort and creativity.
2. A second mistake I’ve made maybe, was not sharing my artwork and online presence (website, blog, etsy shop, etc.) with my coworkers when I started working at my current job 7 years ago. At the time I was fresh out of school, not confident in it and was afraid that it would be awkward. Instead I feel like it is an area that I have to tiptoe around, so it’s awkward anyway. I’ve long suspected they may know, but I’m not going to be the one to bring it up. It’s made it kind of uncomfortable for me when I do, or would like to do, certain things, such as my art show. Instead of promoting it and calling the local newspapers, sending out postcards, etc., I tried to keep it hidden and was terrified that someone might find out about it. Isn’t that funny? I think I present myself professionally enough online, so it’s not that I’m afraid of being fired over content of my blog. I think it was more of a fear that they might judge me, or ask me about my art and I wasn’t confident enough to represent myself. I started this paragraph off saying “maybe” it was a mistake, because as I said in the paragraph above this, it was the right thing for me at the time, and I wouldn’t change it. I have grown so much in the last decade and if I were to start a new job tomorrow I’d be up front about it and hopefully be able to share this area of passion with others.
Three Things That Make Your Work Unique
1. The combination of my spontaneous and innate aesthetic,
2. use of color,
3. and, design/composition make my work recognizable as my own. Recognizable even across a body of work that contains photography, printmaking, jewelry making, collage, painting, bookmaking, and fiber art. The fact that a number of people have told me they have recognized my work as being mine before they saw for sure, is a HUGE source of pride to me. This is because it was a struggle for me when I was younger and I really doubted I’d ever reach such a place.
Four Tools You Love to Use
1. A camera, whether it be on my phone, digital camera or even an instant.
2. An empty book, or blank sheet of paper.
3. A Rapidoliner, which has been discontinued for years, but I bought a HUGE amount before they were gone forever.
4. Paintbrush and paints.
Five Inspirations
1. My Flickr favorites. Flickr is constantly a source of inspiration and community for me. The thing that I love so much about “favorites” in particular is that it is a concentration of images that called out to ME specifically, saved all in one tidy place. Look at my flickr favorites and you will get a glimpse into what I see as beautiful. Look at another person’s flickr favorites and you will see their unique vision as well. It’s just an interesting thing, to use other people’s artwork to make something that represents me. Just looking at my flickr favorites makes me happy and so over the years I have been making wallpapers for my desktop computers (at work and home) using them.
2. My surroundings. The flat midwest prairieland. Katie wrote this nice post a couple weeks ago about it.
3. Art supplies and materials. My heart just starts racing at the thought of visiting a craft or art supply store.
4. Nothing inspires me to want to create something of my own, more than when I’m away at work. The challenge is trying to retain that drive and inspiration once I get home, mentally and emotionally exhausted by the day.
5. A clean studio space and drawing table. Like many artists, I have the tendency to make a mess. I love making messes, but it’s so hard to want to start something new with piles of supplies, and shards of paper covering my work place.

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