Monday, November 27, 2017

I Believe In Artists: Aprille Janes

Artist Aprille Janes

Aprille Janes is someone I look up to as an artist, a writer and a leader.  As the host of The Creative Fire Cafe Facebook Group, Aprille often challenges and inspires me and my creativity with thought provoking questions.  I recently realized it was past time I returned the favor, though truly it is Aprille that does us all a favor by sharing her wonderful work and thoughts with us here. Enjoy!

"The Happy Traveller" - Art By Aprille Janes

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Aprille:  “Do you see what I see?”

For me, creating is the beginning of a conversation and great conversations often start with a curious question. 

However, a conversation takes at least two, sender and receiver. When I create something, I must also share it. When you receive it, you'll interpret my message through your personal filters. That's why I enjoy working in my local artist’s co-op and talking to the people who pass through. I learn so much from them about my own work. Sometimes it’s a total surprise.

Plus, as Stephen King once said, art is a time machine. I create in my Now. You view it (or read it) in your Now and Presto! We’re communicating across time. I love that!

"Royalty"- Art by Aprille Janes
Aprille: Purple used to be reserved for royalty. When I saw this iris crowned with the diamond dewdrops, I knew I had to paint it.

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Aprille: Wow. Tough question because I have a lot of favourites, especially if you open it up to other mediums.

Currently I’m being inspired by Antoni Gaudi, a brilliant Spanish architect who flouted the rules and let nature guide his work. It’s at the top of my bucket list to go to Barcelona to see his buildings and gardens in person. He died almost 100 years ago and one of his designs is still being built. 

I’m also studying the works of Doris Eaton at the moment. She is an artist and rug hooker here in Nova Scotia. My husband gifted me with a book of her work where she talks about her process and why she created each piece. Her hooked pieces are created with a painter’s sensibilities, breaking with the idea that this was only a craft activity. Her compositions and use of colour are true works of art.

An ongoing inspiration is Van Gogh, again because he also broke rules, flaunted convention and did things in his own way.

"Short Flight" -  Art by Aprille Janes
Aprille: While walking one day, I discovered a small pile of feathers strewn about and carried a few home. I was in the middle of painting our cobblestone beach and realized a feather was the touch it needed. Serendipity at work.  

Question: What inspires you to create?

Aprille: The natural world inspires me, especially my gardens and living by water.  We lived beside a lake for almost 20 years and then last year we moved to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Living by the ocean has amplified my creative energy and vision. It released something inside of me that I’d held in check for too long. I feel myself becoming a different person and artist. It’s exciting!

"Peggy's Cove" Art by Aprille Janes
Aprille: I love Peggy's Cove. Everywhere you look is a scene begging to be painted. Technically you can't see the lighthouse from where I took the reference photo but I used my artistic license and added it in.

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Aprille: My creative process itself starts with curiosity and I find that fun and endlessly entertaining. What caught my attention? How do I interpret that..? What would happen if…?  Why is that important to me?”

Once something triggers an idea, I have to explore it as soon as possible. Something gets ‘lit’. I make sketches, lists and more sketches until I either get tired of the idea or find something I like and want to take further.

I also love the details. It’s at the end of my process that I put in all the little bits that make a piece come to life for me. The tricky part has always been knowing when to stop because I could play with details for a long time.

"Pink Beauty" - Art by Aprille Janes
Aprille: The complexity of the peony keeps drawing me back and I've painted them a number times.  That and just the 'pinkness' of it.

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Aprille: Perfectionism, which may not technically be part of process but, too often, it has stopped me from getting started. I remind myself constantly to let go of the Masterpiece Myth and enjoy the process rather than focus on the end product.

Doing those preliminary sketches helps me tremendously in easing into my work. They aren’t serious so I “have permission” to make all kinds of mistakes. The sketches get my hand in motion and my brain has fun. Before I know it, I’m past the “fear of starting” because, well, I’ve already started.

I still struggle with perfectionism (does anyone actually get over it?) but at least I know what it takes to carry me beyond that block. Not taking things so seriously has made a huge difference in my creative practice (and my productivity!)

"Mermaid" - Art By Aprille Janes
Aprille: I like to paint from my imagination for the fun of it. This mermaid and "The Happy Traveler" showed up last year. They have sisters waiting to join them soon. 

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Aprille: To me, believing in art means trusting its magical power to connect us, despite our differences, geographical location or even the time we live in. As an artist, I believe letting our art reveal who we are at our core is how we tap into that mysterious power.

Thank you Aprille for sharing your art and your insights with us.  For more information on Aprille visit her website at AprilleJanes.comYou can also connect with Aprille on Instagram and Facebook and for more creative inspiration, motivation and connection, check out The Creative Fire Cafe Facebook Group

Click here to find more artist interviews and learn how you can apply to be featured.  You can also connect with I Believe In Art on Instagram and Facebook.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,