Sunday, January 22, 2012

J.W. & Sandi Baker

Today we are visited by the Artistic Couple JW & Sandi Baker. Both have been fixtures in the community with their wonderful and stunning nature artworks. Each of them has a unique style in the images they create yet you can see similarities in the styles. For this interview, I am posting both their replies. Sandi's will be in 
a different color text.You can visit their website and purchase PSP tubes at MTA

1) How did you both become a part of the psp tube community?

Initially we were asked by someone I knew previously from the Airbrush Art World, to sign-on with CILM - after that contract lapsed, I decided to see for myself (as opposed to acting on what I was being told) how it was done with the other psp businesses, so I signed on with PSP Tubes for a short term, and finally with MTA - MTA is the only one so far that has not suggested (or told me) what I should think about the other tubing concerns - I find that to be a good thing, which sets MTA far above the others from my perspective.

We were asked by C.I.L.M. to join their artists back in 2006.

2) What does the artwork mean to each of you?

I cannot speak for Sandi's perspective on that question, but to me the artwork I create is about communication - it is an attempt to convey an idea as universally as possible so that each individual Viewer can find their own 'entry point' into that artwork and make it individually their own statement of communicating whatever it means to them...
For me, the works are the tangible product of a process of communion with the Universe..after which take on a life of their own. The works are not as important to me as the process. I do want them to find good homes though.
3) What inspires you in creating your artwork?

Life, Nature, and the Observation of events

The initial inspiration can come from anything...the colors on a piece of tree bark, the way the sunlight rests on fur....visual stimulus mainly, though imagination, and dreams can play a big part. JW is also very inspiring.

4) How long have each of you been selling psp tubes?

I think since 2006-07 was when we started with CILM
Since 2006
5) How do you create your artwork? Is it by hand or digitally? What tools do you use in doing the artwork?
Both of you have such similar yet different styles, do you often influence each other in your artwork?

I am a; "Traditional Artist" (non-digital) using mediums such as Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, etc. - the "tools" I use are 'hairy sticks' (paintbrushes) and on occasion the airbrush. Both Sandi and I have similar interests with regard to inspirations and subject matter - based on that common ground, it is very easy to be inspired seeing how someone else works in the same genre - also, just being around someone as talented as Sandi "raises the bar", which is very inspirational - it keeps you motivated to explore your own potential!

I use an airbrush, sometimes regular brushes, sponges, etc. I mainly use acrylics and paint on wood panel. I think that JW and I influence each other...I am a huge fan of his work, but I want to keep my own style. We often toss ideas back and forth, inspire each other, I really can't speak for him but I will say that he has been a huge influence on my work in many ways. He has helped tremendously with showing me easier ways and better tools to help me create what I want.  He has helped me to better understand and deal with the problems and challenges, both personal and professional, of being a working Artist. He inherently understands, I mean he gets it so that I never have to stop and explain to him why I am beating up a sheet of aluminum with a hammer, or bringing loads of tree branches into the studio....I think we work well together. His work is outstanding and is also a constant inspiration. He is extremely fun to work with and very easy on the eyes to boot.     :  )
6) Aside from psp tubes, what else do you create with the artwork?

Besides licensing the artwork to the PSP Community, we also make our work available as prints, note cards, through a POD (Print-On-Demand) venue, as well as licensing to various other businesses and/or individuals for specific need and/or projects.

Our work has been used on jewelry, note cards, posters and prints, cross stitch patterns, scarves, candles, rock art, coasters, mugs, cups, mouse pads, shirts, tile murals, and I am talking to a company right now about wooden boxes.

7) As you have developed your styles and artwork, which artists have influenced you?

I was inspired as a child by the Comic Artists - foremost among them would be Jack "The King" Kirby, Samuel J. Glanzman, Joe Kubert and Barry Windsor-Smith. Also inspiring are the works of Frank Frazetta, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Arthur Rackham, Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, DaVinci, and Michelangelo

Mostly JW....I am finding the spiritual movement artists inspiring at the moment. The taggers and psp artists also influence me, the things they do with the art are amazing and inspiring.
8) Does the psp community help artists become more well known with getting their names and artwork more visible?

In all honesty I don't have a definite answer to that question - I can say with certainty it does make your work more visible to the the larger group that comprises the psp community as a whole, but for however large that "community" is, it is quite small by comparison to the larger Art World in general - the same can be said for example of the Airbrush World - although our names are fairly well known within that particular world, that presence there is still but a very small percentage in that same "larger Art World" - Still - every little bit helps!  : )
I think so.
9) What do you enjoy the most about being part of the psp community?

What I appreciate the most about the PSP Community is their overall advocacy and respect for the Artist's Rights (copyright) and also for the joy each individual member of that community appears to derive from creating their respective tags; to be a part of something positive like that is always a good thing! I also enjoy seeing how people utilize our works to create their own very unique interpretations and expressions of communication and joy - I am very proud to provide a part in that process!

The way the community stands up for copyrights! You guys absolutely rock!!! I have also met a lot of great friends through this community.
10) What are some of your favorite art pieces which each of you have done and why?

Tough question as there is no simple answer - for myself I am never satisfied entirely with anything I do, but then that keeps me going - I believe as a part of this interview a couple artwork examples are requested, so consider the ones I have chosen to be a couple of my favorites - as for favorites that Sandi has done - EVERY one is my favorite until she creates the next one, and then that one will supplant the previous one - as to the why; she is always pushing the 'boundaries' of the possible out just a little further, which in turn expands my own potentials seeing these new possibilities!

I like the way the Spiritcatchers turned out. I really appreciate the public's reaction to them. Right now I am in a copper induced frenzy that I am enjoying immensely. I am painting animals into faux patina copper backgrounds. It is like an obsession with copper, the way the light reacts with it and the patina that eventually conceals it. It just makes me happy. Now, as for my favorite JW pieces...I can't choose really because they are all amazing. I have been able to talk him into giving me a few paintings over the years. They were chosen because they were painted in close proximity to my birthday..or a holiday where I could scam them as a gift before someone bought them!!  I just love everything he does. His unique style shines through in everything he touches.
11) Do you prefer tags with your art tubes animated or non animated? Or are both great to you?

I am not a big fan of animations - I like the ones where the backgrounds have some motion to them; wind blowing, leaf falling, water rippling, etc. - and I have seen a couple where certain animals appear to be breathing which were okay, but mostly the Wildlife and/or Human Beings animated just creeps me out, and jiggling body parts on scantily clad Female Forms is just kind of - well - crass.

I have seen both - both are really cool. The animation is like a new artform in itself.

12) Do either of you do commissions for taggers? How about ideas for art pieces which taggers may have?

I have never been approached by a Tagger with a commission for a specific artwork aimed at a specific tagging need - it is an intriguing idea… I do accept commissions, there are however certain reasonable conditions - foremost being whether or not the project falls within the scope of what I actually do; having artistic talent does not mean I am inherently capable of doing every type of subject or art form. If the request falls outside of what one would see on my web site as examples of the types of work I do, then I will most likely decline the commission.
I do commissions for anyone who wants something painted. Taggers have been great collectors. Usually I will talk with the collector about what they want and we will share ideas until we agree and then the piece is painted.
13) Is there anything which you don't allow to be done with your artwork? For example mirroring, animation, etc.

Mirroring.? - I am not familiar with that one, as for animations, see Question 11 - otherwise I don't want my work used in a for-profit venue without license and/or permission, I don't want my original artwork itself altered in any way, nor do I want it associated with anything negative - i.e.; anything that espouses cruelty, hate or violence of any sort.
I don't think so - as long as it is copyright compliant.
14) Would you like to receive tags which our readers may do featuring your artwork? We often love to send the artists tags by our members.

Sure - people do that now and I enjoy seeing the various creations that people come up with - I take it as an affirmation that we are indeed on the right path with our artistic journey when I see people proudly incorporate our artworks in their own personal expressions of joy!
 Sure - I love to see the amazing creations of the tag artists!!!!

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