Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jasmine Becket-Griffith

Hello Readers! Today we are talking with the artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Jasmine has been a fixture in the PSP community for many years. Her artwork stands out for its unique style of fantasy,gothic and steampunk. You can visit her website and purchase her PSP tubes at CDO. Thank you so much for talking with us today Jasmine.

1) How did you become a part of the psp tube community?
A: It started about 10 years ago. I'd been selling my paintings on my website since 1997 but a few years into it I started getting all sorts of emails from folks asking if they could make "tubes" or "tags" out of my artwork! I had no idea what they were asking for a longtime (luggage tags? inner tubes?) since I've never been very computer savvy. My paintings are all done the old fashioned way with a paintbrush, water, paints & wood or canvas and I didn't realize that online graphics was a hobby until a very nice lady explained it all to me eventually!

2) What does your artwork mean to you?
A: My artwork is very much an extension of myself. I have what people would refer to as a "rich inner life" meaning I live inside my head a lot. I've always been a fantasist/escapist - even as a little girl I'd rather read a book or draw a picture than do much socializing. I've extrapolated this into my artwork. Those who know me realize that a lot of my artwork is self-portraiture to one extent or another and often incorporates a lot of myself and my life in a way that is more fantastic and whimsical than it ever could be in "real life". I like to paint things I think are pretty, stories I find interesting, and I like to make everything more beautiful and exciting or more dramatic than it is in the mundane world. And if other people enjoy it as well, that makes me happy too.

3) What inspires you in creating your artwork?
A: I will straight out tell you that I am a compulsive painter. It is probably part of a wider-ranging disorder that compels me to spend my time in very detailed and obsessive ways. I paint about 10-18 hours a day, and when I am not painting my hand itches as if it were holding a brush. Lucky for me it's something that other people appreciate and is a feasible career choice, otherwise I'd be living in somebody's basement or an institution or something =P Mainly I think it is because I have an overactive imagination, a very strong sense of momentum, and difficulty expressing myself in other ways. I have always been strongly affected by artwork - even when I was young there would be paintings I would see and I would start crying or feel a sudden rush of emotion and I think I want to share/evoke that in others as well.

4) How long have you been selling psp tubes?
A: I can't really remember - I started out probably 8-10 years ago with a company called CILM and have since transferred to CDO. It makes me happy that people have fun with my paintings and can identify themselves with my characters!

5) How do you create your artwork? Is it by hand
or digitally? What tools do you use in doing the artwork?
A: All of my work is created traditionally, no computers, no airbrushes. I use acrylic paints (usually Winsor-Newton, Golden, Grumbacher, Liquitex brand) and cheap-o golden taklon brushes from Michael's (I like them because they do not contain animal parts and I'm a vegetarian girl). Mostly I paint on wood or masonite panels or canvas. I use a lot of water when I paint and spend a lot of time each day sitting at my desk & painting. If Matt (my husband who works for me as one of my assistants) didn't stop me for food & water & sleep occasionally, I'd never stop!

6)Aside from psp tubes, what else do you create
with your artwork?
A: A lot of my paintings are licensed by a wide variety of products, notably through companies like the Bradford Exchange, Disney, the Hamilton Collection, dolls through Ashton-Drake, figurines through Pacific Trading, etc. Statues, collector's plates, figurines, dolls, ball-jointed dolls, calendars, books, magazines, t-shirts & clothing, greeting cards, automotive accessories, Halloween costumes, jewelry, tables/furniture, school supplies, tattoos - pretty much anything you can think of is out there! The only thing I make myself personally though is my actual acrylic paintings, everything else is licensed by other companies.

7) As you have developed your style and artwork, which artists
have influenced you?
A: Oh so many! Mostly I'm influenced by artists of centuries past, I'm an art history nerd and have studied/taught art history as well. The Pre-Raphaelites such as Waterhouse, Rossetti, Millais, Leighton have a lof of similar aesthetic sense, the great masters like da Vinci, Brueghel, Hieronymus Bosch, Botticelli, have instilled a classical sense of balance and topic matter in me, and the smoothness of the 18th & 19th century painters like Bouguereau, Fragonard, Greuze, Boucher, etc. have always appealed to me. More contemporary artists in the fantasy genre like Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Larry Elmore, James Christensen, Donato Giancola - all are artists who helped steer me (either in person or through their artwork) into the fantastical genres. I also dig a lot of surrealists & pop surrealists like Salvador Dali, Mark Ryden, David Bowers, Kinuko Craft, etc. as well as the more big eye/cartoonish influences of Walt Disney, Margaret Keane, Japanese manga & pop culture, etc. It all mixes up in my head and comes out as what I paint! Now of course my primary gallery is at Walt Disney World at the Pop Gallery at Downtown Disney and I think that my notions of fairytales and the fantastic all fit in really well there.

8) Does the psp community help artists become more well known
with getting their names and artwork more visible?
A: I absolutely think so! Many of the folks who know me from CDO or CILM have become collectors of my paintings & prints, having first discovered me throught tubes & tags. Whenever I do art shows there are always people who come up to me and say "Hey, I have your painting as my avatar!" or "Hey, you're the lady who painted my sig tag!", etc.

9) What do you enjoy the most about being part of the psp community?
A: I like that it is such a large and diverse group of art lovers who enjoy art for art's sake. There isn't the pretension among the PSP community that is often found in other art communities and people "just like what they like!" which has always been my personal attitude towards art. Enjoy what makes you happy, appreciate what inspires you. It's probably a kind of "lowbrow" attitude of mine, if something strikes a chord with you or you can identify with it, that is all you need to appreciate art. I also like that PSP has opened up a lot of people to enjoy my paintings since the computer element is within them even if it is not in my actual original paintings, and the digital things that the PSP folks have done with my paintings can be gorgeous!

10) What are some of your favorite art pieces which you have done and why?
A: That is something that changes day to day for me!! Usually I have a lot of personal reasons & other baggage as to why a certain piece is my favourite. Sometimes if I accomplish something technically in a painting that has take me a lot of time, it will be a proud achievement for me whether or not the painting is a popular seller or not. Currently my favourites are "Microcosm: Triceratops", "Alice and Snow White" , "Durga and the Tiger," and "A Certain Slant of Light".

11) Do you prefer tags with your art tubes animated or non animated? Or are both great to you?
A: It definitely depends on what the user has done with it. Sometimes I've seem things that make me scratch my head a bit, hehe, but other times I've seen things that look amazing! My primary concern is always that people are enjoying & having fun with my characters & creations. Typically my animation rules are limited though because of other existing contracts I have with current animation projects.

12) Do you do commissions for taggers? How about ideas for tubes which taggers may have?
A: Not specifically. The reason is that since my artworks are all actual acrylic paintings on wood or canvas, I scan them in and email the file to the folks at CDO. They pretty much handle things from there! Just about all of my paintings are available as tags/tubes upon request. As far as commissioned paintings go - I definitely do those, but I'm currently running on a three year waiting list so I'm not taking deposits on new originals until I'm further caught up =P

13) Is there anything which you don't allow to be done with your artwork? For example mirroring, animation, etc.
A: Typically my animation rules are limited though because of other existing contracts I have with current animation projects. Also I don't like people to do things too sexually suggestive with my characters (since they tend to be in the more family-friendly realm) or putting them in politically charged messages. I think of most of my characters as being out of this world or in another realm and therefore not bogged down with politics!

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.
A: Absolutely - I love seeing them - the best way is to post them up at my Facebook Fanpage:

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