I doubt I have to point you in the direction of my Sticky Note Lists post for you to remember who Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon is. You have probably followed her for years on your computer, because she’s just so amazing. When I first started talking to Bianca as more than a star-struck fan of her blog and creations, my excitement wasn’t able to be contained. So having her answer questions for my blog, interview style, is a beautiful reminder that life is a fucking dream.
One of my favorite things about you is how many different kinds of art you excel in. If you had to pick a medium/type of art that you enjoy the most, what would you pick and why?
Thank you! I enjoy sticking my fingers in lots of creative pies but I probably enjoy abstract doodling the most – just doodling geometric shapes on the backs of envelopes and on post-it notes. I find it therapeutic and spontaneous. A lot of the other work I do involves a lot of planning and sketching and working out, but doodling is just so easy and flowing.
The way I originally found your blog was through the mail art community, and one of the many things that attracted me to your mail was your handwriting. As someone with horrible penmanship and a love of writing, I’m always curious as to how people are able to create such beautiful type. Would you say that you make very little effort to create the gorgeous font that is your handwriting, or does it still take concentration?
Mail art was (and, when I have the time, still is) a great way to exercise your creative muscles in a low-pressure format and then send those little bits of art off to somebody else. Doing a lot of mail art made me make more art and get better at lettering and drawing, but it was in a format that I didn’t have to worry too much about it if wasn’t “art” enough. My penmanship and typography style really developed as I was writing 10+ letters a week. I think my handwriting style developed out of observing my different high school teachers’ beautiful, varied writing styles on chalkboards. I guess I just picked up little bits and pieces and was always doodling little notes in the borders of my exercise books. Eventually it became second nature and I just do it without thinking about it. Good pens are also a good place to start – I really like 0.5 UniBall eye pens for drawing and writing with – I write horribly with a biro!
Probably the biggest difference I’ve noticed in my creativity is that I want to document everything obsessively (in a creative way). I take a lot of photographs, I made a little scrapbook that I write about things my son is doing in and stick photos in Project Life albums. Time goes by so quickly when you have a small child and I think it’s important to make time for being creative, as well as taking time to stop and smell the roses and record some of the special moments.
You’ve written posts and done projects related to interacting with strangers (like your collected shopping lists). What’s one of your all time favorite interactions with a stranger?
I have a lot of affection for strangers. I am working on a zine at the moment about working at a supermarket and I’m making little comics of different interactions I’ve had with strangers. There are lots of interactions I remember fondly but one subtle one I really enjoyed was when I asked a man if he wanted his receipt and he said to me, completely deadpan “I don’t need a receipt, I’m not from this planet” and then walked away. The photo above is from a little project I did where I made woodcut prints based on shopping lists I’d found. I love little remnants of stranger’s lives like shopping lists.
I don’t really have any comparison to make, but I think one enormous benefit is that in Australia, you can go to university, study to your heart’s content, and you only have to repay your loan when you start earning over $50,000 per year (and even then, it’s a small percentage of your yearly earnings). The government also give me a student allowance to live on while I study, which means I have more time and money to allow for creativity. I know that if I were in a country where my fees had to be paid straight up or immediately after graduating, I wouldn’t have the luxury of being able to study at my own pace and dabble in a couple of different fields. I’m about to graduate a Bachelor of Contemporary Art and I’ll probably start my Masters of Teaching next year (that’s my studio at uni in the pictures).
Red makes me feel good. I carry it with me at all times in one form or another (usually bright red lips) and it makes me feel most like myself.
When I’m feeling lacking in creative ideas, I like to pick one of Keri Smith’s Ideas to do. Mary also has some awesome lists of creative ideas. I also like to go to my local art supply shop and buy a new material or tool to play with. I went through a long ideas drought year and now I feel like I have a hundred ideas and no time to do them, so I guess these things are cyclical!
Make sure you check out her blog if you haven’t already, and let her know in the comments how beautiful her handwriting and brain are. If you want to be a future guest poster on Uncustomary Art, send me an e-mail!