74 ways to be inspired: talking with …

Today, we kick off with the first of the 74 ways to be inspired interview series. A new feature of the fortnightly 74 ways to be inspired.

The 74 ways to be Inspired series is all about finding inspiration and applying it to your creative life ~ whether it be for your own satisfaction or as part of the process of setting up and maintaining a small creative business.
These interviews aim to inspire by gaining an insight into the inspirational and creative process of those who are doing exactly that.

Today we are talking to the lovely Belinda, of gretchenmist.
First off, an introduction,  tell us a little about yourself, what you do and perhaps, briefly, how it came about.

I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband, 2 boys {5 and 2} and our 12 year old dog. I paint, draw, collage, print and crochet . . .
I started painting in the 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy ~ I know it seems a strange time to start something like this, but I had just freed myself from the exhaustion of a job that should have been creative but wasn’t and the due date made the time finite. The temporary nature of the time took the pressure off and allowed me to paint for the sake of painting, which was a great start.

{‘3 tents’, fine art print}

What was the inspiration behind the name of your shop/blog?
It’s a rearrangement of the name we had chosen for a girl and my husband’s childhood nickname. A mix of soft and strong! It seemed to work with the landscape and abstract work I was making too.

Now this series is about inspiration, so where do you find inspiration? Either online, in the “real world” or from whom? What kind of things inspire you?
I live in a state of inspiration overload most of the time, which I am grateful for ~ thanks to the people who share their work, processes and inspiration online. I spend way too much time checking out what other people are up to. There is also plenty of inspiration in the real world too. Lately I’ve been really inspired by plants and gardens and the way people arrange their tiny inner city patches of garden. Maybe I was always inspired by this, but only recently realised it.

{‘early morning’ fine art print}

You art is quite unique, how did you come to that style and with those mediums?
Thanks Kellie :) I think the style has just developed through making and doing and hopefully it will keep developing! Apart from changing from oils to acrylics {out of convenience and lack of space} I move around the different mediums hoping to be able to express the idea I have in my head. I’m often thinking about layers and how best to achieve them with different mediums.

Do you catalogue your inspiration in some way, either virtually, clippings in a notebook or perhaps an inspiration board?
I don’t have a cataloguing system! I have a few sketch books in each room, which I find hard to keep up! The ideas that are current tend to be on photocopy paper in piles that move around the house! I also have some boards up near my desk ~ I wish the wall was a big board though as I’d like to be able to stick a lot more up.
My blog is as close as I get to virtual cataloguing. I don’t know any other way of doing it on the computer, but would love to know how, if there is a way!

{‘floating garden’  pencil and embroidery thread on paper}

Tell us a little about your creating process, do you set aside time and focus or do you find yourself multi-tasking?
I have 2 school hours days most weeks to create so the time is limited. I’m pretty good now at using those days in a focused way ~ I get straight to it usually. I like to try and limit the multi-tasking on these days :)

How do you find juggling the creative life with your home and/or work life?
Very tricky! Sometimes I think I’m spreading myself too thin in all areas! My creative life is like a tired toddler that needs constant attention ~ it doesn’t switch off!
I have decided recently to spend more time together as a family. The routine we had was pretty much all me and the kids, then my husband and the kids to allow for work, my thing, his thing etc but this hasn’t really been enough to keep things together!

Running a small business can be quite the time consuming, can you share with us how you organise your time ~ what with online marketing, staying up to date and then the actually creating?
Totally agree! I don’t organise my time that well. There is a vague kind of routine that happens, but often  there are times of mad rushing and stress mixed with times where I can take a task and finish it! It’s hard to keep the tight schedule and momentum that this requires though.
It’d be great to be able to spend more time creating but often the other {really important, not so fun} things take over ~ i’d love to learn how to minimise the time spent on these tasks and have things run well {wouldn’t we all!}. I have a lot to learn about running things!

And because we are in blogland, can you share a couple of your favourite or most inspirational blogs/sites.

. . . it’s hard to pick just a couple!

Thanks Belinda for stopping by 74 Lime Lane and sharing these insights into your creative life.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog Kellie :)

gretchenmist ~  shop | blog | flickr | twitter | Belinda also has a interview series on art making and marketing

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  1. says

    Very nice. I’m a big fan of Belinda’s work, so honored to have some of it in my own home! Also glad to hear other moms finding ways to balance their creative passions/business with their main “jobs.”

  2. says

    wonderful interview! i’m a big fan of belinda’s work. it’s always great to read and learn more about her and know that other creative moms are juggling with 6 hands too. :p

  3. says

    Oh I love, love, love interviews…this one was great, I especially loved hearing how she juggles everything. I think that’s something we all struggle with! Her art is just lovely :)!!

  4. says

    I love Belinda’s work. A great interview, her honesty and sincerity always come through in her work and her words. I am also honored to be named (thanks Belinda) and so happy to find your blog, it’s lovely can’t wait to spend more time exploring! Here I go(:

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