Geninne Zlatkis

Geninne Zlatkis is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, living in Mexico, married to an architect and designer, and mother of two wonderful, artistic boys. Geninne works in a variety of media, including watercolor, ink, and pencil. She sews, embroiders, and just learned to needle felt. She carves rubber stamps and so much more. She keeps an amazingly beautiful home and inspirational studio. Oh, and Geninne loves birds.

Can you tell us about some of the things on your inspiration boards?

I simply could not live without an inspiration board of some sort. That's where I put treasured little drawings my kids make for me, gifts that I have received from friends, pretty pictures and postcards that inspire me...having these sort of things around me to look at fuel my creativity and make me happy. I have a little shelf right next to my desk that I've been using as a display or inspiration board, it used to be a sandbox that my husband made for me. I love putting up things there that I like to look at while I work. My ink bottles are very happy to be living there too. :)

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

My inspiration comes from all sorts of places, primarily from nature. I live in a beautiful wooded area so I'm surrounded by all sorts of cute little birds, flowers, and trees. My kids are my everyday inspiration as well. I am also inspired by many of the wonderful and talented artists that share their work and a glimpse of their daily lives on the internet in places like Flickr or Etsy.

What do you do to "refill the well"?

Just spending time with my family doing the things we love refuels me. Going on a walk around the neighborhood, simple things...

How do you come up with your next idea?

I usually spend hours and hours and even have dreams at night thinking about an idea. I hardly ever do sketches on paper; most of my sketches are done inside my head. And when I've "chewed" my idea enough in my mind I just sit down and do it ... directly on my watercolor paper. I'm sad to say I don't have sketchbooks ... what I do have and love to keep is a journal, my journal is a little written inspiration board too:

What craft blogs, websites, and/or books do you enjoy?

There are so many arts and craft blogs that I love. I have a HUGE crush on birds so I visit Diana Sudyka's blog The Tiny Aviary every day to get my birdie fix. I'm also a BIG fan of Laura Normandin's work and visit her blog daily for inspiration. I love Camilla's blog too and many many others. There is so much talent out there!

I LOVE craft books, on my latest trip to the US I bought a bunch of beautiful books to bring home to Mexico. I look at them on a daily basis. These are some of my favorites:

Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter

Handmade Project by Lotta Jansdotter

Quilts by Denyse Schmidt

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (owner of the amazing Purl Soho shop)

You recently taught yourself to needle felt. What inspires you to try new things?

I am an extremely curious person and very passionate about finding out how things are made. The internet has opened an enormous world for me and it has also been a huge source of inspiration. I am inspired by other artists work, museums, galleries, art books, magazines, etc. The next new thing that I want to explore is pottery.

Have you worked professionally as an artist or graphic designer?

Yes, I have. I started working as a graphic designer while I was still in college here in Mexico, I quit my day job when I had Israel and have been doing freelance work ever since.

You work in such a large variety of media. How do you move back and forth from project to project?

I think I've been doing that since I was a kid, I was always attracted to many different kinds of artistic activities. But I never leave something unfinished to work on something else. I'm very obsessive in that respect. If I start something new I won't stop until I've completed it. All media are the same to me, just a way to express myself.

Do you remember something that really inspired you back in the beginning?

I was inspired by Danny Gregory's website to start an illustration blog a couple of years ago and it really sparked a creative bug in me.

Do you listen to music while you work?

I love listening to good music while I work. I listen to a lot of Jan Garbarek, Ottmar Liebert, Jesse Cook. Mostly instrumental music. And lots of Bach. :)

What's your favorite color? Has it always been the same?

I think blue has always been my favorite color, but through the years the tone of blue has changed. I'm lovin' turquoise right now.

What's your favorite thing in your studio?

It's hands down my beloved old iMac. I'm having a lot of trouble thinking of replacing it with a new one, but I will have to eventually.

How did having children change you as an artist?

Having my boys has changed my life for the better in every area, including my artistic work. They have made my life richer, and now I have more to bring to my work. They make me laugh more and make me look at things from another perspective.

I know you homeschool your boys. How do you combine your work with raising your children?

I usually work in the morning while they are doing their schoolwork. They work by themselves and I only supervise their work so I have plenty of time to make art right next to them and ALWAYS get their "very honest" opinions about whatever I'm working on.

Do you have a favorite spot in the world?

My all time favorite place to be is sitting at a beach with Manolo at sunset, looking at my kids play in the sand.

What are your future plans?

My future plan with Manolo is to open up a little shop with his furniture and my handmade goodies ... it has been a dream of ours since we got married. No specific plan yet, but we are giving it a lot of thought.


Geninne's Blog

Geninne's Etsy Shop

Geninne's Flickr


Lori Pickert said...

geninne, thank you SO MUCH for this interview -- it was so fun to talk with you, friend! :^)

Geninne said...

It was my honor to be interviewed by such a smart and sweet friend as you Lori. Thank YOU, it was so much fun :)

Geninne said...

It was my honor and so much fun to be interviewed by such a smart and sweet friend like you Lori :) Thank YOU!

viacreativa said...

It's been interesting reading through your interview. I love Geninne's flickr site - she has been such an artistic inspiration to me this year.

Jules said...

It's great to hear more about you Geninne. You have been such an inspiration to me, artistically, this year. I love your creativity and positive attitude. Thanks for sharing with us.
Any one else reading this do check out Geninnes photostream on flickr it's wonderful.

Molly Irwin said...

Geninne and Lori:
I love that you reference Danny Gregory, I too have found him to be inpirational. Also, I feel like I'm still starting out, the more I work with my blog and my thoughts, the more creative I feel and more desirous to create. So glad, Geninne that you mention this aspect (blogging) to be helpful in that respect. - Molly

Blue Yonder said...

What fun to be introduced to someone so clearly talented, imaginitive and thoughtful. Thanks to you both, Lori and Gennine for your inspiration!

Kimberly said...

This is fast becoming my first place to visit when I have a free moment. This blog, you Lori (I've been reading your other site) and all interviewed are so inspirational. What a wonderful creative resource for us crafty folks.

Lori Pickert said...

thank you, kimberly! i really appreciate that. :^)

thank you, stef. ;^)

and thank you, molly -- i agree, the more time i take for creative pursuits, the more creative i feel -- and the better i feel in general.

jules & viacreativa, thank you for visiting & commenting!

jenni said...

Wow. I did not know anything about Geninne Zlatkis, so thank you once again for an amazing interview. Her print, "Pile of wood on paper", is just one of her amazing pieces! I'm feeling more and more inspired to hole up in my writing room. :)

xt said...

it´s funny to read this interview because we have things in comun.arqchitect husband , the shop idea, you are in the proces of building your house(not in the interview!) me too!love to read it ,thanks Lori and Gennine

cpsari said...

this is soooo nice!! :)
I love reading all what you wrote and interviewed :)
thank you so much for everything you do in this blog! :)
i really admire people who are artistic and creative, in their own way! :)
Geninne, i love you work! :)
Lori, thank you! :)

cpsari said...

I love reading what you wrote and what you interviewed...
each of your entries is amazingly done and very inspiring!
i really admire people who are so artistic and creative, in their own way!
Geninne, you're awesome.. i love your work.
Lori, it's amazing to see your work with your blog and other blogs...
Thank you! :)

Lori Pickert said...

thank you!!!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

What a very beautiful blog! I am so glad I stumbled upon it!!!