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 Etsy Shop
Posted by Lori at 11/11/2007 08:51:00 PM