Ursula Markgraf is a mixed media artist who wants to remind women of their dreams and inspire them to live life their way. If you want to read more about her or even try a little free workshop to make your own affirmation cards with mixed media techniques visit her site: http://ursulamarkgraf.com/for-you.
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Ursula! When did you first realize you were an artist?
I’ve always been an artist. My whole life I loved creating, crafting, art making. But calling myself an artist was – and often still is – hard. Not so much because of how I see myself, but more because it brings up a lot of anxiety around what others think of me. It’s something I’m working on and I probably will work on it for the rest of my life. 🙂
Carrie: How would you describe your art to Artist Strong readers?
I’m a mixed-media artist who creates in order to remind women of their dreams. I find it super hard to describe my own art. My art has been described by others as whimsical and inspiring. I love when I read that. Being able to inspire others with what I do is a gift.
Carrie: What projects are you working on at the moment?
Due to personal circumstances I’m taking a little break from my biz until August. But I’m still immersing myself in creative projects. I need them to live. I just finished some spring canvases. I’m planning to have a big spring sale in my shop. I’m working on putting together a (free) artsy decluttering challenge for all creatives out there that could use a bit of motivation to create an inspiring workspace. And I always have paintings, collages, canvases in the works… several at a time. I plan to run my first online workshop this year, but am not entirely sure when exactly this will happen. It’s one of my big goals for 2016.
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
As I wrote earlier I create what I do in order to remind women of their dreams. I want my creations – be it my art, my books or an online workshop – to remind them that they create their life. I actually wrote a blog post about why I do what I do.
Carrie: What are important strategies or choices you make that help support your creative process?
Never stop learning. I love to learn, explore and experience new things. That’s not even so much a choice or strategy but rather part of my personality. It took me some time to figure it out. But now that I know that I need this in my life, I consciously choose opportunities to try out new things, to play, to explore – be it in my life or in my art.
Carrie: How do you know when an artwork is finished?
Often when I look at older artwork I want to work on it again. By now I believe that there is no such thing as a finished artwork. I just stop working on it at some point, cause otherwise I would work on it forever. There is always something to improve, to change, to add … It can be hard to decide when to stop. I often take pictures of my art and look at the photo – instead of the actual artwork – to decide whether I like it the way it is. Often I will walk away from a piece for days or even weeks – to go back to it later with fresh eyes. Sometimes I even put it up in my room and display it to figure out whether I like it the way it is or whether I want to keep working on it.
Carrie: How do your interests outside of art fuel your artwork?
I don’t really think that “interests outside of art fuel my artwork,“ but rather that all my interests – including the ones outside of art – fuel ME, and I in turn fuel what my artwork is about.
Art and creation is very personal and a reflection of yourself in a way. My art reflects my need for freedom and making and creating my own rules – that’s why I love mixed-media art so much. Everything goes! My art often has topics of self-development as this is part of my big “why.”
Carrie: What is one piece of advice you have for struggling creatives?
That’s a hard question cause in the end the advice depends on what the creative is struggling with… and there are so many ways to struggle. 😉
One thing I would tell every creative: never ever let anyone tell you – not even yourself – that you’re not creative. We are all creative. Some might be a bit more rusty than others. Some express their creativity differently than others. But we are all creative. Also, creativity is something you can train. If you haven’t used it much than it might feel hard to you. But if you use it regularly it will come easier with time.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Uh, that’s hard. If it was just one I’d say the internet. I do love books, too. But I use the internet to find books that I find interesting… 🙂 To me the internet is like a gold mine – it’s the place where I find other creatives, where I can connect with like-minded people, where I find my customers, but where I also find workshops or courses to take myself.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
I get asked this almost every time I do an interview. To be honest, I can’t really tell you something specific that inspires me. I find everything around me inspiring. It can be the weather, the flowers in our yard, it can be an image I saw on Facebook or a quote I read in a book, it can be another artist, a lovely book, or my kids … Life is full of inspiration; I find it hard to not start new projects every day. I know that some people find it harder to have new ideas than others – and some actually seek out inspiration. I never really had that problem. I have to be careful to not get overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
To me being creative means the process of creating something. So, I deeply believe that every person is creative. People just express it differently. Some people love to paint or create art, some people write poetry, some people cook, but we are all creative beings.
Be Creatively Courageous: What are the many ways you express your creativity? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments below.
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