Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Super Star Interviews: Rebecca Green

Welcome to my monthly interview feature! I’m so excited to be interviewing all the fabulous artists, illustrators and designers I’ve meet over the years (both personally and virtually!) and sharing their artwork and experiences here on Bird Meets Worm. Look for a new interview on the first Tuesday of every month. (Note Bird Meets Worm is taking a holiday in September, so check back on the first Tuesday of October! XO)

This month I’m pleased as punch to be dishing with the super-talented, super-fabulous Illustrator, Rebecca Green! Rebecca is a fellow Tugeau2 Artist, working as a children's and young adult book illustrator. She currently resides in Nashville, TN. Rebecca works primarily in gouache and colored pencil, and also dabbles in acrylic, collage, and 3D set and puppet building. Her work is playful yet grounded, and often includes children and animals comprised of texture, patterns, and flat colors. You can view more of her artwork here!

Squirrels, mysterious forest, a bright-eyed girl—I want to read THIS story!

 Q: You recently attended ICON9 in Austin, Texas (SO super fun!!). Share with us your top 5 tips for getting the most out of attending the event.

A: Yes! I love ICON—this was my third time attending. 
1. Do your research—familiarize yourself with the artists, speakers, workshops. By going through the roster and seeing people's work before you actually get to the conference, you can be appreciate their talk—especially if they don't actually speak about just their art. 
2. Find others attending and reach out to them prior to the conference to schedule a coffee of meet up. It's a great way to meet people face to face
if all you've done is spoken with them online. 
3. Do the roadshow if you can! It's a juried event but if you get a table to share your work, it's a great way to get your portfolio in front of people, who would have otherwise not seen it. 
4. Take a workshop! It's enough just to go to the conference but I think taking a workshop is a great way to learn in a smaller environment and you are more likely to make closer genuine connections to people. 
5. Come with a sketchbook! Whether it's to jot notes, or doodle away, the conference is really idea inducing and energizing and chances are, you'll walk away inspired about your own work. 

Beware the evil WITCH!!

 Q: Dish with us about your work with the Warren (her working artist studio/art community hub/superstar space!). In what ways does it build and support your local art community? And why is it important to you?

A: The Warren is a dream space for me! It all sort of came together organically, but now that it's up and running, I realize it's what I've always wanted. I started it with local illustrator, Kayla Stark, because we couldn't find a local studio
that offered what we needed. The space is first and foremost a workspace for 4 permanent artists and a few community table members. We also are starting up workshops and class that will focus primarily on illustration, design, and freelancing. The space supports the local art community by hosting drink and draws, gallery shows and some free lectures and panel discussions. We are also open to the public every second Saturday of the month for our local East Nashville Art Stumble.

The space is incredibly important to me personally. As a freelancer, I spend enough time alone and I loathe working from home. I need a community. I need my people! And The Warren is basically a community of artists who support each other, share feedback and ideas, and bounce inspirations off of one another. I also must say the space itself is so beautiful—we have the best light!

"Don't worry, little guy, I've got ya!"
 Q: Your gorgeous illustrations have found a crossover between editorial work and gallery work as well as children’s publishing work. Chat with us a bit about how you balance servicing these 3 very different markets while staying true to your own artistic voice.

A: Good question! It's less an act of juggling and more an act of letting the juggling balls purposefully fall to the floor one by one. I planned to do narrative work in college and when I graduated I got pulled into gallery work 
and just sort of stuck with it. I actually have my last gallery show this November and I'm pleased to be taking a break from it.

As far as editorial work goes, I thought that's what illustration was (even though I wanted to do books) so I signed on with an editorial agent and really struggled through a couple of years with being unsatisfied with what I was making. I was losing my voice artistically, so I left that agent and started doing work that aligned with books.

In the last year, I've really made the switch over into the publishing work and happily work with Nicole, who has been a gem in helping me with this new venture. It's taken me 6 years, but I finally feel very at home and excited about the stuff I am working on. So in short...I just had to try a couple of things out to know how much I didn't want to do them, before I could fully get into books. 

How amazing is Rebecca's fabulous 3D art?!

Q: What would be your absolute DREAM illustration gig?

A: OH man. Probably taking a year or so to work on a stop motion film, where I get to do all the detail work for the characters and the set. I'd like to help create the look of the film, and then work on the actual fabrication. I wouldn't want to do any of the actual planning/production/film stuff...I would just want the detail jobs. And can we add travel in there? Traveling for research. And the film company has limitless brownies is the break room. That's my dream. 

Q: What do you know now that when you first began your illustration career you wish you’d known about: marketing? business? self-promotion?

A: Probably business. It's important to set it up on an ongoing basis instead of just waiting until taxes are due. But who am I kidding...I still put everything off! I hate business, so it's the one thing I feel like I should have focused on more in the beginning.

Slumber party trouble brewing...

 Q: Describe your most perfect Sunday.

A: It's Autumn, the windows are open. My husband Matt and I make breakfast and coffee and then walk our dog, Mori through the park by our house. We wear scarves because it's cold! We then go to the farmers market…maybe get some pumpkins, wander around, thrift a bit, get more coffee from a cutie little coffee shop, head back home and cook a huge dinner with roasted vegetables. Then we sit by a fire in our front yard and one of us reads ghost stories.

*Just writing this makes me loathe this heat we're having in Nashville! I grew up in MI and I miss the cold so much!

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for catching up with us here at Bird Meets Worm!! We love your fabulous artwork! XO

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