Check out Expressive Arts Studio, our most recent Etsy Shop feature! Run by multi-media artist Leah Constantz.
Visual Victoria (VV): What inspires your art?
Leah Constantz (LC): Themes of nature often appear in my work as I’m constantly inspired by it’s beauty and rawness. Nature has a way of humbling and striking curiosity in people. I believe these are two key elements to living life fully.
I’m also intrigued by the idea of dichotomy or opposites: black and white, oil and water. I often play with them and am struck by how well they meld together in artwork.
Not surprisingly art is a way for me to have an emotional release, feelings also take shape in my work.
Every day I’m inspired by new creations and techniques I see other people make that take my artwork in a new and different direction.
VV: Why did you decide to start an Etsy store?
LC: I always tell people that I’m an Expressive Arts Therapist by day and an artist by night. I have worked on my identity as a therapist for many many years, while my artwork was always secondary. My identity as an artist was always secondary. Now that I’ve cultivated my life as a therapist I felt it time to give my artist identity some love and I felt the best way to do so would be to put my work out there. In looking at my options I thought Etsy would be the best way to do so. I will also be looking for local art shows/sales to participate in.
VV: Which materials are your favorite to work with?
LC: My constant has always been mixed media as I can work with the theory of dichotomy as mentioned above. Lately, I’ve been exploring alcohol inks and intuitive painting. The concept with alcohol ink is that it’s fairly spontaneous and uncontrollable. You intuitively place colors together and in general directions, but ultimately it’s not you who creates the image it’s the ink. It really makes you let go of your perfectionistic side.
VV: What is your process for making handmade art for your Etsy store?
LC: I have a little homemade studio in my basement where I can get dirty without worry of damaging something important. I often put on ambient music, which helps my mind enter a relaxed state. I pick my color scheme before starting any piece. I also have to make sure I’m fairly free from distractions. The optimum time for me to create is mid-evening when my brain is mostly free from work and everyday stressors.