Tuesday, March 8, 2011

art talk Tuesday: Moorea Seal

 I can't describe my excitement to introduce this amazing girl and artist! 

Meet Moorea Seal, folks.

Name, age, hometown, blog/website
I'm Moorea Seal and I am the ripe old age of 24!
I lived in a tiny village of 400 people in England till I was 8 then I moved to a town of 6,000 called Nevada City, CA that is nestled in the woods of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Since college, I have lived in the woodsy loving city of Seattle, WA.
blog: www.moorea-seal.com
shop: www.etsy.com/shop/mooreaseal

When did you first discover your creative talents?
My dad still has a drawing I did when I was two that was a portrait of a pretty lady.  I even included eyelashes, eyebrows and pupils which most little kids can't draw or don't notice till the are older.  I've always been obsessed with art, and as a shy and nervous little girl, making art was my retreat from the world.  People always told me I would grow up to be an artist but I was very bitter about it, afraid that others would box me in as just being "the artsy girl" and nothing more.  I was afraid of being labeled and afraid of people brushing me off as "the artist" stereotype.  I actually only took 1 art class in high school because I didn't believe I could pursue a career in the arts.  But in college I realized I was meant to create and I shouldn't be afraid of others boxing me in, I should simply celebrate my passion and have confidence in my creativity.  So I took 5 years of college to be able to cram in all the art classes I could possibly take, jumping from the art history major to apparel design to philosophy to studio art, with an emphasis in oil painting, to fiiiiinally end up in Studio Art, with an emphasis in Illustration.  Phew!  :)

What inspires you and keeps you motivated to create?
Because I am a jewelry designer, illustrator, and a blog designer, I always have a variety of mediums to jump between.  Having a wide variety of art jobs keeps my hands busy with an array of different projects.  My mind gets to click into different gears when I switch my projects, so, even just switching to a jewelry project when I am getting frustrated with a blog design can help keep my mind feeling sane and refreshed.

How would you describe your style?
I would say that my style is very feminine but with a bit of an edge.  I don't like creating things that feel too cute, but I love balancing a feminine fresh elegance with something a little more daring, dramatic, and rough.  My amethyst double rings are a perfect example of this.  Amethyst is such a pretty, feminine stone, but i keep it edgy by using big raw chunks of amethyst in my work.  I'm inspired by nature and love a muted palette with pops of metallics, woods inspired greens and browns, and bright colors of raw stones and crystals.  I'm a modern, feminine, woodsy nature loving lady.

Who are some people that have inspired your work?
I always am getting inspiration from what I see in the blogging world and through pinterest and other great image collecting websites.  But the specific people that have most inspired me are not so much other jewelry designers, but rather mentors and friends in my own life.  My favorite college professors Laura Lasworth and Gala Bent are incredible fine artists who capture a magical whimsy in their work balanced with an elegant mature gracefulness that I hope to capture in my jewelry as well.  They create poetry in their pieces and I admire that so much.  If someone feels a bit of poetry when they put on one of my pieces, my dreams have been met :)

What is something funny that's happened to you recently?
Probably the funniest/cutest thing that has happened to be lately is that I unintentionally taught the baby of the family I live with how to evil laugh.  She is just under a year old and every time she sees me, she smiles a huge smile and goes buah-ha-ha-ha-ha like count dracula.  It is so funny and adorable!

How do you bridge the gap between creating and running a business?
oh my goodness, in all honesty, it can be really hard sometimes.  I love both elements of my jobs, the creation process and the business side, but there are days when I just really only want to do one or the other.  When that happens, I try to give myself that freedom by focusing intensely on whatever it is I am feeling most passionate about that day, for example pumping out tons of awesome jewelry pieces.  Then when I feel like I have accomplished a lot during that day, I set a goal to work just as hard on a different element of my business the next day, be it accounting, blog designing, packaging, or what have you.  I love the variety of work in what I do, and remembering that each element is important and valuable keeps me inspired to work hard always.
Describe yourself in 5 words.

 Any advice for aspiring artists/designers?
You should always seek out guidance in every element of your work, even the parts that you feel super confident in.  Having someone older and wiser to mentor you and critique when it is needed is SO helpful.  I didn't have many people to look up to until I was in college which made navigating my life and my dreams pretty difficult and tumultuous.  But when I found great mentorship in people like my incredibly deep thinking and artistic professors from college, my super inventive friend and "boss lady" Leigh Ann (She is the co-owner and head of Freckled Nest, the design company I work for), my champion of organization and planning Kyla, from KylaRoma.com and also co-owner of Freckled Nest, and a few others, I was able to learn from them how to better support myself in my talents.
It is important to have pride in yourself and believe in the uniqueness of you, but never let your pride push you to think that you don't need help and guidance.  No one is perfect in every way.  So seek out friends who have incredible gifts that are not your own so you can learn from them, AND seek out mentors who have similar gifts as you who can help you navigate through similar life and work situations.  Leaning on others and letting them lean on you is the best way to build community and the best way to find love for others and yourself in business and in life.  Be tough and trust your strength, but remember to let others have your back when you are not feeling as strong as usual.  Kindness, and hard work can get you anywhere.  Never leave out one or the other, kindness and hard work go hand in hand. <3

Moorea, thank you so much for doing this interview.  Your story is so inspiring and encouraging! 

Please go check out her wonderful blog and shop! 

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