Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Mixed-Media Artist: 5 years old

Five years ago today, North Light Books released my second book The Mixed-Media Artist

It is hard for me to believe that 5 years has passed since this hit the shelves. Writing and publishing a book is a surreal experience that has included so many highlights for me: signing the book contract, holding the completed book in my hands for the first time, seeing the book on the shelves of book stores, and receiving positive feedback from readers. On the flip side, tracking sales and amazon reviews can sometimes be daunting. All part of the deal.

For those of you who are not familiar with my book, it highlights the artwork and creative process of over 40 all-star artists. This is not a traditional how-to book, but rather a journey through the personal inspirations, motivations and creative perspectives of the artist.

Inside its pages you will find:


Juana Almaguer: Finding Balance. The face I show the world is incomplete, ill-formed, vulnerable and changing. Through my art, the world becomes less random, more fixed and cold, but reliable...very reliable. And to the world alone I show my face and find balance.

Juliana Coles: Self-Portrait with Love. As an artist there are so many things I look at in this piece that I feel I should do better - especially if I want to impress my audience. But I don't want to impress you with how good I am; I want to impress you with my bravery; I want to impress you with my ability to talk about the hard things and find my way through it. I think people will like me better if I make something pretty or "whimsical," but I can't. Please don't look away because I have something important to say. I'm talking to you: the woman like me who needs me to tell it like it is because she doesn't have the tools to articulate it. She doesn't have the words or the images to express it, but she knows what I am talking about. I am talking to you and your wound. You are not alone.

Anca Gray: Crash Course in Thoracic Surgery. The bits and pieces will fit. Take great care not to lose even one, torn and bruised as they may be. Hold them up to the sun, one by one, while whistling a familiar tune. As far as the mending itself goes, use what you have on hand, It will do. Pause often for tea breaks. In time, healing is sure to take its course. Eventually, a new song will bloom, just below the surface.


What do you do to make sure you are always growing artistically?

Keep my eyes wide open. Cultivate an attitude of curiosity. Believe in the possibilities of amazing things I have not yet personally experienced. Study, learn and try to understand the things I see around me. Look through the eyes of another. Practice spontaneity. --Tracy Verdugo

What is the one thing you dislike the most about the art world?

I don't love the fact that I basically have to sell myself in order to sell my work. Consumers seem to buy into the personality of the artist as much as the work. I'm a bit of an introvert. I'd rather just sit in my studio and create. -- Jason Twiggy Lott

What has been the most uplifting and/or devastating reaction of someone to your work?

In one show, I had an artist statement hanging in two parts. Ones side started with the word "lie" and spoke of the lies we believe about ourselves. The other side started with the word "truth" and spoke of the intrinsic worth of our experiences. One couple held their little girl and read the truth statement out loud to her. It moved me to tears and still does when I think of it. -- Crystal Neubauer


Making an image transfer onto encaustic -- Supria Karmakar

Creating layered backgrounds with gesso and glazes -- Seth Apter

Using monoprinting leftovers for ATCs -- Marit Barentsen


A motto I live my artistic life by: "You must make an effort to put something in motion" -- Jeane Myers

3 things I am inspired by: The tin box in the movie Amelie, the way that shadows dance, the caramel aroma of fallen leaves in October -- Elizabeth Bunsen

4 things on my studio table: buckets of rusted crews and washers, a pile of sticks, wire, reference books -- Geoffrey Gorman


Have you ever purposely withheld info from another artist to keep your process private?

Absolutely not. I am happy to share...50%
This has never come up for me yet...18%
I will only do this with certain, specific people...17%
I have done this on occasion...14%
I almost never share my process...1%

Do you have trouble identifying you artistic style?

Yes. Although I know it intuitively, I have a hard time describing it...33%
No, even though my artistic style changes all the time...26%
Yes, I find this very difficult to do...24%
No. I have a very clear understanding of my artistic style...17%

Do you have an updated artist statement?

No, I have not written an artist statement...41%
Yes, I have an updated artist statement that I use...36%
I have written an artist statement, but it is out of date and may not reflect where I am now...23%


Redanne said...

5 years? Really? Wow! This is my favourite 'go to' books when I need some inspiration (which in my world is pretty much every day). I found the answers to the blog survey so interesting too, thanks so much for sharing it Seth. Anne x

Sue Marrazzo said...


Robert said...

I love this book, Seth, and thourougly enjoyed being a part of your first book “The Pulse of Mixed Media”. It was the first time I had ever had a piece of my artwork published. You gave me (and so many others) that opportunity! This experience led to my submitting artwork to Northlight Books’ “Incite: The Best of Mixed Media” series, and publication of four more pieces of my work. You opened a door for me that has changed both my art and my life in unexpected ways! Once again, a heartfelt ’thank you’, Seth, for all you do for the Mixed Media Arts Community the world over!

john said...

OMG! Five years! Can't believe it! Where has all that time gone! Lots of art has been made. I am so pleased I could be a part of the second book. Hope all is well with you. :-)

Marit said...

Time really catches up on us Seth... is it been 5 years already? But I remember so well, I was (AM!) so honoured to be in this book. We did a lot of things since then, and moved forward at the speed of light it seems - you are doing so well (I think, seeing you on Facebook) Good for you, you deserve all the succes and love! Hug from Holland, Marit