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Monday, July 24, 2006

Interview with Beth Robinson

1) First of all, can you present yourself?
1)My name is Beth Robinson. I am a doll artist that currently lives in Burlington, Vermont. I have been making art dolls since 2003. In the last three years I have made over 300 dolls for galleries, for charity, and for a variety of collectors, photographers, and animators across the globe. I have received international press from the magazines: SPIN, "Stuff" in the US, "Maxim UK" and "Maxim Hong Kong," "Rue Morgue" in Canada, and "Nokia CP" in Turkey.
I sell my creations through
www.strangedolls.net, a website I design and maintain.

2) Do you think of yourself as an artist?
2)Yes I do.

3) What is creativity?
3)Creativity is like Vitamin C – you need to replenish the supply every day in order to remain healthy.

4) Does your environment influence your art, either in style/format or interference?
4)Very much so. I process conversations, interactions, bad dreams, even the daily news, through the dolls. It is almost like I require the dolls in order to put my head in order.

5) What are some of your influences and inspirations?
5)I think the above question answers this. Daily life is my inspiration and a strong influence.

6) What’s your favourite mediums (pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc)?
6)For years I was a painter and illustrator. When I discovered doll making, I was thrilled to employ a wide variety of mediums. The dolls require painting, sewing, clothing design, and sculpting. I love being able to use all of these mediums in my work as opposed to being limited to one.

7) Who are some of your favourite painters/artists?
7)There are so many amazingly creative people out there. I have discovered, through the internet, that the list is endless. I seem to encounter artists all the time that thrill me and take my breath away. It is so hard to nail it down to a select few.
My favorite traditional artists are Andrew Wyeth, Rembrandt, Hieronymus Bosch.
My favorite modern painters are Saturno Butto, Mark Ryden.
Favorite doll makers are Elizabeth McGrath, Scott Radke, and Whalefish Studios.

8) How long does it normally take you to complete a piece of your artwork?
8)It truly depends on the piece. It can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on the piece.

9) What else are you interested in besides visual arts?
9)I spend a lot of time on the dolls so my free time is minimal but motorcycling, graphic design; activities with friends and family are what occupy “non-doll time.”

10) Got any new projects planned?
10)You will have to stay tuned to strangedolls.net to see what I come up with each month!

11) How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
11)Strange, little afflicted characters.

12) What other talent would most like to have?
12)That is a hard question to answer. I am quite happy with being artistically inclined. I suppose if I had to choose another talent, I would be a brilliant mathematician.

13) What are your most beloved items?
13)That’s an interesting question. I had an apartment burn down at one point in my life and that cured me of having strong attachments to “stuff.” I suppose the things that are most beloved to me are the things that are irreplaceable. My father gave me my baby teeth from his “tooth fairy” stash. Recently I inherited an old Victorian painting from my grandmother that I had always loved as a child. My boyfriend is also an artist and he has created several irreplaceable items for me – several piece of artwork and a rag doll.


14) Favourite books?
14)Currently it is “The Fortunate Pilgrim” by Mario Puzzo

15) Do you remember the first drawing you made?
15)I do. It was a drawing for an art contest in first grade. It was a simple kids drawing of me, my house, my pets - the usual. But the positive feedback was so nice that I decided to enroll in drawing classes. Unfortunately my interest in the classes did not last long.

16) What kind of music do you like and do you listen to? Is music important for your art?
16)I usually listen to music while I am working so I prefer to have something that is moody and can blend into the background. I’ve been hooked on Barry Adamson and Zoe Keating lately.
My music tastes are actually quite eclectic. I love everything from Chopin to Rammstein to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Rasputina to Tom Waits. My mood usually dictates what I want to listen to.

17) Any advice for artists?
17)I am going to use a wonderful quote that I found from artist, Cyn McCurry, when asked the same question:“Being an artist is wearing cruel shoes and liking it.”

18) Your contact information:
18)Beth Robinson
info@strangedolls.net
www.strangedolls.net

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