Artist Interview: Valerie Weller

Name: Valerie Weller
Name of Business: twig2nestStudio 

Creative Influences: Almighty GOD, many beautiful art friends, plants, leaves and organic
forms in nature, graphic patterns, and anything French! When I think of my favorite
ARTistes, I kind of have an “electic playlist” of sorts, ranging from Cezanne, Sorolla,
Sargent, Degas, Bonnard, to Richard Schmid, Michelle Dunaway, Jeremy Lipking, S.C.
Yuan, Madeline Fitzer, Jylian Gustlin, Hans Hoffman, KellyRae Roberts, Flora Bowley... I
could go on an on...

Preferred Medium of Creativity: My top three are watercolor, oil and mixed media (or as I
think of it... mixed-up media- because I tend to use all of these in different combinations
with acrylic, paper & decoupage) Lately I’ve been juggling between decoupage on glass &
wood for my etsy shop, while exploring mixed media. But watercolor and oil always make my heart skip a beat.


What is one of your earliest creative memories?
My earliest creative memory was that wonderful box of 64 crayola crayons! I remember
feeling as if I died and went to heaven when I received that box of crayons. I remember
looking at all of the colors... not just red, blue and yellow, but periwinkle, salmon, sea green, carnation pink & cornflower blue- the smell of those crayons, the nifty sharpener, and the beginning of endless possibilities in color.

How did you find your creative voice?
I remember always doing creative things... from making paper cut-outs, sewing my barbie
clothes, making shoe box houses for my dolls, sewing my own clothes in high school, and
painting on canvas from photo’s. In retrospect...I think my creative voice really started to
scream out, in high school. I was blessed to be in a school district that had an art depart-
ment with a printmaking class, a photo lab, a portfolio class, drawing, painting etc. A place
where teaches took us into NYC to museums, and our group met on the weekends to discuss
art history. The exposure this kind of program in high school, opened up a vision, that made me feel that “being an artist was POSSIBLE.” Although, I’ve worked as a graphic designer most of my life, the painter in me has been quietly emerging. I’ve always been working on that “voice”... I may know it’s present, but it’s slowly becoming less fearful, and willing to show itself a bit louder than it used to.

Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?
I think the creative habits that GOD gifted me with, were a constant since I was young. I
guess, high school may have been the transitional point into believing I had some valued
creative ability. I do see that my parents nurtured those gifts in me, big time, through the
years. They encouraged my artistic expression, my artsy independence, and my artistic paths.  They provided me with a college education where I majored in art, minored in education... all of which were the seeds that brought me to this artistic path that I am on now. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t taking a class, or exploring another artistic expression. I did creative projects with my children through the years, participated in the schools as an art teacher, room mom and creative project coordinator. I guess I’ve been ARTSY-ING even when I wasn’t thinking about it.

How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?
When I think about it- GOD’s spirit was putting the pieces together from the beginning, but I didn’t really begin to “SEE” until I was in my thirties. I had a religious upbringing, which I
know gave me a foundation and core belief system, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties,
did I come to know “TRUE BELIEF” and understand the depth of what GOD had done for
me. WOW- did that impact my artistic process... from that point on, every brush stroke had a purpose, every creative expression had a depth to it that I hadn’t known before, and more importantly, I began to learn that this gift of creativity was given to be shared with others, to lift others, to show GOD’s expression. And from that, came the ultimate joy in the creative work that I am doing.

Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?
Actually, about 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of doing freelance graphic design projects
for the church I attended at the time. Working with a believing group of creative people,
taught me more about purpose, prayer, and the gift of creating. And boy was that a fun timeof life! My most fulfilling graphic work happened then.

Today, I am blessed to be part of a fabulous ministry that feeds the homeless. Before the
meal is served, the children of the families, come to my art table and do an art project.
GOD has been true in providing for this ministry with creativity, supplies and spirit. I
experience pure joy with these kids, and receive so much back, compared to what I feel
I am giving.

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