Hello redshoes news subscribers who wanted to learn more about the talented DC Ice! I don’t blame you–she’s one of the best interviews I’ve ever had! So read on for even more about her.
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Hey DC! Tell us about you.
Hi, I live in St. Paul but grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, in a magical location called Hidden Hills. I was just there last weekend, and I saw four deer hanging out with a peacock in my old front yard. I am married to a guy who apparently looks like Ewan McGregor, but I sort of feel like he’s a Matt Damon type. We have two mee mees (those are cats) who hang out with me and sit on my lap while I spend the day feverishly painting away. I went to The College of Visual Arts where I received my BFA while majoring in illustration.
Have you always been artistic?
One of my first memories is painting with my mom. I had a world of creative encouragement while growing up. My mom and I would have drawing matches to see who could draw something better: a rabbit, a hat, a rabbit in a hat, anything. That was our game. One summer when I was around 10 I decided to illustrate the dictionary. I fizzled out on that project pretty fast, but always had big ideas.
How has your art progressed?
I have always loved illustration but initially painted on wood instead of canvas. Probably because found pieces of wood were less expensive than stretched canvas during my college years. I became accustomed to painting on extremely hard smooth surfaces. Scratchboard came into play when my wood paintings were selling and my drawings on paper were not. Because I love drawing, I wanted to combine the processes, so I could be successful while meeting personal creative desires. Scratchboard lets me draw fine razor blade lines in combination with painting on a smooth, hard surface.
You draw a lot of animals.
When illustrating, I try to capture emotion. When drawing people, the onlooker will see race, age, sex. Even how the subject dresses relays their financial status, and even more. With animals, all of that disappears. I like creating animals with human attributes because I can capture a clearer sense of human emotion without the onlooker’s vision being clouded with stereotypes or unconscious prejudices.
Tell us a little about your process.
Part of my process includes hunting down ornate gilded frames. If I draw a snarled critter who could easily be found in a dark alley, I will frame the beast in gold, thus giving power and strength to the underdog. Immediately, the beauty of the frame makes the poor creature’s importance rise to that of royalty.
What has been a highlight of your art career?
I am thrilled to be a published illustrator. I have had eight children’s books published, and am working on two more at the moment. The Legend of the Werewolf, by Thomas Kingsley Troupe won a Bloom award, which was thrilling. I am also excited that my original scratchboard art can now be seen in various galleries nationwide.
What’s the most challenging?
Self promotion is the worst. I am horrible at telling people about art shows. If you give me your information to find out about events, you will probably only get five emails a year. That being said, come to Gallery 360 on Oct. 6! And AZ Gallery for the Saint Paul Art Crawl from Oct. 12-14.
What’s the best part of being an artist?
The best part is waking up in the morning, making coffee, listening to good music, and painting the day away.
Tell us about AZ Gallery.
I have been a member at AZ Gallery since 2009. I curate guest-artist exhibitions and help out with everyday gallery odds and ends. It’s also a nice meeting grounds for selling commission works, instead of meeting strangers at a coffee shop or my home studio [in St. Paul].
What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from childhood memories, current personal situations, and other artists. Nothing inspires me more than seeing illustrations from artists such as Julia Pott, Lizzy Stewart, Richard Colman, and Julianna Swaney, just to name a few favorites. Others things that I am drawn to are old typewriters, furry animal masks, vintage jewelry, and real ghost stories.
What’s next for you?
I will be participating in Renegade Craft Fair, [an] indie craft art show from Sept. 8-9 in Chicago. Did I mention Gallery 360 on Oct. 6? That will be a frighteningly wonderful event! A few pieces will be at Gray Duck Gallery in Austin, Texas, in November.
Where can people find your work?
My website shows an overview of my style, but you have to come to my art shows to see available art. Taking time to photograph work cuts into creative time, so most art is never photographed let alone put online. I know, I know, call me crazy. AZ Gallery for small pieces of work; little affordable gems. Gallery 360 for larger, grand paintings and statement pieces. For committed DC Ice lovers.
You know how musicians can dress in costumes when preforming? Well, I want to start wearing a furry animal fox head at my shows. Maybe antlers. I want to be my art. I don’t think I have the confidence to do that now but maybe when I’m old I will. Thoughts?