Legato :: Alisa Burke
Legato :: In a manner that is smooth and connected
by Jenny Doh
JD :: You recently had a funny update on FB describing how the glamorous life of an artist isn't so glamorous, as you go about your day in a messy sort of way. Tell me about that. From morning to night, is it touch and go to get all you need do completed?
AB :: It is SO not glamourous at all! I am an early riser and typically pop out of bed and get to work right away. While I do get dressed, my attire is just a day version of my pjs, something comfortable and typically covered in paint, no makeup or washing my hair (sometime for days) unless I have somewhere to go. Working for yourself you set the rules, the schedule, the pace and for me it is a fast pace all day long and into the night, typically a 14 hour day, my appearance is the first thing to go! As messy as I am in my art, my schedule is actually pretty organized and I think this comes from having worked in more structured job for so long. I depend on lists, calendars and a daily agenda for myself, otherwise I would be wandering around without much organization or using my time wisely. All day long I bounce from project to project in 2-3 hour blocks, often transitioning from a painting session to packing and shipping orders to editing video and then back to painting ... this is how the days typically goes depending on the projects and commitments I have going on at the time. My work day does not end at 5pm anymore like it once did at my university office job in fact I do a lot of my productive sketching, editing and blogging late into the night and because I am restless and not so great of a sleeper I will get up in the night work a little more. The hours are long and it is a lot of work but I am living my dream and will always figure out a way to structure time and make sacrifices to keep my business going- I would give up glamour any day for this life.
JD :: I love your posts where you take elements from the beach and sea and incorporate them into your work. How does the ocean inspire you?
JD :: I suspect nature in general inspires you, as I observe all of your nature journal work. Aside from drawing and coloring flowers and trees, are you also in real life a greenthumb? Do you keep a garden?
AB :: Yes, nature is a really big part of my inspiration. Growing up in Oregon in small coastal town really gave me an appreciate for the outdoors and nature. Unfortunately I don't keep much of garden because we don't have a yard at this stage in our lives. But my mom is an avid gardener and has always shared this passion with the rest of the family. There were always bouquets of flowers in the house, vegetable, herb gardens and flower gardens in our yard growing up and the awareness and preparation for the seasons. Someday soon the plan is to have a different lifestyle where we will have a yard with my our own garden.
JD :: Finish this sentence: "People might be surprised to learn that with fabric, you can ...
AB :: break rules!
JD :: OK. You have a deadline to complete an art quilt. In the middle of sewing, your machine quits. No time to get it repaired. What do you do?
AB :: Oh goodness, first I would freak out and then I would pull out my old $50 Singer Sewing machine and make it work!
JD :: You have recently opened www.shopalisaburke.com. A collaborative endeavor with your mom. The products look so exciting. Tell us a bit about this labor of love.
AB :: My mom (who is a ceramic artist) and I had been playing around with the idea for years to collaborate and launch an online shop that would showcase both of our work. Recently the timing was right for both of us and we came together to design and create all kinds of handmade goods that will grown and change with the seasons. We are thrilled that is has been a hit and we are excited to see how what we come up with. But the best part is getting to work on a project with my mom. We currently live apart and this has been a fun way to connect with each other.
- watercolor journal
- fish and chips
- cones ice cream
- dots puff paint
- floor painted
- pillow obsession
- stencil diy
- Andrew true love
- stripes half of my closet
- journal sketching
- Sew Wild breaking rules
- kiln my parents studio
- mom best friend
- whale save them
- Gogol Bordello loud rockin' gypsy punk
- handbags unique
- canvas versatile
- deadlines need them to survive
- art quilt expressive
JD :: You just won a dinner for 4 to any restaurant. Who do you invite? Where do you dine?
AB :: I would take my husband and two of our foodie friends, keep it simple and go to our favorite sushi restaurant in San Diego- Sushi Ota.
JD :: You teach both at art retreats and online. Describe the similarities and differences of both types of teaching and the lessons you have learned from the students in either format.
JD :: What's the key to productivity?
AB :: For me it is all about staying focussed on the tasks at hand. These days with facebook, twitter, the internet, etc it is really tempting to spend a lot of time on the computer and while I depend on the computer to running my business I try and stay away from it as much as possible so I can stay focussed on creativity.
All images are courtesy of Alisa Burke. Many thanks to Jaime Guthals of Interweave Press for coordinating Legato to be included in Alisa Burke's blog tour to promote Sew Wild. The full schedule is as follows:
Sept. 14 Sew, Mama, Sew http://sewmamasew.com/
Sept. 15 Balzer Designs http://www.balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Sept. 16 CraftTestDummies.com and The Creative Goddess http://www.vickiodell.com
Sept. 17 FaveCrafts http://www.favecrafts.com/
Sept. 19 Crescendoh - Jenny's Blog http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendo/legato
Sept. 21 Scarlet Lime http://www.christytomlinson.typepad.com/the_scarlet_lime/
Sept. 22 A Stitch in Dye http://stitchindye.blogspot.com
Sept. 23 Living Art at the Speed of Life http://pamcarriker.com