Posted in Interviews, Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

★ INTERVIEW with Poet Jamell Crouthers ★

The World We Live In: A Poetry Book On Societal Issues by Poet Jamell Crouthers focuses on fictional characters that chronicle life experiences that they’ve dealt with through poetry. Each person discusses an experience that has changed and impacted them in ways they never thought of. These people only have names. Race or ethnicity is not discussed because the goal is to feel, understand and relate to their experiences.

The_World_We_Live_InBook_Cover
Available on Amazon! Click image to purchase.

 

“Societal Issues” is in the subtitle, so I can certainly tell that influenced your writing quite a bit. But what would say initially inspired you to write this poetry book?

My inspiration for this book is there are so many issues in the world that don’t get discussed openly. We all experience things differently but they need to be discussed more.

I couldn’t agree more with you! This collection stands out to me already, but what’s another element that makes it stand out?

My writing is different than others. It’s not the traditional reading of a book. I wrote in poetry format because it’s an easier read and I feel you get a different experience reading it in poetry format.

Interesting. Poetry does tend to appeal to the emotions differently than prose. What are some of the main topics that are showcased in the book?

My prevalent themes in my book are domestic violence, drug abuse, gambling addiction, depression, rape and many others.

Those are all very important matters to bring to the forefront. It may not be easy to read or even write about, but I’m glad there are poets out there who bring other people’s awareness to such things. That being said, how do you typically go about writing?

My writing process is a lot of brainstorming, writing down ideas in a blue book with different colored pens. I think about a lot before I write and then when I sit down to write, I listen to relaxing electronic music and let the words flow without having any writer’s block. I’m productive in the afternoons and at night mostly. Once I get a zone, I can write for a good 2-3 hours straight.

I can definitely relate! Especially the part about writing mostly at night. Before I conclude this interview, would you like to share some final thoughts?

I would like to thank GOD for blessing me with the gift and ability to write and story tell. I have to thank my parents for all of their support and listening to all of my crazy ideas and process with my writing. To all of my close friends who are there to give me ideas, I thank you. I want to thank the readers who have supported me. I have many more books coming in the future!

And thank you for talking about your recent poetry book with me, Jamell! It was a pleasure learning more about it and you as a writer.

 

Again, Jamell’s book is now
available on Amazon. Click here!

 JamellCrouthers

Official Website
www.aquarianmind.info

Facebook
www.facebook.com/aquarianpoet1

Twitter
www.twitter.com/aquarianmind1

Instagram
www.instagram.com/aquarianmind

Author Profile Page
www.bublish.com/author/view/6877

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Posted in Interviews, Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

★ INTERVIEW with Artist Kimberly-Ann Debling ★

Mindfulness Mandalas! by Artist Kimberly-Ann Debling is a wonderfully-crafted adult coloring book with a number of unique elements that make it especially one-of-a-kind. (Find out what those are in the interview below!)

And best of all? It’s only $7.90 on Amazon.

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I’m so excited to be interviewing you. I’m a huge fan of coloring books and I absolutely love mandalas! So, what inspired you to create this meditative coloring book?

 I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant and during my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with cancer. I realised that even though I’m now in a hugely stressful situation, I had been more stressed and anxious in the past under less ‘socially valid’ reasons!

It made me really think about the way we deal with stress and how creativity helps so much. I feel that any creative pursuit is sometimes hard unless we’re naturally good at it, or have practiced since childhood. Don’t sing unless you have a good voice, don’t paint unless you’re an artist, don’t woodwork unless you create sellable items, don’t play an instrument unless you’re stage-worthy! At what age do we tell kids that its not right to do creative things unless they’re already a pro?!

I’ve always been interested in stress-relieving activities due to my previous life as an Air Traffic Controller, so I wanted to combine a few things that I’ve always loved to bring myself calmness – art and mindfulness.

Hearing that just made my heart feel heavy, but at the same time, your message is really uplifting. What an inspiration you are! So, every creative type has a path to follow. Can you tell me about your artistic journey?

My art journey has always tended towards the ‘design’ end of the spectrum. I’m passionate about packaging design (someone has to be)! But a lot of my joy was creating surface pattern and computer-drawn vector designs to include within the graphical elements. I just love how a beautiful pattern in combination with great typography, a barcode, and an ingredients list can become a real physical item that gets on shelves and in customers’ hands!

A designer to the very core… Wonderful! What would you say sets your coloring book apart from others that are available?

My book is deliberately simple, but the things that make it a little different from your average adult colouring book are:
* It is not too thick that it is overwhelming – there’s actually a good chance that you will finish all the pages. I always feel a sense of waste when I see too many un-coloured pages!
* It is printed on one side only so that if you use pens the bleed through doesn’t ruin the next page, my medium of choice for colouring is often alcohol based pens so this was a huge factor for me.
* Each page consists of a mandala plus a mindful phrase or saying to focus on. I wanted there to be a definite focus so that the ‘mindful’ part of the colouring has a special place for each page.

I especially like the mindfulness element. I can really resonate with it. Who are some of your artistic muses & influences?

 I’m obviously in awe of some of the more famous colouring book artists, but I also love Lichtenstein, Mucha, and Dali. Mucha is probably my most obvious influence. I’m working on another book which will be a colour-in diary but this time hand-drawn… I can see lots of Mucha-inspired elements creeping in!

A color-in diary? Now, that sounds neat! When it comes to creating, how do you normally go about it?

I have a Midori style notebook/diary system and one of my inserts is devoted to notes and sketches. I sketch all the time but often away from home so most of my sketches are in biro! I rarely refine the sketches as I work directly on the computer either in vector or bitmap form. I love that if something doesn’t work I can shift around elements to play with different arrangements. I get very obsessive so I often have to tell myself to just stop! I love working with clients and I make it clear to them that all feedback is positive. I usually love the finished design after feedback much more than the initial drafts.

You mentioned your cancer diagnosis in the beginning of the interview, but it’s clear to me that you are a warrior. May I ask how it has affected your life?

Actually, I really feel that being diagnosed with cancer has improved my life dramatically. It sounds crazy, I know. For 5 weeks or so I had no details so became really introspective about so many things. My own mortality, the way I feel about life, how I feel about my husband, the kind of parent I want(ed) to be to my child.

I was put into the very best care and when the doctor told my husband and I that my prognosis was excellent and that I would be treated with light therapy (essentially I have fancy sunbed sessions twice a week) we felt like we’d won the lottery.

Before all this, I was your standard person who had ups and downs and rushed through life either doing too much or wasting time. Now I really do enjoy every moment and no longer tell myself that it’s “rushed” or “wasted.” My husband and I are so much stronger in our relationship. I work with clients better. Even my designs seem better to me now that I don’t critique myself so much! I’m so much happier now that I could cry—those “silver linings” really do exist.

I could cry too, Kimberly-Ann. In fact, I am. You are such a vibrant, creative, and courageous soul. Thank you SO much for taking the time to have this interview with me. All the best to you and your family, fellow artist!

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KIMBERLY-ANN’S BLOG
www.kimberlyann.co.uk


Also find her on…

 

Facebook
www.facebook.com/KDebling

 

Twitter
www.twitter.com/KimDebling

 

Instagram
www.instagram.com/kimberlyannkd

Posted in Interviews, Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

INTERVIEW with Artist Joey Derse ✍

Pair_of_books_for_kindle
Click on the image above to purchase!

This two book set reveals secrets of the artist, Joey Derse.
It explains in detail how to paint like the great master, Vincent van Gogh.

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Artist Joey Derse

Okay. So let’s begin! What would you say your main inspiration was for this book set?

My Dad wrote about his career and felt that I wanted to also give back in that manner in regard to my career. I am really inspired by the impressionists and post impressionists (Seurat and van Gogh especially).

That’s wonderful, Joey. How about your creative journey? Can you tell me a bit about that?

At first I didn’t think that I would be able to have enough material to write a full book. But as I painted, a flood of writing ideas would come to me. Soon I had over 300-400 pages! So I spent a long time condensing it.

Again, I thought it would be impossible to complete. But by whittling out duplications and unnecessary parts, I was able to come up with something I was proud to publish.

It sounds like the muse was certainly with you along your journey. If you had to pick the most prevalent themes in your book set, what would they be?

The following themes are prevalent in this two book set: Knowing when to go with your intuition and when to look at things more scientifically; the importance of building a visual library; dispersing your color and impasto evenly throughout the canvas; being unattached to an outcome leads to a more natural picture; with focused effort, a painter can learn to paint like a great master

What profound themes! All artists seem to be inspired by other creative minds. In addition to Vincent van Gogh, who are some of your artistic inspirations?

Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, and Camille Pissarro.

What’s your creative process like?

I write as I paint. I come up with my ideas while being inspired by painting. Each time I paint, I write initially in free hand. And then I type it up at a later time.

So, more about the book set… Why should fellow artists buy this book as opposed to all the other “How to Paint” books out there?

My book teaches painting in an alternative, non-traditional fashion. I give secrets that many others will not share (including art instructors).

Excellent! Now it’s time to wrap things up. Any final thoughts?

I want to thank God and my friends and family for all their love, help, support and inspiration.

And I want to thank you for taking the time to do this lovely interview with me. Again, for anyone who is reading this, Joey’s two book set in now available on Kindle. Click here.


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JOEY’S WEBSITE
www.derseartgallery.com

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