Thursday, March 4, 2010

Featured Artist: Abby Davis

(as always, interview conducted by k@t Marsh. Don't copy or paste this interview, it's stealing! Instead direct link to this feature to share it! Thanks)


I lived in Richmond, Va with my highly creative family until I was 18. I have been crafting since I was a toddler with my strength being sewing. There is a long history of fiber arts in our family, so it's thought to be a given that everyone (female and male) know how to at least sew. I moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend The Art Institute of Philadephia to pursue my passion for Fashion Design. There I refined my sewing skills and fell in love with draping and pleating fabrics into sleek sculptural forms. I also became very interested in the history of art and fashion and how it relates to today's world. After I graduated college, I moved back to Richmond, Va to work on a plan for my fashion designer goal.

After a few months of living in Richmond again, I meet my now husband and fell in love. We got married and had a surprise daughter. As the years have passed and she has grown, I've been refining my art skills which include, machine sewing, hand embroidery, pattern making, pattern alteration, fabric manipulation, crocheting, wire wrap jewelry, beading, drawing and recently painting. I've been applying my skills to new mediums like embroidery and beading on canvas and drawing with paint on clothing and canvas to produce visually stimulating art pieces.

I started my blog, ,
in March 2009 to document my art as well as other fashion and history related interests.
In October 2009 I opened my ETSY store, Azurafae by Abby Davis,
to start selling my hand made fashion accessories and soon my art.
In December 2009, I made a Facebook fan page, ,
so people could keep track of when I make new things to sell and when they are listed on ETSY or available for custom order.

Since then I have been featured twice on for my art and skull collection.

I do not have any upcoming shows, but as I start making more art pieces, I hope that will change.


Describe your work to someone who has never seen it before.

I am heavily influnced by sugar skulls, nature and pin-up. I love mixing macabre things like skulls and nocturnal creatures with pretty things like flowers and butterflies. For wearable items, I love texture and comfort. I want to make it beautiful, but I also want to be comfortable so the skin isn't bothered by the materials used to create the item.

What do you find visually stimulating right now? Any local artists that we need to keep an eye on?

I have been following the art work of Noah Scalin who made an art blog about making a skull out of different mediums every day for a year. His work and now the work of fans and co-writers is beautiful and inspirational. It's what made me want to start applying my love of sugar skulls to canvas and cloth.

What other artists or movements inform your work/aesthetics/sensibilities?

Crochet wise, I'm inspired by Monster Crochet, , which along with, influenced the creation of my skull scarf. It also keeps me thinking about how to expand my crochet techniques to make more intricate and beautiful items.
Historically, I'm influenced by Betsey Johnson, Elsa Schiaparelli, Rudy Gernreich, Paco Rabanne, and Itsy Miyaki. I love the sculputural and quirkiness of thier creations. Their innovations and design techniques make me continue to think of new and interesting ways to make my creations come to life.

I am fascinated with Day of the Dead/ Dia de los Muertos, Catrinas, Papel Picado ((mexican cut paper), Sugar Skulls and related aspects to the three day ancestrial festival. I have no Mexican heritage, but the bright colors and beautiful flowers mixed with the skeletons and skulls is an intriging thing. I love the fact that they remember thier ancestors in such a beautiful and postive way. It's a celebration of life.

If there were no financial limits whatsoever for you, what constraints would you most like to overstep? Are there other mediums you would explore?

I would love to have my own shop to sell my own work as well as work from other local artists. I would love to explore architecture, furniture, and transportation design. I see beauty in everything and would love the opportunity to share that view point with others.
Did you grow up in Virginia? (If not, when / why did you move here?)

I was born and raised in Virginia. I love it here. I've traveled and lived in other places, but I always come back here. It has everything that I want...cities, beaches, mountians, country side...

Do you do gallery shows?

I have only done one gallery show with my "Wind" art piece, but I would love to do more. I plan on creating more skeleton pieces using techniques similar to those used in my "Wind" piece.

What is your current favorite creation?

My current favorite creation is my "Flower and Vines Skull". It sits on my fire place mantle and it inspires me to make more art pieces. I also love my skull scarf which has been keeping me warm these past few months.

How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?

I think hype heavily influences the public perception, because it increases the public exposure of the art and makes it more well known. With that being said, not everyone likes the same thing. I tend to like many different types of art from many influences, countries and historical points, however someone else might just like one of two kinds. By having increased exposure, it can help broaden the spectrum of art a person might like and this is always a good thing.

Last CD bought, downloaded or stole?

Bought - Norah Jones - "The Fall"
Bartered For - Synthetic Nightmare - "Rot in Equality"

Why do you think so many people spend money on music but don't buy much REAL art?

Music is more publically exposed than art is. You can hear music on the radio, on tv, on the internet and it's something that everyone likes. Art doesn't get that kind of exposure. Sure it's in the media and in museums, but an art program is the 1st thing to get cut at schools before a music program. So the value is not seen as high. I find art to be very therapeutic and that aspect should be more publically known. If I'm having a bad day, some form of art always makes me happier. Weather it's making something or just looking at it, the beauty of it makes my world a little happier.

How do you think the local scene is doing? How would you change it?

I love the mix of music, dance, performance art and visual art. The only thing that that could improve it is making our semi-under ground art movements and shows known to the general public. I live in the suburbs, but go to the city on a regular basis, so I have more art exposure than the normal suburbanite. Weekly news in various mainstream media always helps draw more attention. Also, with my having a young daughter, I always love kid friendly things. Kids love art too. Her being a kid from a long line of artists, she is a bit more advanced than the average kid, so she would love to be able to attend art things that aren't totally kid themed.

Last Book you read?

"Memoirs of a Geshia" by Arthur Golden
I'm currently reading "Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di" by Kris Waldherr

What's your favorite local restaurant to eat at?

Vietnam One. I love their noodle soup.

Quote us your favorite song lyrics. (please include who it is by)

"I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
I'll take a deep deep breath
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown"
-Emilie Autumn
What's your worst habit?

procrastinating about cleaning. My house usually looks like a craft bomb exploded.

What irritates you?

Not getting time to relax every day, not having any control, and when my daughter talks non stop. The last one is the child me coming back to haunt me.

What has been your greatest success?

Having one of my art pieces on display in a gallery of a Capital One large corporate building. The art director loved it and offered to show more of my work when I had it ready.

What has been your greatest setback?

The greatest setback has been the unexpected birth of my daughter. However, I never stopped crafting and we craft together some times. She is my greatest helper. She tells me what she likes and what she doesn't. She loves when I make new things, so she is a great motivator.

The business side of being an artist: how do you market/promote yourself, and does it work? How do you cope?

Since my daughter is now school age, I have just recently started trying to market and promote myself via the internet, but am very interested in branching out in other ways. It has definitely worked to get some exposure of what I can do. I'm still very new to selling my art, so if something doesn't work, I keep on trying something else in an attempt to find the best outlet. Sort of like when you buy a new house, you test all the plugs till you find the one that will always turn something on with a flip of the switch.

What came first, the art or the misery? Explain.

The art. Not all artist are miserable. I love Van Gogh, but I'm not about to cut off my ear for a mistress. I craft weather I'm happy or not. It's what keeps me going. Van Gogh painted on his good and bad days.

What do you think of what MC7C does? How would you make it better? Have you been to any of our events?

I love how MC7C promotes the local art scenes. The more positive exposure the stronger the scene gets. I have yet to attend any events, but I would love to.

Featured Artist: Amy Chastin

(as always, do not copy + paste this feature or repost elsewhere, share the URL or website with others...anything else is stealing and not giving me proper credit.)

Feature can ALSO be viewed here--- on the MC7C myspace blog!

Business Moniker: Mooncatcher Creations
Hometown and Current City: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Age: 26
Online store:
Upcoming Events: None scheduled at the moment but working on making my circuit debut!

Describe your work to someone who has never seen it before.

My style and personal aesthetic still has much growing to do. I was very artsy as a kid but it wasn’t until the end of 2008 that I started creating again. I started out with a simple elegant aesthetic but I am now foraying more into making the statement pieces that I’ve wanted to make from the jump.

What do you find visually stimulating right now? Any local artists that we need to keep an eye on?

My inspiration tends to come organically and spontaneously. I’m constantly saturating my senses with my environment whether doing so with music, inspirational images, reading, meditation, etc. As far as untapped artists I guess I’d have to throw a shout out to the pagan circuit for which your average person is going to know nothing about but there is a great community of local artists within it. The artists on that circuit tend to be very eclectic but I’ve seen some pretty incredible artists from all over at events such as May Moon, Earthweavers, and Pagan Pride Day @ Bayville Farms. In between the festivals, you can also find much of this type of art at Mystic Moon on Military highway.

What other artists or movements inform your work/aesthetics/sensibilities?

I march to the beat of my own whacked out drummer which may be why I have no developed personal aesthetic yet. I just sort of create it as I feel it whatever "it" may be at the time. I do take a lot of inspiration from Wendy Russell and Jennifer Perkins. I love how they've taken arts and crafts and made it youthful and relevant to modern day decor. Strictly speaking jewelry making I'd undoubtedly say I am awe inspired by artists like Tatiana van Iten. Her bead working skills are absolutely incredible to the point that her jewelry is not jewelry; they are wearable works of art.

If there were no financial limits whatsoever for you, what constraints would you most like to overstep? Are there other mediums you would explore?

If money were no issue then I would love to put together a studio so I could dabble in all sorts of art projects. My goal is to become an artsy jack of all trades not just stuck in one facet of art. I'd love to take a stab at painting, maybe even make furniture or just reclaim and refurbish pieces in a modern, funky way. I've always wanted to make a vintage paned glass window table or wall hanging.

Did you grow up in Virginia? (If not, when / why did you move here?)

Yes. In such a transient city, I am one of those people who was born, bred, and has stayed in Virginia Beach my entire life.

Do you do gallery shows?

Patronizing them the but unfortunately I have not yet done any vending. Thus far I've been pretty timid about my work. My style is one that is still evolving so I don't have the confidence and signature style that many local artists have.

What is your current favorite creation?

Probably the rhinestone seahorse necklace with the light blue resin beads. It's a more bold statement sort of piece and is the closest I've come to satisfaction with my work. It also to me in a simple way encompasses things I love, the beach, rhinestones, gemstones, and big baubles lol.

How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?

I think hype and marketing can be everything when it comes to the public's perception of good art. However, what is "good art" anyways? It is completely subject to the observer’s interpretation. From a personal standpoint, even if one doesn't like the style or piece, you have to appreciate and respect the fact that someone felt creation inside and took the time and the effort to manifest something that is an extension of them to be put out for public scrutiny.

Last CD bought, downloaded or stole?

Ok I bet this will be way out of left field. I downloaded the Midnight Express soundtrack to add to my Giorgio Moroder mp3 collection. Electro-heads and Scarface sampling hip hop producers know your roots to the man that is Giorgio Moroder lol.

Why do you think so many people spend money on music but don't buy much REAL art?

I think it's just a matter of the consumer minded mentality of these United States. We are used to getting mass produced goods for cheap. Especially in these hard times paying extra for quality art is not important while having music that gets us moving through the day is always going to be worth investing in to the average person. However it goes even further than that. I think many people simply don't know there's a flourishing local art scene that would probably speak to them and right at their fingertips either at a local venue or on the internet. With 1 million registered users, websites like Etsy are a wonderful asset to the thriving artist and hopefully awareness will continue to grow in the mainstream.

How do you think the local scene is doing? How would you change it?

The local scene always has its ups and downs whether it's music, art, or both. I think it was lulling for a while and really kind of still is. But there's a strong base there and I always remain hopeful that it will boom.

Last Book you read?

Again way out of left field and some who know me might keel over when I say this but I've actually been reading parts of the Bible. I am almost 27 years old and have NEVER read it before so I picked up one at my local Dollar Tree lol.

What's your favorite local restaurant to eat at?

I patron many local eateries so it's very hard to pick just one. But if I had to then I guess I'd have to say Beach Bully. I've been going there since I was a kid and when I wasn't my Dad was usually bringing it home once or twice a month. They're funny, friendly people there and the food is so good (Superbully platter w/ mac n cheese and French fries please). On top of which their buy one get one free coupons are the deal!

Quote us your favorite song lyrics. (please include who it is by)

My favorite song lyrics are relative to what is currently going on in my life. Today the following particularly resonated with me as I listened ...

"I want to live where soul meets body. And let the sun wrap its arms around me. And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing. And feel, feel what its like to be new" (Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie)

What's your worst habit?

Procrastinating. I always get what I need done by the time and date it needs to be done by. But I am definitely a terrible procrastinator even though I so don't want to be!

What irritates you?

Inconsiderate people and habitual liars.

What has been your greatest success?

By far being a Mother is my greatest success. I have an incredibly bright daughter who lights me up inside like the 4th of July.

What has been your greatest setback?

My greatest setback was definitely the 1 - 2 punch of leaving my job of over 2 years in August (the timing, not that I left) and then having my fiancé/father of my child leave ME not too long after. In the beginning I couldn't even fathom creating again. However I am currently experiencing a surplus of inner creativity not just with my jewelry making but also expanding into general projects. I see potential in everything now.

The business side of being an artist: how do you market/promote yourself, and does it work? How do you cope?

I've been treading very softly as far as putting myself out there. I've sold mostly to family, friends, and co-workers so far. I also have an Etsy store which I promote on occasion and have had a couple of sales. In 2010 though I have a new found confidence in my work and am enthusiastic to put myself out there by vending events and generally getting a little exposure.

What came first, the art or the misery? Explain.

Art is misery and misery is art. I think some of the best art is born from misery either while experiencing it or the happiness that comes from surviving the plight of misery. So in my opinion the two are tightly linked.

What do you think of what MC7C does? How would you make it better? Have you been to any of our events?

Anyone who has the stick-with-it-ness to be a local promoter, especially in this area, is a rock star in my eyes. The only thing I could say to make it better is get a street team because I'm sure it's a lot for one person to handle alone! I've been to art shows in the past but admittedly I can't recall if they were MC7C events or not. However I will certainly be in attendance at future events.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pigment of Your Imagination (Art Show / Edmarc Benefit)

Mission: The raise awareness of local Virginia artists, educate the public on many forms of art expressions, and assist / raise money or donations for EDMARC Hospice for Children to ensure their health care services. An estimated 300-500 people are expected to attend the event and donate to the charity. 100% of the proceeds are going to Edmarc Hospice for Children.

Date: February 21 2009

Venue: Walls Fine Art Gallery, Monticello Arcade (across MacArthur Mall) Norfolk Virginia

Time: 7pm-11pm

Artists: Christine Harris, Brian Banks, Devon Lawrence, Howard Tarpey, Robert Kurtz, Frank “Grandpa” Marsh, Derek Eley, Jade Bengco, Toxic Shock Clothing, Last Deviant, Fotog Ink, Holly Williams, Chad VanPelt, & k@t Marsh.

Music: DJ Lord Thomas, DJ k@t, & DJ Who?

Edmarc Hospice for Children


Walls Fine Art Gallery

DJ Lord Thomas

Last Deviant

Brian Banks

Toxic Shock Apparel

Holly Williams

Devon Lawrence

Derek Eley

Christine Harris

Howard Tarpey


Chad VanPelt

Jade Bengco

k@t Marsh

Gabriel Perry

Participating Sponsors & Organizations:

Orthopaedic Associates of Virginia

The Green Monster Movie / Trevor Wright!

The Nightmare Mansion

Doumar's Cones and BBQ

Cinema Cafe

AOC Salon Myspace

AOC Salon dot Com

McFadden's Hampton Dot Com

MCT Creative Culture

Video and Photography Services Provided by:
Crysdan Productions


The Gypsy Queens

About EDMARC: Established in 1978, Edmarc Hospice for Children was the first hospice in the nation designed specifically for children. They are a United Way agency, serving children with life-limiting illness and their families, without regard to their ability to pay for services. Edmarc believes that remaining at home helps alleviate some of the child’s stress. They offer a broad range of services to address not only the physical and emotional needs of the child, but the many needs of their families. Their home health, hospice, and bereavement support services are available to children and families 24/7.

For Additional Information on MC7C:

http://www. myspace. com/monochromatic7cities

http://mc7c. weebly. com/


For Additional Information on Edmarc:

http://www. edmarc. org/

For Additional Information on Walls:

http//www. myspace. com/wallsfineart


Metered Parking Areas are FREE after 6pm on Saturday Night.

Park at MacArthur Center South Garage (off City Hall Ave)- After 6pm for $2.

Sponsors: *thus far*

Orthopaedic Associates of VA

AOC Salon


Cinema Cafe

MCT Creative Culture

Crysdan Productions


Check out the MC7C page for a complete link to all the artists!