Thursday, March 4, 2010

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.

No comments: