September 27, 2017

Interested in a new approach to free motion quilting? Join us for a three-day workshop with artist and trained graphic designer, Paula Kovarik from April 4-8, 2018.

Want to know a little more about Paula and her approach to art? Read on down for her responses to our five question interview series!

Q: What was your path to becoming a full-time working artist?
PK: I had my own graphic design business for over 30 years. From the beginning my goal was to retire from that business early so that I could pursue my own art. That happened about 5 years ago. I am still a designer but now I can design for myself instead of others. 

Q: Do you work on multiple pieces concurrently or focus on exclusively one at a time? If the former, how do you balance that? If the later, how do you decide which one to start next?
PK: I usually have more than one piece going at the same time. I find that larger pieces need some rest between sessions so that I can see the life in them come into focus. If I work on a piece without stopping to think about it I can sometimes get lost in the details instead of the whole. In addition, I do a lot of exploratory stitching on small pieces to test threads, fabrics, batting and dyes. 

Q: How do you come up with ideas to begin something new?
PK: Reading, learning, reading, learning, reading, learning. When an idea comes to me it is often just a glimmer of a thought, a thumbnail sketch or a flicker on the edge of consciousness. I try to have a child’s focus, open to awe.

Q: What keeps you motivated to continue making art?
PK: It’s in my DNA. I don’t have a choice. Though sometimes there are blank zones (often on completion of a piece), a walk in the woods or a new book or article will reinvigorate me.

Q: What’s the biggest “risk” you’ve taken in your journey as an artist? Creatively, in a business sense, or in life?
PK: My parents taught me that you create your own reality. I am still learning about risks but I know that I have what I call the “power of arbitrary decision.” If presented with a problem I seek the most efficient and direct solution — then do it. My training as a graphic designer — working on deadline, with the constraint of budget and format — helped me to focus in on what is the most important part of any communication. I look at my artwork as a process rather than a product. It’s the process I seek. Not the end product. So if I feel like taking a rotary cutter to a piece because it might lead me to new insights, I do it.

Learn more about Paula’s Follow The Thread Workshop with us here.
Find out more about Paula on her website and give her a follow over on Pinterest & Instagram.