We’re thrilled to have New York City based artist Seth Apter join us this year for a totally new kind of workshop for our studio! In Bento Box you will be make a series of small-sized projects, each of which will nest inside its own container – for example, tins, boxes, bags, etc. Each of these will in turn be placed and housed inside one larger box, creating a very special treasure chest. In the process of creating your unique artwork, techniques you will learn will involve acrylic painting, collage, book binding, hand stitching, mark making, surface design and alteration, heat embossing, mixed media layering, stamping, assemblage, and more.
Seth is a mixed media artist, instructor, author and designer from New York City. His artwork has been exhibited in multiple exhibitions and can be found in numerous books and national magazines. Seth has published two books, The Pulse of Mixed Media and The Mixed-Media Artist, and eight mixed-media workshop videos with North Light Media. He is an instructor at Pratt Institute in NYC and his live workshops have been held throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the UK. Seth is also a product designer, with multiple art lines with Impression Obsession, StencilGirl Products, PaperArtsy, and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies.
To get to know Seth a bit more, we asked him a few questions about his approach to art and teaching.
Q: How does your personal art practice fit into your life?
SA: The longer I have been involved in the art world, the more I realize that my art practice is really not separate from my life in general. I work on some aspect of art everyday – sometimes creating new work, sometimes focusing on the business end, and (very often) spending time on social media. Most often, the different aspects of my work collide and they are all happening at the same time.
Q: How has your work evolved over time?
SA: My work has become increasingly complex as I have become more comfortable with pushing myself further and taking creative risks. Initially I focused mostly on 2-dimensional works on paper with a relatively, small set of supplies. As time has passed, I have stretched myself further in terms of supplies, art domains, and techniques. My work has become more and more layered, textured, and dimensional whether working with paint, art mediums, paper, fiber, assemblage or found objects.
Q: What’s the biggest “risk” you’ve taken in your journey as an artist?
SA: While becoming a full-time artist was a plan that unfolded for me slowly, over time, making that choice was certainly a risk for me. Carving out a living as an artist while living in New York City is most certainly a challenge. Leaving the comfort and stability of my previous career as a Psychologist was also a huge move for me. But my experience in life has always been that the times when I have chosen the risk and taken a leap are the times that are the most meaningful, memorable and enjoyable.
Q: Do you work on multiple pieces concurrently or focus on exclusively one at a time?
SA: I always work on multiple pieces at the same time. For me, that has been the key to never having experienced the dreaded artist block. I rarely finish a single artwork in one setting, so the ability to step away while I work on another piece fits well into my approach. I also find that the time away gives me the opportunity to see the work I am doing with new eyes and a fresh direction.
Q: Tell us a bit about how you plan to conduct your workshop.
SA: The workshop I am teaching, Bento Box, is a balanced blend of structure and exploration. Part of each day will will revolve around focused and detailed demonstrations and instructions. Other periods will allow each participant to get into the zone without interruption – something I think is very important for a creative individual. A significant amount of one-to-one creative mentoring will also be included during which time direct feedback will be provided.