I adore Janet's beautiful, dreamy paintings - her color schemes, her still lives of kitchens, pastries, dresses, and shoes from another time. Janet has a lovely sense of humor too, which makes her interview a pleasure to read. Enjoy!
Janet's blog: www.janethillstudio.com/blog
Janet's website: www.janethillstudio.com
Why did you decide to become an artist and could you imagine doing anything else? If so, what?
It was more of a situation that all roads kept leading me towards it. For many years I tried to be anything but an artist. Sounds a little odd, but when I was in my fine art program at university, my profs kept telling everyone how difficult it is to be an artist. There were ugly sacrifices to be made, starvation, rejection, etc, etc. It didn’t sound very appetizing. So, I worked in the corporate world, and at one point owned my own retail store, but nothing ever felt right and I kept thinking I was one big fat failure. Eventually, karma kept kicking me in the head until I listened and just went for it. Because I’ve done ‘everything else’ I think it’s made me realize that painting is the only profession for me.
Do you still believe "do what you love and the money will come?"
Absolutely! That’s my mantra.
How has blogging and the Internet affected your work as an artist?
It’s crazy how much the Internet has affected my business. I never understand when I encounter other artists who don’t have websites or haven’t ever heard of sites like Etsy. The internet is such a powerful and creative marketing tool and exposes you to the world in just a few clicks. I’ve discovered that my main buyers are in fact not Canadian (like myself) and instead are American, Australian, and Norwegian. These are buyers that I never would have had access to if it wasn’t for the internet. Having a blog and website has also led to other things like magazine coverage, gallery interest, and corporate opportunities.
Please name 3 of your favorite blogs and tell us why these blogs are special.
I tend to jump around a bit, but for the past few weeks I’ve spent time poking around on the following blogs:
simplybreakfast.blogspot.com - I love her photos and it’s always interesting to know what other people eat for breakfast.
absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com - A classic. I love her sense of style and colour. Anna also covered my work on her blog a couple of years ago which I think was what helped get me off the ground initially.
dubuhdudesigns.typepad.com - I’ve become obsessed with her gorgeous dolls. They seem to exist in their own elegant world. I desperately want one!
Flying. I try to avoid it as best I can, but when there is no other choice booze and sedatives seem to get the job done.
Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why?
If I could be anyone for a day I would choose Ava Gardner when she was playing Kitty Collins in the 1946 film 'The Killers'. It just seemed like such an interesting time in Hollywood and Ava was a woman with a lot of sass.
I don’t. The only reason why I get anything done is because I basically work every day. I spend way too much time mucking about on the computer, looking through magazines, emailing friends, shopping online, and staring off into space. I won’t even discuss ‘snack times’ and ‘cocktail hour’. I think I’m just a fast painter - thankfully.
If you could live anywhere in the world – all expenses paid – for one year, where would that be? Why?
Maybe Argentina. Living somewhere with that much good Malbec and good BBQ can’t be a bad thing.
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your professional and private life?
I don’t think I do maintain a healthy balance. It just seems to all blend together. I’ve learned to not check my email after 8pm just in case something awful has transpired and I don’t want to lose sleep over it. My main problem is that my brain doesn’t shut off and ideas are always popping up. Fortunately my husband is tolerant to my idea outbursts.
I’m working on a project that will likely take 5 years to complete. It’s called ‘364 Days of Dresses’ which I hope will end up as a book. I would also like my husband to quit his job and deal with the business side of what I do. I think I’m due for a show too, so I would like to start working on pieces for that. Aside from that my goals are pretty basic like pay off my credit card someday….and take a good vacation.
What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his or her creative dreams into reality?
Stop fiddling about and just do it!
Thank you Janet!