Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Design Team Intro - Diana Steven

Welcome to Diana Steven - Art Expert
We are pleased to welcome Diana into the Design team for 2013. She's had a long association with Liz and Artfull Crafts and we look forward to hearing from her during the year. She will be contributing art, colouring and Christmas home decor advice.

Hi, my name is Diana. I am the resident art expert for Artfull Crafts. Let me give you some insights about myself and my life. The first and foremost thing that I identify myself with is that I'm mum to five, 4 boys and 1 girl. This recent photo was taken by Viv Laursen, Artfull Craft's photography expert. My eldest Peter has just left for a year long student exchange to Belgium.

Photo : Viv Laursen Photography and Design

Art and crafts have always been a huge part of my life, as no doubt for most of you. I grew up on a farm in the Mackenzie Country with four siblings, and art and music was my solitude. Every Saturday morning I would run down the road looking for my artistic contributions on 'Margo's Page' in the Timaru Herald. At high school I illustrated the school newsletter and magazine, and frequently spent the extensive two hours of boarding school prep doodling in my exercise books. I trained to be a Speech Language therapist which was a great outlet for my art - the students loved their work sheets I made! Plunket still use my speech assessment sheet for preschoolers.

After a 20 year break - I have many other interests! - I have recently come back to my art in a big way and work part time as an illustrator. My specialty is animals. Here is my page: Diana Steven - lllustrator. This year I'm also studying to be a freelance editor.

My involvement with Artfull Crafts could read like a romantic relationship, minus the romance! I am mad about Christmas and open my 'Gingerbread Christmas House' to the public each year. I met Liz at an Artfull Craft's workshop to make an advent calendar and we were chatting about our mutual interests, one of which was singing. I've been doing musical theatre for most my life.

Photo : Viv Laursen Photography and Design

Liz encouraged me to attend a rehearsal for Christchurch City Chorus (Sweet Adelines) and the rest is history. For the last 4 years I have travelled 400km plus weekly to sing with this amazing group (Liz retired 3 years ago to put time into the business) and next month we head to Hawaii to compete in the international convention. 

And during this time my friendship with Liz developed and she asked me if I would take over management of the website's product loading and e-newsletter. I've recently let this go to focus on my own endeavours, but I'm very happy to be part of the experts' team! 

I primarily use Copic multi liners and markers for my illustrating. Copics have me hook, line and sinker. The colours blend beautifully and they are really vibrant. 

The other brand that I'm a sucker for is Tim Holtz. Maybe it's because he is such a great marketer. I love his gadgets and dies, but the product I use most are his distress inks for mixed media works. My favourite paper companies are Echo Park, Cosmo Cricket and Crate Paper. Their designs and colour combinations suit my style. I am determined NOT to look at the Christmas ranges this year. I seem to have acquired a stash over my years of loading products on the website....

On a final note I look forward to sharing some arty tips with you over the next year. For me, getting back to doing what I love has been the most fulfilling thing I could imagine. So my advice to you is to follow your passions and make time for the things that really make you feel happy!


1 comment:

  1. Firstly, you have a gorgeous family! Great photo.
    I am with you on not looking at the Christmas collections this year. I get more Christmas product than I have Christmas crafts, so the pile gets bigger year after year!
    I love your Home canvas with the key. Such a neat idea, and gorgeous too.
    Have a wonderful year working with Artfull Crafts.