Friday, November 15, 2013

Featured Artist Profile: Janice Filler

Today I'm thrilled to bring you the work and comments of Janice Filler, one of our regional SAQA members from here in Oklahoma.  I was privileged to meet her and talk to her at the SAQA conference this spring in Santa Fe, and am so excited for you to all see her fabulous work.

1. Who are you and where do you live?
My name is Janice Filler, and I live in Oklahoma City.  I am the current state representative for the Surface Design Association (SDA), as well as a member of SAQA.

2. Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started.
I learned to sew from my grandmother, who was meticulous and expert at garment construction and tailoring.  My mother taught me and my sister to crochet and embroider, which my sister mastered.  I got distracted in my college/medical school years and the following medical practice of pediatrics, but retirement found me dragging out my sewing machine.   I have very much admired beautiful traditional quilts, but after a “detail-oriented” profession, I was looking for something spontaneous and more liberating; I found my passion in art quilting/ surface design.  I love exploring new surface design techniques and hand-dyeing fabrics.

Doorway (Time Portal), Janice Filler 2011

3. How do you describe your work? 
Mostly pictorial, but often with humor or an ironic twist.

Vanishing Habitat, Janice Filler 2012
4. Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?
I am an admitted technique-junkie when it comes to surface design.  Lately I have been interested in digital imagery and the use of transparency in design, whether by use of sheer fabric, or layers of color/design.  I find words or phrases to be inspirational, and frequently use them as I design my work, whether or not they are used literally in the work.  Sometimes, I focus on the less conventional meanings of words.

The Forest's Treasure, Janice Filler 2012

5. What do you want to communicate with your work?
Often irony or humor; sometimes the juxtaposition of different ideas, or just visually pleasing design in the unexpected medium of fiber.

Oklahoma's Sons and Daughters: Will Rogers, Janice Filler 2013

6. What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work?
In a good week, I try to spend some time in the studio every day.  Most weeks, I don’t succeed, but feel most productive when I am able to do that.  It is helpful to my creative process to have an abundance of visual imagery around me, and I use my design wall partly for that purpose when it’s not in use for a current project.

Nod to Gustav Klimt, Janice Filler 2009
7. What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surroundings are most helpful for your productivity/work?
I have a home studio with an inspiration/ design wall and areas set up for “wet” work, (i.e. sink, paint, dyes, refrigerator, microwave, elevated print table, silk screens, etc.) and for “dry” work, (i.e., cutting table, fabric storage, sewing/ felting machines, shelves for embellishments and thread, etc.).  I have a small “office” area with computer, wide-format printer, books, journals, etc.   A favorite is an automated massage chair in an alcove for “recovery” after a long day.

8. What artists, other individuals or subjects currently inspire you?
I am especially drawn to fiber and quilt artists who keep pushing their boundaries in art, especially in regard to the variety and manipulations of materials they use, and who think about using fiber media in non-traditional ways.

Profile (Tippi Hedren's Revenge), Janice Filler 2011
Thanks so much to Janice for sharing with us, and please let me know if you're interested in being a featured artist on the blog or have any announcements to share.

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