Friday, May 27, 2011

6 Degrees Separation. Interview with Jen Crossley

The theory of Six degrees of separation has always intrigued me, knowing we are all connected to each other through people we know and through the Universe, gives me goosebumps, in a good way. As Wiki explains

"everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer". ...

and I'm inspired to share with you some of the connections I've made with amazing artesian's, learning how they stay connected to who they are, their craft and their creative community .

And with out further a due, let me introduce you to a fun loving, creative woman who I met briefly a few years ago, Jen Crossley. Jen's the type of gal who I felt immediately at ease with, she has a huge open heart and a fabulous sense of humor!

Jen Crossley ~ A Mark in Time

How did your creative story begin?

I was only very young when I started to create. My mum used to belong to the CWA (country women’s association) so she was always making things. That’s when I started to sew a lot at the start, then it just took off from there.

How did you come to be creating the art that you are?

I have always love paper and metal I loved combining the two in pieces of art. I honed my skills with metal and moved onto a lot more metal work jewelry and books etc. I love using found objects in my work.

I love that you create with recycled elements, how do you go about sourcing these?

I love found objects, I mainly source these objects at Antique shops, Flea markets, swap meets. I'm always on the look out for that one piece.

How do know when a “find” has the potential to be something more?

It's a feeling when I find that piece it just stands out to me I have to have it. Sometimes it might be a object that I can put a picture in it, I never pay big money for them, they are usually someones junk, my treasure.

You live in Central Victoria, Australia. How do you stay connected with your creative community?

I have no arty friends where I live, an artist waste land. I always joke about it. I travel to Melbourne a lot so I try and catch up with my arty friends when I can. I also travel to teach Brisbane and Perth so I keep in contact with my friends when I teach. I have made lots of wonderful friends when I travel, we all share a passion of art. I also keep in contact on line with Blogs and facebook. My main friends are Arty People.

(Told you she's got a sense of humor!)

What motivates you to create your art?

I just find I need to create for my own piece of mind. If I haven’t created for awhile I get unsettled. I make Art for me. It helps me relax , unwind and escape for a little while.

One of the piece's Jen's teaching @ Art + Soul

One of your all time dreams has become a reality and your teaching at Art & Soul, Portland this year. Huge Kudos to you! What are some of your other aspirations?

I'm so thrilled to finally reach this goal. In my art life it has been a dream for such along time. I would love to do a book one day, but we will see. I just want to share my knowledge with others, that’s what it is all about, sharing what you love.

Jen + Keith LoBue

What or who has inspired you in your creative journey?

In my early years I must say my mum did inspire me, as the years went on, a lot of my arty friends inspired me.Julie Van Oosten for my love of paper, Christine Atkins really inspires me to try even harder in my art and Linda Lynch inspire me in Life and art.

I have had the opportunity to take some amazing classes with American tutors who have travelled to Australia over the last 3 years. I have honed my skills and feel more confident thanks to, Keith Lobue, Susan Lenart Kazmer, Robert Danick, Stephanie Lee , Nina Bagley, Michael De Mang and Mary Hettsmansperger.

What, if any challenges do you find living + creating in Australia?

This is a great question. Where I live it’s so hard to get supplies, so I go to Melbourne to find some supplies. I get so frustrated when I can’t get a certain products or tool. The internet has opened up a whole world of obtaining these items now. But I usually want them yesterday LOL.

And a little more about Jen...

Jen lives in Miners Rest, a small country town in Victoria, Australia.She's been married to Mark for twenty-six years. They have two wonderful children Nicole and Matthew.

Jen has no official degrees in the art field. She's mainly a self-taught mixed media artist. When she first started, she was interested in paper art, vintage styles (of course), and the love of metal and paper. Combining the two together became an obsession. Naturally the next step was jewerly, but Jen still combines the paper elements that she loves.

Jen's been published in many Australian paper arts magazines and published several times in Somerset Studio and Belle Armoire Jewerly and she's been teaching her art for over twenty years now, travelling through out Australia.

"Being self taught isn’t always easy, invention is the key to knowledge."

Jen welcomes visits to and


Lucy said...

Fabulous interview with my favorite artist! Well Done!
Hugs Lucy

Jen Crossley said...

Thank YOu dear Nic you have made me look good,with your wonderful Interview.

purple bird art said...

What a lovely interview with a very deserving artist!!

Gretz said...

Wonderful interview Jen

Nic Hohn said...

Its all true Jen!

lindacreates said...

You truly captured our fun loving and wonderful Jen! She says I inspire her! Oh My, she is such an inspiration to me. We have become chosen sisters. I just wish we didn't have so many miles between us.
You go girl! Can't wait for Portland Art N Soul.

Debbi Baker said...

Fabulous fabulous fabulous - the interview, you and Jen!