Two Obsessions Meet
Art Journal Every Day: Crazy Wild Gypsy Girlz

Alisa Burke: Sew Wild

Alisa Burke is a wildly talented artist whose work I fell in love with the moment I saw it.  A few years ago Claudine Hellmuth linked to Alisa's gorgeous leaf wreath made with Sticky Back Canvas:

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And I just knew that she and I were kindred art spirits.  You have probably seen me link to her blog many, many, many times.  One of her extraordinary talents is creating fantastic tutorials for creative projects.  She always transforms the most humble of objects into wonderful, colorful art!

Alisa has written an exciting new book called Sew Wild.

It is just like her -- fabulous, creative, full of color and pattern, and permission to create imperfectly!

Rather than do a book review, I sent Alisa a few questions so that you could get to know her better.

Julie: How do you define the art you create?

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: Hmmm…good question I am not sure if I can really commit to defining my art. I try really hard to challenge myself to cross over into all sorts of different mediums and am always looking to get better and grow in my process. I guess I would say that my art is fine art- mixed with craft - mixed with photography- mixed with surface design- mixed with stitching (how is that for a definition?!?!)

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Julie: I’m so impressed with how you run a very successful artistic business.  You once mentioned that you try to stay off the computer/internet for periods of time.  I would love to know more about how that works with running a business.

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Alisa: While I depend on the internet and computer to run my business I make it a priority to stay far away from using it for inspiration or gathering ideas. I have found that almost shutting myself off and “not looking” at what other people are doing keeps me inspired, keeps me from feeling like I need to be doing something different and keeps me from comparing myself to others. This is the only way that I can attempt to stay authentic in my art. Since much of my business is built around sharing inspiration it is really important for me to try and keep my blinders on. I only look for inspiration in my physical world (out and about with camera) and through my experiences every day and don’t care that much about trends in the art/craft industry or what other people are doing and the direction that they are going.  If I do have time to surf the internet for personal fun I typically stick to looking at lots of fashion (for myself- I love clothes!), food and embarrassingly-reading celebrity gossip blogs.
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Julie: What’s a typical day like for you?  Can you describe it to us?  Would  you mind sharing a photo of your creative space?

Alisa: Lately I have a lot of irons in the fire so my days are jam packed and I am often working on a few things all at once. My days don’t ever look the same but here is a more typical kind of day-

6am- Get up early with my husband- check/return email for a couple of hours. Catch up on those celebrity gossip blogs

8am- eat breakfast

8:30- head out to take photos for future blog posts and to find inspiration

10:00- back home- work on art for licensing project

12:00- eat lunch while drawing in my sketchbook

1:00pm-film a few lessons for future online classes

3:00pm- head to the gym

4:00pm- back to filming a few more lessons

5:00pm- fix dinner with my hubby

7:00- 10pm- back on the computer to return more email, edit video, edit photos, structure blog posts and anything else that require computer time all while watching all of our favorite evening shows.

10:30- crawl into bed.

Julie: Something I have always admired about you is how you take simple every day things and transform them with paint and imagination.  Do you keep notes on things you want to transform or do you simply create in the moment with what’s handy?  Something in between?

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I do keep ideas and notes on hand- I have to write things down as they come to me or I will forget. I have lists and lists of future ideas, blog posts, projects, new classes, etc that I organize by month or season. But I also am very much in the moment and often when I working on something with a deadline or if I am out and about I will all of a sudden have all kinds of new ideas come to me in the moment and I have to stop immediately and create!

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Julie: Your book, Sew Wild, is amazing!  What is your favorite project or technique from the book?

Alisa: I think my favorite technique is all of the messy free motion stitching. I love being able to use stitching as another layer in surface design.

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Thanks, Alisa!

I hope you'll take the time to visit:

 And to learn more about her book, here is the complete Sew Wild Book Tour Blog schedule:

Sept. 14           Sew, Mama, Sew
Sept. 15           Balzer Designs
Sept. 16  and The Creative Goddess
Sept. 17           FaveCrafts 
Sept. 19           Crescendoh - Jenny's Blog 
Sept. 21           Scarlet Lime 
Sept. 22          A Stitch in Dye 
Sept. 23          Living Art at the Speed of Life

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. All these photos are from Alisa's blog.  Her book Sew Wild is full of lots of other great ideas, but still in fabulous Alisa style!