Interview with Suzie Sroka
Q. What are your favourite things to paint?
A. I love painting children and people in general, although I also love to paint the occasional dog or animal, and I really love painting whole scenes with all of the above in them!
Q. Who/what are you inspirations?
A. My childhood is mainly my inspiration. I have many memories of that time, and can remember vividly how I thought and daydreamed. I think because I spent some of my childhood in Nova Scotia in Canada, and the rest in England, I remember it so much more as it was so varied. I just remember the magic of being a trusting, believing child, open to magic. I absolutely adored reading Enid Blyton's 'The Faraway Forest' and 'The Enchanted Tree', I used to want to believe those things could really exist! I also used to love nonsense verse too.
Q. Which of the 12 featured designs is your favourite?
A. Well that is hard to answer! Can I have 3? The sunflower pixie, the sleeping fairy and the kiss, but at a push I would choose the pixie with the sunflower.........or the sleeping fairy!! I used to be indecisive, but now I am not too sure.. ha ha!
Q. How long have you been drawing and painting?
A. As long as I can remember, from the time I could pick up a pencil and scribble it has been there. Years ago I remember a teacher showing my Mum a picture I had done, it was of a ship, it was very detailed with portholes and people looking out of them, deckchairs.. everything, and the teacher said that I was excellent at drawing, but that it was a shame I had to spoil it all by painting it! I never forgot that, and still feel nervous and terribly lacking in confidence whenever I pick up a paintbrush!
Q. Do you remember your first commissioned piece?
A. Yes, I do, I was asked to draw and paint several children wearing billboards. Each bill board was from a deck of cards, it was for a card club. I enjoyed that one!
Q. Crafting CD-Roms are a completely different format to a print of book. How does it see your artwork on cards and boxes, does it have the same impact?
A. Well, it is completely different, but it is still a thrill to see my artwork on anything! I am pondering having a go at writing a children's book myself, and that would be a challenge.. I have a few ideas swimming about in my imagination right now! I also have a little Etsy shop and am working on some digi stamps for that at the moment!
Q. Do you have a studio or a specific place you draw/paint in?
A.Well I have a studio which doubles up as a dining room too when we need it, this is not ideal as I need to tidy everything away when we do! I also love the breakfast room which is just as well, as I was actually stuck in there with four dogs when I was working on the artwork for 'At the Bottom of the Garden', as we had workmen in the rest of the house at the time! Sometimes if it is a really lovely day, the garden is rather appealing too, as I can watch the butterflies dancing and the bees buzzing!
Q. Do you have any guilty pleasures or a routine that you go through before you sit to paint or draw?
A. Not really, but I do love to listen to music when I am drawing or painting, it takes me into another world and affects mood. My guilty pleasure I suppose is that I like the music to be quite loud! I enjoy a varied choice of music, it would be hard to find something which I didn't like to listen to. I also love to eat midget gems and Licorice, I have loved licorice since I was a small child!
Q. I know you have several dogs, do they let you paint in peace?
A. Most of the time .. yes! On occasions no!! Generally they are quite good, and get on well together. It was a bit difficult when I was drawing and painting for this CD-Rom as being locked in the breakfast room with 3 Jack Russells and A large Old English Sheepdog puppy is not ideal, but we all managed!
Q. Most importantly, do you believe in fairies?
A. Ha ha, well of course!!! I used to look for them when I was a child, and was tired out often in the day, as I would lie in bed with my eyes very barely open, trying to fool the fairies into thinking I was asleep, because we all know they won't appear if you are looking for them! I was convinced if I waited long enough I would catch them flying about my bedroom and tiptoeing across my bed!! Nowadays, I believe in most things that should not be there! I have never given up on that childhood magic. In fact as a child I disliked magicians, as I wanted 'real' magic only, I wasn't about to be fooled by someone pulling a rabbit out of a hat! I have a strong spiritual side, and am always open to possibilities, after all just because you can not see something, does not mean it is not there!!
|One of Suzie's paintings from At the Bottom of the Garden|