Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog Interview #16 ~ Lelainia Lloyd, Tattered Edge

Today it is great to finally have Lelainia Lloyd to interview. I met Lelainia when she invited me to join a Canadian online art group several years ago. She's a busy lady, and so we thank her for taking the time to do this.

Good morning Lelainia, please tell us a little bit about yourself...
I always cringe when I have to talk about myself. I never quite know what to say. I'm a Canadian. I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and moved to the west coast of British Columbia in 1986. I've been an artist in varying forms my whole life. If it's in any way artistic, I've probably done it.

I've been married almost 19 years to the love of my life and we have a son who is about to graduate from high school. This past summer, my husband gave me the most beautiful black lab puppy. We named him Indiana Jones (Indy) because I've been in love with Harrison Ford since I was 6 and I love that line where Sean Connery says "We name the dog Indiana."

some random things most folks don't know about me are that I worked on a crisis line for 8-1/2 years; lived in Barcelona, Spain by myself when I was 16; been on TV several times and published not only for art (or writing about art) but also for poetry. There's a line from the Barenaked Ladies song that says "I'm the kind of guy [girl] who laughs at a funeral. If you don't understand what I mean, then you soon will." That's me in a nutshell.

Why did you decide to blog?
To tell you the truth, I don't really remember why I woke up one morning and decided to share my art life through the Internet. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I started blogging when blogs were relatively new and not too many people were doing it. But in the early days, it was really a great way to "meet" fellow artists before the artistic Internet community really got going and became as prolific as it is now. Getting my work out there, led to being asked to create art for other artists' books.

Your blog is called Tattered Edge. How did you come up with the name?
When I was coming up with a name for my website, I realized that most of the things I love are old, well loved things, full of soul antique quilts, vintage photos, old books, trims, buttons and bits of broken things. I thought about what things look like at first glance and the feel that my work has and the name just made sense to me. It also amused me that Tattered Edge can be typed using only your left hand. (Yes, I know I'm a bit quirky.)

When did you begin blogging?
August 2004, in what I jokingly refer to as the stone age of blogging. Hard to believe that only 5 years ago the blog world was a much smaller place!

Back in August 2004, on your first post, what did you talk about?
The work I was doing for Jan Bode Smiley's book, "The Art of Fabric Books: Innovative Ways to Use Fabric in Scrapbooks, Altered Books & More". It was my first foray into creating art for publishing.

Do you prefer to blog with words, pictures or both?
Well sometimes I have to work at coming up with a suitable photo to add to my blog but for the most part, it's a combination of both. Artists are visual people, so it doesn't make sense to post without some sort of photo included, even if there is only one photo at the beginning of the post. Some post have more photos than others, if just depends what I'm writing about.

Have you met people through blogging?

Tell us about someone you've met.
One of the first people I ever met in the blog world was Deb Trotter (aka Cowboy's Sweetheart) who emailed me to say she liked my art. That evolved into an email conversation, which in turn grew into a friendship. Deb is one of my closest and most trusted friends. Not that long ago, I discovered that I actually had some of her first emails she ever sent me. I shared them with her and we had a good laugh. We've been through a lot together and I am forever grateful that she reached out and sent me that first email. She's very dear to my heart and one of these days one of us is going to hop on a plane so we can meet in person. It's only a matter of time.

Did you design the look of your blog yourself or have someone else design it?
Well through the years, it's been various templates that I have come across and then played with the HTML to get it to suit my purpose. I taught myself how to read the HTML because I like having more control over how my blog looks. Right now, it's just a standard Blogger template. I was tired of my blog being primarily black and went for a cleaner look in my signature colours. It's a work in progress.

Have you ever been featured in Artful Blogging?
No ~ but I am always open to the possibility.

What does your "About Me" read on your blog?
"I am a mixed media Artist, Writer and Designer happily creating on the West Coast of Canada." That's me in 20 words or less ~ which almost never happens! [laughs]

What blog feature do you like the most?
Probably the search box. It's a feature I'm not sure too many people know about, much less use. If you are looking for a post I made on a particular subject, you can type the key words into the search box on the top left of my blog and it will show you all the posts containing those words. For example, people often want to know what kinds of trades I've made for Artfest. If they do a search, they can see all the things I've made in the past. Or if they want to see what my studio looks like, they can type in "virtual studio tour" and the slide show of my studio will come up. It's pretty user friendly.

Is there anything on Tattered Edge you'd like to change?
At some point, I will probably bow to peer pressure and create a more artful header. All the cool kids are doing it.

Do you ever blog when you don't "feel like it"?
No I don't. I don't think those posts would have any value. If I'm going to post, it's because I feel I have something to say. One of my (pet) peeves is someone not posting for awhile and then saying "Sorry I haven't posted for so long." It annoys me because why on earth would you apologise for living your life away from the computer? Go! Be! Do! And when you have time and feel like it, come back and tell us about it. No apology necessary.

What theme would best describe your blog?
All art, all the time with occasional bout of reflection thrown in for good measure. My blog is mainly an accounting of my artist life, whatever that looks like at any given moment.

Do you have any interesting directions you want to take your blog in, in the days ahead?
Well, i am probably going to do away with my actual Tattered Edge website and house everything relevant on my blog. I just don't have the time (or energy!) to maintain my website anymore and I don't like the idea of it just sitting there and not being updated regularly. Sometimes less is more. It's about quality over quantity. I loved having a website while I had it, but it's time to simplify my life.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us today?
I just want to say that I appreciate when folks comment, especially when I've posted something that has touched them in some way. It's nice to know you're out there peeking in on my blog and getting something out of it. My guess is that only about 20% of the folks reading take the time to comment, but never underestimate how important that is to those of us who are faithfully writing blog entries. it's a connection that is so important, especially when you are working for hours in your studio on your own. While being able to do the work of your heart is rewarding, it can be very isolating at times, so it's comforting to know you're out there. Thank you for reading and for letting me know you do.

Thank you for such an interesting chat, Lelainia. We hope everyone will check out the Tattered Edge blog, and that they'll let you know they read this interview!


sherry lee said...

What a delightful interview! I love Lelainia's personality and her sense of "fun" about life. To quote that line from the Barenaked Ladies made me think of Mary Tyler Moore when she went to Chuckle's the Clowns funeral...thanks for sharing this one Dawn!

Brenda Seaholm-Wampler said...

Another cool interview and amazing blog to visit...THANK YOU!!!