Wednesday, February 2, 2011
SPOTLIGHT: On Shelly Massey
Faculty Name: Shelly Massey
Birthplace: Born in Falls City, Nebraska, but I grew up near Hiawatha, Kansas
Current Residence: Middletown, Ohio
Necessary Job: Analysis Services Manager and senior analyst for a software company based in Washington state
How long have you been doing art?
Is forever and ever an answer? I come from a crafty family, so I've been creating artsy projects for as long as I can remember.
At what age did you begin creating and why?
I really started creating with a passion in my early 30s. I earned my degree in graphic design from the University of Kansas, but I left school very burned out. I also felt like I never had the "perfect" space to create art, so that held me back from creating much. One day I realized that if I kept waiting for that perfect space to materialize, that I'd spend my whole life wishing for art and never making any. That revelation really changed me. I started creating art regularly after that.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
I'm new to teaching art, but I've been teaching all sorts of other things. My favorite part is the sharing that happens between the teacher, student and the other students.
What do you find most challenging about teaching?
In my non-art teaching experiences, the most challenging part is keeping the class pace comfortable for everyone - the fast learners AND the folks who take a bit more time. I've found if I keep things entertaining and that if I'm generous with my time (like staying after class for people who need more time) that it works out for both kinds of students.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Spending time with my husband and our two year old daughter. I also like to read, catch up with friends, and (of course) make more art!
What is your favorite type of art medium?
Mixed Media - which means I like every art medium! If I narrowed this down to a specific art supply, I couldn't live without a glue stick.
Who is your favorite artist? This question always stumps me probably because I don't have just one and they seem to change based on whatever kind of art I'm into making at the time. Some of the artists whose work I admire for their use of color and whimsy are Victoria Kann (children's book illustrator), Victoria Roberts (children's book illustrator), Flair Robinson (mosaic artist extraordinaire), Michelle Allen (a multi-media wonder woman), Syd McCutcheon (master of whimsy), Marsha Jorgensen (wielder of such lush colors and depth that I dream about her work), and Jannie Ho (cutest character creator around). Oh, and so many more... but those are the ones that come to mind now.
What is one interesting (trivial) fact that everyone should know about you?
I used to really (really, really) dislike my handwriting. These days I love lettering by hand!
Attach your favorite image and detail why it is your favorite. This was tough to narrow down, so I included two. One is of my sweet, silly, smarty-pants daughter (who is of course a favorite everything to me). The other is of my favorite piece of art I've created - a license plate box with a quirky octopus on top. This piece was the first three dimensional piece I had ever created from top to bottom (minus some sad attempts at sculpture during college), and it represents the culmination of a lot of my goals. It also has my favorite inspirational quote from Karen Ravn on the front. It says, "Only as high as I reach can I grow, Only as far as I seek can I go. Only as deep as I look can I see, Only as much as I dream can I be." Whenever I need a reminder of how far I've come, I look at this art piece, read the quote, and feel really lucky and proud.
Shelly’s Blog: http://aweebitwarped.blogspot.com/