Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Talented Tuesday- Carapace

Alas, I keep not getting these posts done in time for Tuesdays. But no fear- this one is on time! This interview is with another of my FAE (Fantasy Artists of Etsy) friends, Carapace. She makes the most vivid and bright paintings (err... drawings? They're pretty pictures, even if I don't know the medium) and sculptures, and is such a fun person (I loved reading her answers). I also love that when she sent me the answers she told me "I'm afraid I got geek on your questions". LOL! See, no wonder I think she rocks. ;)

What's your name?
Look, that's all you're gettin' here. have to maintain my whole woman-of-mystery aura. It's not easy, when there's not any actual mystery.

Where can you be found on the internet?
I have a somewhat-updated blog on
and of course my Etsy shop at

I'm also on Ning, though I still don't really understand it. And technically Squidoo, I guess. But Etsy and my blog are the sites I actually maintain.

Describe yourself in five words.
Physically and psychologically incapable of such brevity.

If you were a color, what would you be?
Green, no doubt. But I fear I would be a nasty avocado green, when what I really want is a scintillating emerald green or a bright vivid banana-leaf green. Man, banana-leaves are fantastic. They look like they've been painted with a palette knife on board.

If you were a "Dungeons and Dragons"/fantasy character or creature, what would you be? (Can be a specific character, or something general like "elven bard", "centaur", etc).
I reject your limiting concepts of alignment and class! D&D is number-slaved system built to glorify Demon Dice at the expense of true character creation!
Now, Castle Falkenstein, that's a game for proper gentlefolk! And I am a green Cait Sith, thank you. With Exceptional glamour.
I find it hilarious that you thought you might overgeek me with that question, you know.

If you could live anywhere (or anywhen), where/when would it be?
I hope to live in the future. The far future, even. Just in my lifetime, the world has changed in amazing and wonderful ways; I really want to see what happens next.

The great thing is, all I have to do to achieve this is not die. I was already pretty intent on not dying. It would really cramp my plans.

What is your greatest dream or goal?
My greatest dream is this one where I have wings, but the world is underwater, and there's a central power algorithm that allows everyone to keep living in this situation, but--

Ah, you probably don't mean that kind of dream. Shame, that one's fantastic.

My fondest daydream is to become well known enough to have dedicated patrons, people waiting to pay me huge absurd amounts of money for whatever I turn out, so I can afford to do nothing but paint and draw and sketch all day. To any patrons thinking now of acquiring an artist, I assure you, I can be bought!

My big goal is to actually get a comic series going that makes enough money for me to live in the style to which I have become accustomed-- that is, artistic shanty dweller-- and gets enough attention to keep me satisfied. I'm working on it!

What was your very first piece of art? How long have you been an artist?
My first piece of art, as far as I can tell, was a mural of birds flying into the sunset behind sharp mountains. Or, as my mother would tell you, a bunch of Ms drawn all over the wall of our house with a crayon. My mother, being wonderful, assumed I had a reason, and instead of removing all marking implements from the house bought me enough paper to keep me off the walls.

I don't think people can choose to not be artists. It's built into our species. We see things that aren't there and try to make them exist. Some people do it in a useful form, and make bread and bikes and solar powered office buildings. And some people draw pictures of women with bike wheels for legs. But it's all art.

If you sell your art, how did you get started?
As with most things artistic, the genesis lay in boredom. I was helping a friend run a table at a convention, business was sloooow, and I started offering sketches just as a way to pass time. Someone tipped me, I started charging, and I've pretty well kept charging since.

What is the strangest thing you've ever made?
In my maskmaking days, I overcooked a clay mask. It's...disturbing, and inadvertently far more artistic than I'd intended. I wanted a basic face form, I got Echoes of The Future Holocaust. I keep it away in a shoebox where it can't watch me.

Pick your favorite project/artwork- what is it and what inspired you on it? If you'd like to share, tell a little about the process you used from inspiration to completion of that project.
I guess my favorite project is actually comicking. Comickery? I like making comics. My comics start with a rough idea for a story, usually with one central image. Then I try to line up a page or two in my head, thinking about what needs to happen for each panel and in longer stories, each page. This is the longest part of the process, and to outsiders it no doubt looks like I'm just staring into space and making a weird face. Not so! I am thinking! But that's not obvious until I start drawing layouts, and making really really weird faces, because I'm basically acting out each position and expression as it comes up on the page, and my hands are busy. Then I have to try and make my layout sketch legible, with all the manual dexterity that implies. Then, halfway through the inking and coloring, my hand cramps up, and I have to go do something else, and when I come back it's all completely wrong, so I redraw the whole page and three more besides, and then it rocks, and I cackle and run around insisting all my friends and family look at my awesome new creation.

Every picture I draw is like that, actually, since I do try to tell a story in everything. Comics are just a little more pronounced about it, and give me more room to play.

What kind of advice would you give to other artists?
Save your computer files, wash your paintbrushes right after use, and never let the cat near your artwork. Ever. Oh man. Trust me on this one.
Oh, and acquire a supportive housemate, who will understand that sometimes there will be paint in the drinking glasses, and clay in the carpet, and feed you regardless. That one's really important.

What is your favorite:
Green! To a worrying and obsessive degree. It's gotten to the point where I have to make a Will Check to even use soap that isn't green.
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own."
Not really that big a fan of Mythbusters, even, but that line is just perfect for every occasion.
Momo, by Michael Ende. There aren't many works of anything that I can say with confidence changed my life, but Momo certainly did. I don't think I'd have taken half the risks or been nearly so regret-free if I hadn't run into that book when I was a tyke. I reread it every couple of years and it always centers me.
Character? (book or whatever)
Moist Von Lipwig, from the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. A schemer and con man, but mediated by a total lack of malice, and currently in the process of becoming something more valuable. I like that in a character.
TV show and/or movie?
The original Star Trek is endlessly glorious. Not always good, mind you, but glorious. I can just put that series in the DVD player and let it go all day. The latest revamp movie is pretty awesome too.
Oh, and of course it helps that Star Trek got more than twelve episodes. No, I'm not bitter about Firefly, why do you ask?
Summer, all nine months of it! I love waking up and knowing what the weather will be like.
Fajitas! With lots and lots of peppers and onions, all caramelized by the hot pan. Mmmmm....
Octopi. They're smart, they're shapeshifters, AND they have chromatophores. Humans fly, swim, and open jars, but we do not have chromatophores. I envy the octopus.
Art medium and/or supply?
It has taken me a lifelong journey and I suspect I'll always have many loves, but I have at last discovered my perfect partner in the form of a Cintiq tablet with Painter software. Even the immediacy of pencil and paper can't compete with the magic potential of endless undo.

And that's it for this week's Talented Tuesday. Thanks for answering my silly questions, Cara, and for actually out-dorking me. That's a rare skill. ;)


Rose Works Jewelry said...

I love Cara and her work! I know her real name too :P

Merily said...

Oh man! I don't even know her real name, LOL!

Marjorie Dawson said...

I LOVE the idea of living in the far future. Lovely post Meri thank you!

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

She is great and it was funny! Also very nice artwork too:)


Carapace said...

Meri, you sure know some freaks. You sure this gal's safe to associate with?;)

Seriously, thank you for letting me get my geek on in public. It was a very fun interview. Always happy to make my friends look cool by comparison!;)

Rose, you keep that secret!;)

Meri, if you ever visit me, I will tell you my real name.;) Not unless.
(it is totally not an awesome name worth hiding. Hence the big fuss. Every thing I know about showmanship, I learned from the Wizard of Oz.)

Thank you, Marjorie and FunkyMonkey! I can but try.Come say howdy sometime!

Splendid Little Stars said...

totally fun!
most entertaining interview ever!

Merily said...

Cara- LOL! Me? Know freaks? Never. ;) And I love your reason for showmanship- you beat me; I just don't use my real name much because I don't like it, lol. Now we'll have to get that FAE caravan together so I can learn your name! Mwahaha.

And I'm glad everyone enjoyed the interview. :D

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