Artist Q&A: Sheena Pike
Sheena Pike’s popular article on using PanPastel with colored pencils was recently featured in “Colored Pencil Magazine” (October 2015) Sheena is based in Canada and uses PanPastel in most of her work. For the latest in our “Artist Q&A” series we asked Sheena about her work and her creative process.
Tell us about your background as an artist.
At an early age it seemed I had talent in the arts, however it was much more apparent that there was “something” there as I got older and worked my way through high school. My graduating year I was voted most artistic. After graduation I dropped the pencil and became a Graphic Designer. Entirely self taught in both art and graphic design I have always been a visual learner and ambitious goal oriented person. Instead of going to college I took a business course while working full time and with the help of my husband bought a house at the ripe age of twenty. I was focused on starting a family. After a seven year break from drawing I experienced a tragic loss in my life and turned back to art as a way to heal, and in doing so I found myself again and realized how much my life was lacking without it. Thanks to my unborn child and the lesson I learned from my personal tragedy I was steered to the right path and have reinvented myself, my art and my future. I suffer from anxiety disorder and art has also been a beautiful coping mechanism and form of healing for me as well.
Describe your artwork
For so many years realism used to be my top priority and in doing so I lost something, I lost the passion…….something was missing……I was missing! I was nowhere to be seen in my work! I wasn’t drawing from within. Creating something original, visually appealing…telling a story, evoking a feeling, connecting with an audience is what I strive for now. I’m still discovering myself and my art and I do believe I will continue to my entire lifetime.
Inspired by many things I enjoy working from feeling and exploring the beautiful imaginative world of pop surrealism by combining realistic and illustrative styles with portraiture. Sometimes delicate, sometimes dark my work often evokes an intensity telling a story. The color wheel has always fascinated me even as a young child and still does to today as I continue to navigate the glorious palette of colors that our spectrum has to offer. I hope to inspire and captivate my audience with intricate details exploring femininity, nature, surreal, emotional, imaginative and whimsy images.
When did you first begin using PanPastel Colors?
I do believe it was 2012, I decided to try them out and was blown away at how well fitted they were to me, my style and technique. I almost immediately felt comfortable using the sponges and clean up was minimal. Since I tend to be a messy artist I appreciated how easy PanPastel Colors are to organize and store.
Tell us about your creative process and the materials that you use. What other mediums do you combine with PanPastel, what paper do you use, how do you incorporate PanPastel Colors in your work?
I am a mixed media artist combining colored pencil with PanPastel and ink. I prefer untextured surfaces and use Bristol Paper. After a light pencil sketch I then go in with the PanPastel Colors by doing what I refer to as “mapping out the shadows”. Usually I pair the PanPastel Colors with Faber Castell Polychromos and Prismacolor pencils. Prismacolor Verithins are also vital tools for me, their hard precise lead is perfect for sharp intricate details which I often use for hair and eyes and lips. When the drawing is complete I often will add a few highlights and small details with my white sharpie paint pen to make it “pop”.
I have been forever changed by PanPastel Colors, it helped me find the FUN in what I do. The endless possibilities and delicious palette of colors have me jumping for joy and eager for what is to come.
Below are the various steps I use in my creative process with PanPastel:
Who / what are your creative inspirations?
For me inspiration is everywhere in all forms, my mood, the weather and just my general well being can come into play. Even taste, touch and smell can affect me when I brainstorm. Listening to my children play and watching them is also a form of inspiration for me especially in the planning stages. I use all the cluster of ideas coming at me all at once as I get excited about a new drawing. With that I study flowers, nature, colors, seasons, faces and many elements.
Jasmine Beckett-Griffith, Craola and Glen Arthur are just a few of my heroes….there are so many artists I look up to.
What excites you most about your life as an artist?
I’m excited about all the all the possibilities for my future. I’m excited that my dreams haven’t been out of reach and have been becoming realities. I love being able to work from home while raising my girls and it has always been a goal of mine. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It’s very nice to be able to take my passion and talent and turn it into a job. I’m excited to show my daughters that they can dream and with hard work they can make them come true.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt on your journey as an artist?
I have much to learn and will continue to learn but this far I have realized the best thing to do is experiment, trial and error……this is the best way to discover what works best for you, where you best fit in the art market and along the way encounter your niche. Experience is an invaluable tool, You can’t learn if you don’t try. Also I have learned you cannot please everyone and trying to do so will only set yourself up for failure. I believe no goal is too big and to always have a goal in place. Always push yourself to continue to evolve and remain humble. I continuously remind myself that there’s always someone better that way I don’t allow myself to get comfortable and sloppy.
Describe the space/studio where you normal create
I have created a nice little private nook in my home where I can go and escape from the titles of being “Mom” and “Wife”….no questions to answer no toys to pick up…..Just a place I can be Sheena….Sheena the art nerd. Atmosphere has always been important to me whether it be while I create or just in life…….I enjoy my surroundings to be beautiful and I make an effort to design beautiful spaces, which for me is such a quality of life booster. Good surroundings create wonderful ideas, ambition and tranquility.
Surrounded by things I enjoy pictures of people I love and good lighting, My work area is my heaven on earth . My Great Grandmother’s tea set is displayed…..inspirational quotes that keep the fire burning……my Disney collectibles (yes….I collect Disney figurines)…..oh and florals, always surrounded by my silk floral arrangements.I have a desk for drawing and a workspace for crafting. I guess you could say I have a fanciful workspace that reflects me and my personality.
When you are not working on your artwork, what other interests do you have?
When I’m not in my studio escaping and allowing the quirky art nerd persona to take over I’m a full-time stay at home mom and wife, helping and volunteering with kindergarten class, potty training my toddler …… I’m a chef, a party planner, a monster exterminator, a boo boo fixer and life coach to my five and two-year-old daughters. I Also help maintain my husband’s business.
I enjoy flower gardening and am an avid DIY’er. I love decorating my home for the seasons, Christmas, Halloween etc. I enjoy skiing and making crafts, I also enjoy photography. Recently I have found myself obsessed with maintaining my fairy gardens in the summer. In the winter like most Canadians I go into hibernation mode. Slipping into my cozy slippers and spending most of my evenings brainstorming and perfecting my skills, escaping from the burden of being an adult and retreating to my Mom cave / Art Studio…..and as cheesy as it sounds my husband is my best friend.
What are your artistic (and other) goals for the future?
I aspire to someday have products and merchandise. I want to not just create art but brand myself as a product. People often forget that artwork is not only for walls ….it’s everywhere! In all types of toys, products packaging etc. My art has the potential for merchandise and branding. I continue to set goals and make those goals. I am grateful that people are responding to my art as positively as they have been. Now I just need the right companies and people to come along to licence my ideas, my creations. I’m excited to hopefully someday have my tea collection designed into tea sets, I hope to have my “Only Friend in the World Collection” developed into collectible figurines or toys. I hope to someday have art tools and products with my name and artwork on them, portrait sets and art kits. Possibly even some children books in my future as I have been told I have a knack for writing. I’m the kind of person who reaches high, I’m a dreamer and always will be.
About Sheena Pike
A stay at home mother with a dream and profound passion to pursue a future in art, I am a true entrenpenuer at heart. My husband has graciously supported my journey in discovering myself and sharing my work with the world. Inspired by many things I enjoy working from feeling and exploring the beautiful imaginative world of pop surrealism by combining realistic and illustrative styles with portraiture. I hope to spark your interest by sharing how I see the world. Sometimes delicate, sometimes dark my work often evokes an intensity telling a story. I hope to inspire and captivate my audience with intricate details exploring femininity, nature, surreal, emotional and whimsy images.
After stepping away from my art for many years I experienced a tragic loss in my life and turned back to art as a way to heal, in doing so the fire was reignited. Thanks to my unborn child and the lesson I learned from my personal tragedy I was steered to the right path and have reinvented myself, my art and my future. Inspiration is all around me; submerging me into a state of creative conscience. I suffer from anxiety disorder and art has been a beautiful coping mechanism and form of healing for me as well.
“Forever captured by my visions I am a prisoner with a pencil in hand, then I set myself free”. – Sheena Pike
Visit the following links to see more of Sheena’s work:
FINE ART AMERICA: http://sheena-pike.artistwebsites.com/index.html
CROSS STITCH CHARTS: http://heavenandearthdesigns.com/
Our latest Q&A is with New York City based artist Beverly Brown. We wanted to share her beautiful PanPastel paintings and to find out more about her creative process and why she uses PanPastel. Beverly used PanPastel Colors for all of the work shown below.
My grandfather was a painter, illustrator, and professor. I grew up sitting on his lap watching him draw. It fascinated me. I had an amazing (and patient, ha) art teacher in high school that nurtured my abilities and helped me create a portfolio that was awarded several scholarships to major art schools.
Lora Murphy was born in Ireland and educated in Ireland, USA and Italy. Trained as an oil painter, she now works primarily in Encaustic and mixed media. Lora teaches workshops in Contemporary Portraiture in Encaustic throughout the world and is currently working on an E-course, due to be released this year. She divides her time between Ireland and Denmark and maintain studios in both countries.
Our latest Artist Q&A is with Canadian artist Amy Hetherington of Headspace Illustrations.
We have been following Amy’s work on Instagram, and love how she uses PanPastel for her beautifully delicate nature inspired illustrations. So we asked Amy to tell us more about her work, and how she uses PanPastel.