Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Share a Creative Life - Jan from Handcrafted by Picto

This week we're sharing a creative life with Jan from Handcrafted by Picto, I've loved following her work and thought you might be interested too so grab a cuppa and come and find out a little more about Jan's creative life.

Hi, my name is Jan Ryan, I was born and brought up in Liverpool, I still have family there and love to visit. I moved to Suffolk 20 years ago, I can't imagine myself living anywhere else. I embrace the differences between my rural life and my city visits.

So Jan, what is your main creative outlet?
Gosh, I love to do so many things, but my main love is painting and that includes the doodling, the first sketches the playing around with ideas and of course, making a mess. I'll paint on almost anything, I paint wooden plaques and hanging decorations, nursery pictures, canvases and even slate and pebbles.
I work under the names 'Handcrafted by Picto' and 'Jan Ryan Art'

How did you first get into being creative?
I was lucky that I came from a household that encouraged creative play. We had very little spare money so if we, my two sisters and brother, wanted something we either worked for it or made it. As young children we made houses from old boxes or spaceships from plastic bottles. As we got older it was making clothes or altering what we had to suit the changing fashions, like putting a triangle of bright fabric into the side seams of jeans to turn the ordinary into something special. We were  allowed to decorate our own rooms and made soft furnishings and painted designs onto the walls.

Who or what is it that inspires you most?
On a personal level it would be my Mum and Dad, but creatively, it's not a 'who' but a 'what'. Nature is my biggest inspiration. I love looking at the changing landscape throughout the seasons. Flora and Fauna surround me and almost every day I spy something new or different, I have a toadstool as my logo and toadstools, fairies and fairy doors feature often in my work.

Where do you do your making? what is your workspace like?
I do most of my work at the kitchen table, the problem with that is it is only a small room and I have to pack it all away each evening. In the better weather I sometimes take my work outdoors into the garden.
If you sell, where do you sell your work?
I sell my work in a variety of places, online I have shops on Folksy  and Wow Thank You . I sell items in a couple of local gift shops. I also occasionally exhibit my paintings in Art Galleries.  

I also have a Facebook Page and my blog where you can keep up with my musings and have a look at more of my work.

What challenges would you like to set yourself?
I generally don't set myself serious 'challenges', why? Because I get myself too stressed out and worried if I don't achieve what I set out to do. 

Can you share 3 inspirational blogs that you would recommend?

Build a Little Biz
The Southern Instuitute
The Craft Blog UK

Tea or Coffee?

Both, not at the same time of course, tea I like weak and milky, no sugar. Coffee, weak and milky with one spoon of brown sugar.

Chocolate or sweets?

Vintage or modern?

TV or Radio/music?

During the day I sometimes listen to radio 2 but mainly I prefer silence. In the evening I either watch the television or read.

Favourite TV/Radio show?

Don't have a favourite, but at the moment I like to sit and watch the quiz 'Pointless'  the series Stargate and QI

Favourite Artist/ designer?

I admire the work of Aubrey Beardsley and early Picasso. I think the work of Brian Froud is beautiful, I love the illustrations by Tim White. I enjoy looking at art from all eras and movements, Art Deco, the Arts & Crafts Movement, Abstract and Folk are just a few that I enjoy. 

Favourite colour?

I love all colours but if I had to pick just one then it would have to be blue, I love the colour in all shades and hues,

I'd like to thank Claire for allowing me to be a guest on her blog and to thank you all for taking the time to read a little about me.


It's been a pleasure Jan, thanks for sharing.

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