- Guest Artist -
Welcome to the life and times of a very talented writer, cover artist, graphic designer and video editor - Syneca Featherstone.
Welcome, Syneca ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY.
Professionally, I started as a portrait artist, moved to fantasy art with paints and canvas, and then in the late 90’s moved into the digital realm. I sort of stumbled into designing book covers by entering an online digitial art contest. The art director of a publishing company contacted me and asked if I’d like to do some book covers. I ended up taking a job with the company and within a few years was the art director. A great experience.
Writing was another accident. I just sat down one day and started writing something I saw in my head. Before I knew it I had a book. I submitted it to a publisher and it was accepted. I’ve been writing ever since but these days I like to self-publish.
2. WERE YOU GOOD AT DRAWING AS A KID?
Well, my first mural at age three on the hall walls of my parents home was a true work of art – at least in my eyes and I was broken hearted when they scrubbed it off. I won 2nd place in an art contest when I was in the 3rd grade, but won it in the 8th grade division. After that my school barred me from entering but I kept drawing and painting for myself.
3. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST?
I suppose I was born that way. Painting portraits came by accident. I did one of my husband and someone saw it and wanted one, told someone else and before I knew it I was painting portraits. Same for fantasy art and later for book covers. I just did some art and people saw it and took interest.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
The creative process, getting lost in a project and the joy it brings to my clients or readers/
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
It doesn’t pay as well as other professions so you really have to love what you do.
6. DO YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS OR BOTH?
I have done both and they both have their pros and cons.
7. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME AN ARTIST
Well, I’ve done a lot of things. I sold encyclopedias door to door (for two days), I was a bartended, worked at a bank, was a certified fitness trainer, coached softball, spent 15 years in college and earned two degrees, built my own home complete with a pool and a two-story water slide, learned to drive a back-hoe and a tractor, operate a chain saw and a host of power tools, laid block and brick, roofed a house, won a disc golf tournament and had my own line of discs for disc golf (Throw Art), and during all that had two children and a blast being an integral part of their lives as they were growing up.
But in terms of true past life - an artist according to my past life readings – always an artist.
8. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Being happily married for more than 40 years , having two fantastic kids and just enjoying my life and trying to help others.
9. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Nothing for myself. I’m very busy creating book covers, web graphics and promotional materials for clients (to earn my keep, you know) and I am putting a lot of energy into a benefit I created. Along with that I am writing two new books.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM?
It used to be oils but with the Cintiq tablet I’m hooked on digital
11. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life – those moment that come out of the blue and capture your imagination
12. WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO PAINT OR ILLUSTRATE?
13. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING ARTISTS?
Do it because it’s your passion and you’ll always be happy. Do it for amassing fame or money and you’ll never be satisfied.
14. DO YOU SUFFER FROM ARTIST’S BLOCK?
Rarely and if I do I just switch focus – from visual to the written word or vice versa. I don’t let that sort of thing bother me. Everyone gets tired, or experiences periods where they are less creative. It’s not much different than anything else. Our creativity has a rhythm just like life. I just go with it and let it happen when the time is right. Well, except for the “on demand” art I do for clients and that’s an entirely different ballgame.
15. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE?
Nope, I take the days as they come and go with the flow but I am normally up and starting my day by 5am and ready to call it a day at 9pm.
16. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO WORK?
Not really – I have a dedicated office/studio but often I work on my lanai or in the guest suite of the house or in my “chill room” my private cave where I sit and write and look out of the window at the beautiful blooming jasmine and the old live oaks.
17. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
Being absorbed in what I am doing. The process of creation is a natural high like nothing else.
18. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST / ILLUSTRATOR AND WHY?
Boris Vallejo .I have always been fascinated by the human form and he is a master at creating sensual images of people in fantastic settings that set my imagination on fire.
19. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
That one of the pieces I did looked too much like Boris and so was excluded from an online contest.
20. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
That I was wasting my talents on fantasy art when I could have gotten a job doing something like greeting cards.
21. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
22. HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU ILLUSTRATED?
I have not illustrated any. I have created book covers for over 3000 books.
23. HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
I have along the way but I don’t keep track of them because I don’t do it for prizes or awards.
24. WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
25. OTHER THAN DRAWING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Photography. I love shooting people and flowers. Yeah, two totally different things but I enjoy them both. I love the play of light on skin, capturing an expression on a face, or a bee alighting on a flower. Again, it’s all that moment when the imagery captures you and holds you spellbound for a breath or two.
I also love writing. Watching a movie play in my head and letting my fingers dance on the keys to record it. It’s quite exhilarating!
26. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ALL WORLD LEADERS IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY?
Charity begins at home. Helping others is noble, but take a look at your own backyard before you start tending someone else’s. And remember, you serve us, not the other way around so start paying attention to what we are saying.
27. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Coffee on the lanai as the sun is rising, a couple of hours of work, taking a break for a swim, a little writing, lunch, some art work, exercise, then dinner with my honey, relaxing by the pool and chatting and maybe read or watch something on television
28. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Live. Love. Laugh. Celebrate life. And to raise money with a benefit I’m hosting for a non-profit health advocacy group.
29. HAVE YOU MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY?
I have met some of the most amazing people on earth, people who give of themselves and are quick to lend a hand to those in need. There are so many incredibly talented people – artists and musicians, dancers and writers and photographers, sculptors and glass blowers, jewelry designers and people who are artists of life. Every one I have met has enriched my life and changed in it some way. I am truly blessed.
30. HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
I don’t really. I rely on word of mouth and that has worked well so far.
31. WHAT HAS BEEN MOST THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROMOTION?
Doing a good job and having others talk about it.
32. DO YOU MENTOR OTHERS?
33. DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?
34. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Only that if anyone is interested in the benefit I am doing, please visit my author site (www.CianaStone.com) and click on the Book Benefit link. The organization I am trying to help is comprised of amazing people who give their lives to help others, and I really want to help them as much as I can. Every book I sell of “Renegade” goes to Health Guidance and I hope I can sell a million and help them broaden their reach so they can help more people.
And finally, much success and happiness to everyone. We’re all part of a creative family and as such, I wish everyone of you many blessings and hope that your dreams become real, whatever they may be.
My art can be seen at http://www.syneca-originalsyn.com/
My writing site is http://www.cianastone.com
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Syneca. Mm ... Some people have heaps of talent, eh? You'd be one of them.