Today’s interview is with one of my great craft friends, Tiffany Teske. In addition to doing some excellent Polaroid
The Lovely Lady Herself..
transfers, she is a wonderful photographer and a great crafty inspiration. I loved getting to know more about her – now’s your chance!
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Homemade crepes with butter, lemon, & real Canadian maple syrup. Crepes are a favorite in our household. My 2 1/2 year old likes hers with pecans, cinnamon, & syrup. Hubby likes them with just butter & syrup. Fresh berries are always nice, too. If you would like the recipe you can get it on my blog at this post, http://tiffanyteske.blogspot.com/2008/11/our-classic-crepe-recipe.html.
2. What do you find most inspiring about where you live?
I live in Banff, in the Canadian Rockies. It is a tourist mecca for people from all over the world. The mountain landscape is very inspiring in a way I can’t really pin down. You just feel good when you see all that beauty. And I love that most of the people who are visiting are on holiday, either for R&R or to work here, so they are happy to be here. And they are walking around seeing what I see each day, with fresh eyes. It is fun. There are lots of venues for creativity, galleries and shops, movies, library, plus the world reknown Banff Centre for the Arts, so we get lots of great artists, musicians, dancers, comedians, etc, who come to perform and show their work there.
3. What kind of music are you into lately?
I feel like I have been in a bit of a musical rut. I used to keep up on new music, but have always loved all kinds of music, so old music is as good as new to me. I recently borrowed a copy of a friend’s Turkish Grooves, which is excellent. I love world music. Hard question…
4. Is etsy/creating your full time business? If not, what do you do in real life?
I am a professional photographer/artist complete with an associates and bachelors from the University of Maine. I have worked for myself for about 10 years. I do portrait work, lots of pregnancy and babies, I do fine art photography for galleries and Etsy, I craft a lot. I do work outside my home one day a week at my friend’s kid’s boutique. I can bring my 2 1/2 year old and it is a fun environment. I will probably stop this in June when I have my new babe, who is said to be a girl.
5. What got you into polaroid transfers? And what are you going to do without the film?!
Ahhhh, Polaroid transfers. I fell in love with them in University, but could not really afford the equipment of film. About 5 years ago I was able to buy all the stuff I needed, and got really into it. I have taught the process quite a bit, at various art centers and independently. It is a bit strange, because every seems to think I would be lost without Polaroid film, but from the day I found out they had ceased production of 669 for transfers, I felt it was ok. I have had a good run with Polaroid transfers. If I can never make one again, I am happy with what I have made. I have documented everything I have done. And I still have many originals. I guess I will start selling prints, which I don’t like as much, but many people don’t like the small size of the originals, so it may be a good move. I also think that if there is not anymore Polaroid film, it may help artists who have worked with Polaroid to gain a bit more respect for their work. But, I feel that this day in age, that anything can happen. I still feel like Polaroid did this on purpose, to get people to rally, to come forward and say they want the film. And if that was not the intention, that is still what has happened, which is impacting other people as to whether they should start making the film. Fuji makes a film you can work with, in a different way, so all is not lost if I was to continue to work with instant film. I will just have to adapt, which is something I love to do. I like change. It is good for creativity.
6. Was there someone in your life who was a creative inspiration for you?
Growing up it was my Aunt Helen, my dad’s sister. My parents are not terribly creative. They are both in the dental field. And my living grandparents were pretty much “buyers” not “makers”. My dad’s mom was said to be eccentric and creative but she died when I was under 3 years old. Helen is her daughter, and she never had kids, actually doesn’t like them much, but we hit it off from my birth. She took me everywhere as a kid that kids don’t go; galleries, plays, the ballet, fine restaurants. She also took me to lots of kid places, like fairs, libraries, art groups. She is awesome! However, I never really had someone who taught me anything hands on artistic. No one taught me skills. But being with Helen inspired me to learn.
7. What else do you make other than art that you’re great at?
Oh, you are so kind. I try to make everything. I love to cook and bake when I have enough time to enjoy it. I love working with papers and with fabrics, although I am not very good at sewing. It is something I want to concentrate on in the near future. I studied ballet for about 12 years, and sometime I still teach it to preschool kids.
8. When did you first start creating things?
I think I have always had that in me. My daughter is the same, she always asks “what are we making today” or do we have a “project”. As a kid I was given lots of kits for making things, and took a lot of classes. My mom didn’t really do the things with me. As for photography, I was bit by the shutterbug at 7 years old. I was given a 100 camera to document a family trip. I have loved making photographs ever since.
9. What is your creative process like?
Hmmmm, this is a difficult one to put into words. I spend a lot of time kind of brewing or percolating… ideas come to me like breathing. I can come up with millions of things I want to do. But then I need time to think on them, to process them. It is not even a conscious thing all the time. Sometimes I feel like I forgot about an idea, but then it comes to me all ready. Poof. A lot of my process is mental. Living with the idea. If it is photography, I may then make the images, and then work in the process I have chosen for printing, displaying, etc. Or I may have made the images years ago, so I find them, then work with them in mixed media. Most of my artwork is photo based. As for something I am making that doesn’t use my photographs, I may collect the materials, then experiment. I am not really much of a planner for making art. I just kind of start making. The exception to this would be if I am using some kind of technical process for printing, something that needs to be done an exact way, such as some darkroom processes.
10. What’s a cool thing that you think everyone should know about?
Etsy. And Spoonflower is pretty darn cool. You can design and print your own fabric! How cool is that? I want to try it sometime. http://www.spoonflower.com. Ah, so many cool things in this world… I also like the Craft Daily newsletter, because it keeps me up on art, craft, food… sign up here, http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2007/02/get_craft_daily.html. I also think blogging is a cool thing everyone should know about because everyone has something to say and that they are interested in, and you can meet amazing people via blogging.
11. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Well, I have traveled the world so many crazy things have happened to me…
12. Where’s your dream vacation spot?
Everywhere, no seriously… ok, I will try to pick. Fiji, Alaska, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Belize, The Galapagos, Kauai, Egypt, Morocco, Japan….
13. What’s the last thing you bought online?
A hardbound photobook of a photo essay I worked on.
14. In a perfect world without the constraints of reality, what would you be doing?
Great question. I would be doing lots more of everything I love, which I try to do a lot of anyway. I would be traveling with my family, creating, collecting all things vintage, cooking, taking workshops, reading, and I would have like 6 kids. As it is now, I will soon have two, but we will probably stop at 3. However, if life bent to my every whim, I would have more kids.
15. Do you make a signature dish? What is it?
If you can’t tell by now, I am more scattered than focused and embrace change, so I cook all the time but can’t really come up with a signature dish. They are always changing. When I think of things people request for me to make they are crepes, veggie burritos, and these oatmeal ginger cookies that people go CRAZY for.
16. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Listen to your heart, follow your dreams, trust yourself, you can be anything, but you need to work for what you want, nothing will be handed to you on a silver platter.
17. What’s your most treasured possession?
Is it weird that I had to think about that one? I would have to say family photos and books and cameras. But, I strongly believe that as much as I love objects, that if I lost everything but still had the people I love, I would be fine. No object can last forever, and I think maybe I am a bit supersitious that if you hold on tightly to something you will lose it.
18. Do you have any pets?
No but have had fish, a bird, a gekko, a turtle, a hamster, cats, and dogs. Never trust someone who doesn’t like kids or animals…
19. What’s your best garage sale find?
Oh man, I am a collector, there have been SO many. Between garage sales, thrift shops, and Freecycle, I have found some amazing things. I guess the things I love to find most are very old photographs and slides, cameras, and vintage books with illustrations.
20. What are you most passionate about?
Making art, helping others (I have been to Haiti and Nicaragua on humanitarian missions, as well as working in the communities I have lived in), for all women to have the choice of natural child birth (I gave birth under the care of a midwife in a birthing center with my daughter and have a planned homebirth with a midwife for the second daughter), our environment, good health.
If you’re interested in learning more about this lovely lady, you can check out her etsy shop here. She’s also showing on trunkt, and has her own website for her photography business here. If you want to get more in-depth, she has two great blogs – one about “going green” and one about art and her life. They both feature awesome ideas, great recipes, wonderful pictures, and awesome insights. So stop in and say hello!
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