This week's blogger is: Mr. Toast aka Michael from Dotty Hill
[ Part I: About blogging ]01/ How many blogs do you have that are currently active?
Two: Dotty Hill and Creative Tuesdays (Also have an online illustration portfolio of sorts, not a blog, @ dottyhill.com)
02/ What are your blogs about? Do you have tag lines?
Creative Tuesdays is an online art co-op open to anyone who wants to take the challenge of a new theme posted every two weeks. Dotty Hill is where I now post my own art contributions for singing up to "CT" and is an avenue to occasionally write more. Its tagline is "Michael's Toast to this World of Wonder." In spite of all the heartaches and awful things in this world, there is yet so much wonder to behold. Life is a miracle to live thoughtfully!
03/ Are your blogs a reflection of you or just a place for your creative/personal outlet?
Both to a degree, but more my artistic side. I tend to avoid anything terribly divisive as the blogs serve more as an avenue for building a public online community with other supportive creatives. We all need encouragement and I love to offer it while at the same time enjoying seeing how people think differently through any one theme. Fascinating. I've learned too though that it helps to flesh out who you are to some extent as it helps build a followership, if you will. People aren't interested divesting time into art and posts with someone they don't at least partially know and care about. Such co-ops also serve as a way to engage with others one might not otherwise ever meet.
04/ How did you come up with the names for your blogs?
As the co-op already existed when asked to take it over (by Lissa), I simply changed its name from Create Tuesdays to Creative Tuesdays. Dotty Hill's name, however, comes from the British word, "dotty," implying "eccentric" and rather "enthusiastic"or even "playful," if you will. I think that describes me and my illustrations fairly well actually! And "hill" because I'd far rather be on some gentle rolling hills than stuck on up on the craggy bare mountaintop above timberline where little grows (like we have here in CO)!
05/ Do you have a blogging schedule or do you post any time you like?
Yes, well, I have to post every two weeks for CT so that holds me accountable for the most part.
06/ What advice did you wish someone had given to you when you first started blogging?
Watch out for those who don't blog or do art co-ops! They often won't get it and may actually think its something it's entirely not. The pursuit of artistic expression is rarely understood by those who aren't at least to some degree creatives themselves.
[ Part II: About the blogger ]01/ Do you have any nicknames? If you have more than one, do you have a preference?
I've had some even from those online who don't truly know me. I can't even remember who first called me "Mr. Toast" but it's rather stuck and have to admit, it is so very me. Lol. Alex (my wife) calls me "Mookie." Again, no idea where that came from but it does make me chuckle!
02/ List 7 words to describe you.
When I fill out personality profiles, regardless of what they are, I end up with these same descriptions: Loving, loyal, creative, compassionate, funny, committed, expressive (or open).
03/ If you do not have to worry about time or money, what is your favorite way to spend your day?
Spending quality time with loved ones over a good conversation. If by myself: reading!
04/ What are some hobbies or interest that you do that people do not know about?
See above. Reading non-fiction (news and other websites). Also I do love creative visual inspiration boards on Pinterest and play around in Instagram for another creative outlet.
05/ What is the one book that you love that you would recommend to just about everybody?
Well, it would definitely have to be non-fiction! It's funny b/c I'm SUCH an urbanite at heart yet keep finding myself going back to Michael Pollan's books as one's I enjoy reading. My fave of his being his first, "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education" or the one I'm currently reading, his latest, "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation." Then again, one of my all time favourite books that I think practically anyone can find something constructive from would be an oldie, Victoria Moran's "Shelter for the Spirit: Create Your Own Haven in a Hectic World."
06/ Do you have a favorite tool you use for your drawings or your designs?
No. Whatever works for the job at hand. I am, however, excited to try gouache which, incredibly, have only just learned of and would not be surprised at all if that quickly becomes my go-to media. Perfect for illustrations.
07/ List 7 of your favorite things.
Hot drinks (tea or coffee lattes), the smell of rain, snowfall, yummy homemade meals and... ingenuity, individualism and kindness and, sorry, I have to include one more: good conversation!
08/ When are you most creative/productive? The morning, the afternoon or night or just about any time?
Evenings, when my back is against the wall and I'm feeling the pressure to complete something! :)
09/ As a designer, is it easy to come up with designs? Do you have any special way to prepare for each project?
Yes, having been a designer for so long, often working under tight deadlines, I know design well enough for the process to be almost a gut feeling. I usually know what works and doesn't. While I love to mock up designs in my head, implementing them is the more tedious part for me, actually. In fact, I'd far rather conjure something up in my brain than actually create it as the idea doesn't remain as fresh the more it's laboured. To me, that's the playful part -- designing the imagination!
10/ Draw, write, photograph or use any form of communication something that represents you in some way.