Artist Feature v.4: Mary Yaeger

Name and blog name (if applicable):
Mary-Katherine Yaeger. The blog I use most is Tumblr. I post my jewelry pieces and latest art works there. 

Tell us a little bit about you:
I’m 19 years old and I’m an unusual character. I like dressing in 1920’s and 1950’s fashion, but adding my own unique “gamer” style to it. A long with video games, my other passions include jewelry making, illustration, and talking about oceanic life. Ask me a question and I’m sure I’ll find some way to incorporate an octopus or whale shark in there somewhere. 

Where did you study?
I currently attend Craven Community College in North Carolina, but for the fall semester I will finally be transferring to East Carolina University’s school of Art and Design for Animation and interactive design. 

How long have you been painting/drawing/illustrating/etc?
I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. It wasn’t until the past few years I decided I actually wanted to do some form of art for my career.

How did you get started with your art?
If you asked my mother this question she would tell you that my passion came from Titanic. When I was in kindergarten we had to write about our favorite movie and draw a picture to go along with it. I wrote about the Titanic because I had seen it a billion times and adored it. It was seemingly innocent at first sight because what I drew was the boat sinking next to my little paragraph about the movie; however, turn the page and there revealed a nude portrait of Rose, that my mother claimed was “very detailed”. To be honest though, I got started with art because my parents always encouraged me in it. I have always been able to express myself in any way I chose, and no matter what they have always been very supportive. They always take me to art museums and talk about art with me because they know how much it interests me. I’ve never been suppressed.

What is your preferred medium?

This is always the hardest question to answer, and the truthful answer would be I don’t have one. At least yet I don’t. More recently I have been enjoying inks and watercolor, but I enjoy the digital realm as well. It’s a never ending battle between which medium I decide to use for a piece. 

What inspires you to create art?
Laughter and awe. I love seeing the expressions on people’s faces when I show them something. I like creating things for the WOW! Factor, but I also like creating silly and just plain outrageous things sometimes. I’m currently working on a children’s book right now which features a Zombie; if that tells you anything.

Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

This is a hard question too. I love everything I do. Yeah, sometimes it doesn’t turn out how I want it to, but I love it for what it is anyway. I call those Frankensteins just because that’s how I feel about them! Out of what I have done though, I guess my favorite would have to be a necklace I made recently. It’s an Amethyst that is coming out of a bullet casing. It’s very steam punk. It makes me think of some kind of bullet from one of the Underworld movies. 

Are there any artists you look up to?
Most definitely! I adore Salvador Dali, Botticelli, and Michael Angelo. More recent, to our time period, I look up to Tim Burton because he is himself. He’s unique and has his own style and ways of doing things. He seems like he would be a very fascinating person to sit down with and talk and draw with.

What's the best thing about being an artist?

I think the best thing about being an artist is the people you will meet. They are all unique and do things their own way. I’ve never met an artist I didn’t like… well okay I take that back. I’ve never met him, but I don’t like Jackson Pollock. I’ve made some really great friends though, and they are all encouraging and supportive!

What's the worst thing about being an artist?
The dreaded block. I hate that. I hate sitting here and staring at my tablet or sketchbook and nothing comes to me. It’s like I have all the imagination dancing in the back of my brain, but when it tries to come into my conscious some kind of evil force field sits there and says, “You cannot enter!” 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Never give up. Please don’t give up. You may do something one day that looks terrible, but please don’t think to yourself that you are the worst artist in the world and that you will never amount to anything! You are your best critic and you need to stay positive with yourself. Pardon me, but you are going to deal with too many a-hole critics in your career for you to get down on yourself. Some people aren’t going to like your work, but you know what? That’s their opinions. Don’t let someone, ANYONE for that matter, make you think for one split second that what you create isn’t worth anything. My dad told me once “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink”. That’s the best advice I have had, and could ever give anyone else. 


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