Today I'm traveling to Northern Ireland, where I meet Carrie, a talented artist and photographer, besides a sweet person and lovely friend. She works under her own brand Cherry Blossom Tattoo. Carrie creates bright, colorful photography art that reaveals her eye for beauty and the ability to see beauty even in the smallest details. A truly crafty girl, she has recently added fiber art to her shop. I love Carrie's shots, they capture such tiny details, making them look like abstract paintings and reminding us that Beauty is to be found in the smallest things. Here she shares her artistic journey and inspiration with us!
- How did you choose the lovely name for your Etsy Shop, Cherry Blossom Tattoo?
About 3 years ago I got a cherry blossom tattoo on my right wrist. It was after a trip to Japan, something I had wanted to do since I could remember. I felt at peace there and decided that maybe having a reminder to look at I would remember that feeling of being free, so far from home and really, truly being 'me'. So as my shop is my soul bared for all to see, me expressing myself - the name seemed to be the perfect synergy of these to ideals.
- How did you first come to art and creativity? How did your journey in art and creativity begin?
I am an only child and didn't have the happiest upbringing which lead me to withdraw into books, art and creating my own alternative world. I drew pictures of places I wished to be, animals I wanted to play with and I had imaginary friends. When my parents separated photographs became very important to me, I felt my family life was more disconnected - a lot of family lived in Canada as well and it was the best way to feel a tangible link.
- Why did you choose photography as your particular medium of creative expression?
Later in life at around 15 I developed double vision (no one knows why and it can't be fixed), I had loved art, particularly drawing, but that became understandably very difficult. I did do GSCE art and my teachers wanted me to A-level but I couldn't do the work in the allotted time. I was offered a course in photography for a year - you only need 1 eye to take a picture ;) The passion started then and has never diminished. With the arrival of the digital camera - it has become cheaper and more immediately gratifying than using film.
- When and how did you realize this was your real and greatest passion?
I got an A in that photography course and it boosted my confidence. My friends have been the biggest supporters and with them and family seeing me as the photographer in the group I felt I must be quite good. I see photographs everywhere I go and I guess that made me realise that it is a passion, I get annoyed when I miss a beautiful picture and now carry a camera almost everywhere :) At home it is always beside me, haha. My husband is always behind me and researching new lenses and accessories so he nurtures my passion and thus heightens it.
- What are your main sources of inspiration?
Nature of course but also the little details easily overlooked or things that people tend to think is ugly such as rust and decay. It is so enjoyable to change someone's opinion about an object. I adore colour; with my double vision I may not see an object clearly right away but colour is everywhere and that I can always appreciate.
- I know that besides your passion for photography you are quite a crafty girl, and you have recently added fiber art to your shop. Can you tell us a little about it?
Ever since I discovered my problem with my vision I have been very hard on myself - it is not going to stop me! I worked very hard and got good qualifications. At the same time it lead me to do things that should be too hard, such as tapestry and delicate intricate work. My fiber art is very difficult and I can only do it every now and then - it gives me horrendous headaches but it's worth it to conquer the disability. Plus I am very girlie girl and love pretty things :)
- How has life affected your art and art affected your life?
My lonely and painful childhood and vision problems has lead to me doing photography and my photography in the last years has really pushed me out of my shell. It has encouraged me to talk to people, to make friends online and meet truly soulful people like yourself Anna. I have chronic depression and acute anxiety and art makes me feel the world can be beautiful, that people can understand me and I can express myself clearly. People even have my pieces in their own homes - what a privilege.
I even did creative art therapy for 6 months and really do love all types of art form, I appreciate every discipline - there are so many talented people out there!
- Art is about light and color! What are your favourite colors?
Oh dear, I love colour! Favourite ones are hard to narrow down, what a hard question! I adore deep colours, jewel colours, I celebrate colour!! Rich reds and greens are my favourite.
- Did you have a formal training in photography or attend photography courses?
Just that 1 year intense GSCE apart from that I have read some books. But to be fair I do what I feel is right at that moment and could never teach anyone - it just happens. Holding my camera in my hand makes me calm - it's a beautiful feeling.
- Do you have a studio or home studio or particular part of your home you have devoted to your artwork?
My darling husband has prepared a gorgeous room for me in our new house. It is beautiful, comfortable and bright. He is my greatest supporter and encourages me every day. The room is a lovely sky blue so I feel like it is a lovely summer's day in there, it has 2 windows - so full of light and I have a very large white table, white shelves, a red chair and green rug. My Grandfather's handmade bookcase is in there too and gives me such joy and peace to look at.
Thank you dear Carrie for this wonderful and truly soulful interview, and for sharing your artistic journey, your inspiration and your beautiful inner world! And thank you for the great and inspiring message you are giving us with your work! We wish you continued joy, success and inspiration with your photography and art.You can find Carrie's photography work in her Etsy shop Cherry Blossom Tattoo and you can get to know more about her world in her blog.