Monday, May 31, 2010

June Denver Made Interview: Johanna Mueller of Feverish Art

June's Denver Made brings the work of Johanna Mueller, fine art print maker, into our store. As written on her website, "The prints of Johanna Mueller are imbued with personal mythology as she draws from her own narrative, cultural and historical references, pattern and design, and ancient myth and legend. The animals in her work are elevated from beast to mythic status as they take on human emotions and become metaphoric portraits of the artist and others."Recently Johanna was kind enough to answer a few questions about her process for us in preparation for her Denver Made Event Friday June 4th.

(Lioness, Enlightened - Relief Engraving by Feverish Art)

FT: How did you come up with the name for your line, Feverish Art?

JM:  I love the visual image that "Feverish Art" suggests. (Feverish: displaying frenzied excitement or energy). I wanted to start branding my artwork with a name that implied the energy behind the artwork as well as the symptoms of a fever, being both hot and cold at the same time. (My prints are often labeled "nightmarish" yet people also see them as quite beautiful.)  "Feverish" does accurately describe my work ethic, while at the same time it carries an animalistic connotation and ultimately conveys the energy of the animal characters used in my work.

(Holy Cow - Relief Engraving by Feverish Art)

FT:How did you get your start?

JM: I have always been an artist and an entrepreneur.  In grade school I participated in craft fairs at the local children's bank, sold painted pop tabs as charms with rock band logos in high school, and started selling my prints in college. Each small sale along the way was fuel to keep going, and the little bit of success I experienced early on was proof that if my passion was present I could make a living at what I love doing.  

(Break Me Through - Relief Engraving by Feverish Art)

FT: Where do you find your best inspiration for your work?

JM: I never leave home without my sketchbook.  I frequent museums and galleries, sketching and recording what interests me.  I spend lots of time at the library, cruising books and drawing corners of larger compositions, sketching photos or master's works.  All these sketches, as well as found and ripped objects from newspapers and magazines, are used as a sort of visual encyclopedia that I go through to construct a composition.  I journal along side my sketches, and often my thoughts and feelings in relation to the sketches becomes the seed for a finished piece of artwork. 

(From Your Heart to Your Brain - Relief Engraving by Feverish Art)

FT: What music do you listen to when you work?

JM: I actually love listening to podcasts! This fits me since I love stories and my work is based on narrative.  I listen to The Moth, This American Life, Fresh Air, Radio Lab, Selected Shorts, and The Classic Tales.  When I am in a mood for music I go for my favorites, Elton, Bowie, The Rolling Stones, though lately I have been listening to a lot of Texas Country.

(Jewels  - Relief Engraving by Feverish Art)

FT: What would you like people to know about your work/process that isn’t evident when looking at it?

JM: People are often astounded by the detail in my work, and jump to "how long does that take you?"  Although the amount of time that goes into each print is extensive, I avoid labeling myself as "obsessive".  My work is a very zen process for me, and is actually relaxing.  It is just the nature of working with small tools, and really liking what I am doing that allows me to spend so much time on each piece.  And the results are worth the time! 

Make sure to stop by Friday June 4th from 7-10pm and enjoy beverages from Great Divide Brewery while exploring the work of Johanna Mueller in the form of handmade sculptures, prints, cards and books. And don't worry if you are unable to to make it Friday as Johanna's prints will be on display and for sale through the month of June. 


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