Karen Landey is a talented Oregon-based collage artist and videographer. Karen’s creative urges have taken her on a very interesting path over the course of her life. She has always looked for things to do that are fun and inspiring and the creative process she developed as a child has been maintained throughout her life in as much as a necessity as eating and sleeping. Over the course of a lifetime Karen has been involved in many artistic endeavors including sewing clothing, batik, jewelry making, writing, airbrush painting, photography, videography, mixed media and digital collage. She has always found a way to express her creativity through a variety of mediums.
Mixed media and collage arts offered her a niche because it combined every art technique and skill that she had developed along the way. She was involved in altering books, digital collage using Photoshop, mixed media collage and assemblage art.
Her award-winning artwork has been shown in craft fairs and juried art shows throughout Oregon as well as published in several mixed media publications. She has also taught mixed media collage classes and creative process workshops using comedy improv techniques. Now that’s a creative combo. HGTV’s craft show, Crafters Coast to Coast, (now called That’s Clever) featured her as a collage artist in their premier season.
In 1983 Karen took on her first video production workshop project at the Albuquerque Cable Access channel; she knew that this was the most creative thing she could possibly do. It had everything and stretched her to the limit creatively. She had to use technical abilities and creative skills to create a story from an idea to a finished multi-media piece and took advantage of the facilities and equipment to become an independent producer there for six years, all volunteer.
Like many yearning artists, Karen worked for other companies for 35 years to make money to support her love of artistic expression and to meet her basic living needs. She said, “I would get home from my day job, take a shower as my symbolic transition into my “other” life and then devote the rest of the day to whatever creative project I was involved with at the time. My dream was always to be a full-time artist and my heart urged me on to listen to the inspiration being revealed in each moment. It was not easy, my day jobs were often full of people who took it upon themselves to drag me down, but I had to hold on to what was real to me and that was the need to create.”
In March 2006, Karen got an incredible idea – she decided to start filming artists like herself that wanted to tell their story about their art and their journey! She felt a strong urge for artists to have their works be seen. What she hears from artists the most is that they have to create. She thinks the key is to find whatever it is that speaks through you, whether it be cooking, teaching, or perhaps gardening. Her original idea was to find a way to empower artists to take their own art to the next level by doing inspiring interviews with them to get their art seen. “Some people work very intuitively – some people plan everything out. It’s all right; there’s no right way to do it.” She wanted to do something with her own art to inspire and wake up other artists to their art so that they too know why they are here on this planet. She sees her life as a journey and certain kinds of arts come into her path that resonate messages to her. To date, Karen has conducted 62 interviews with artists and has been producing videos for 23 years. Her company is INDIE ARTS: The DVD Magazine.
INDIE ARTS: The DVD Magazine is a cutting edge format that Karen has been producing for over two years. INDIE ARTS is a quarterly DVD Magazine, which focuses on the journey into creativity through the stories of artists who have found the courage to listen to their hearts and follow their dreams. The materials each artist uses to express their visions are as varied as their unique voices as they talk about their creative processes and the winding paths they are taking to realize their dreams.
INDIE ARTS helps artists to get their work seen by others including setting up a street gallery, a neighborhood art walk and a non-profit art center. Artists learn how to get published in books, magazines or self-publish a zine and get info on how to set up art groups. Fun and easy art techniques as well as exotic and little known arts are brought to the audience through videotaped interviews with artists who are in their own studios as they demonstrate their unique techniques, talk about their sources of inspiration and the defining moment when they called themselves artists. Finally, Karen asks each artist to offer advice to other artists on how to take their art to the next level.
I was privileged to view Into the Heart of Creativity, DVD Magazine Issue 9 which was shot on location in Andalucia and Granada, Spain. There is breathtaking photography and music that tantalizes your creative spirit as well as a smorgasbord of art to stimulate your senses. You definitely don’t want to look away from the video for even a second because you will miss too much. Mixed Media Artist, Michael Jacobs, was also interviewed in great depth, which was an incredible learning experience about interactive paper art. The DVD concludes with interviews of several artists talking about their creative processes. It was one of the most entertaining and relaxing 1 hour and 55 minutes I have ever spent viewing an artistic DVD. After watching the DVD you want to grab your paintbrush, camera or whatever your medium and create!
Karen has been an inspiration to the art world through her own artistic eye through the lens of the video camera. Karen’s next goal is to take her technical video skills and non-stop stream of visual imagery that flows through her mind to the next level and do experimental videos that she will be submitting to film festivals. Karen’s philosophy: “Your art is your life, your life is your art and how to make that richer is to open yourself up, be creative, listen to your heart and follow your dreams.”
Please check out both Karen’s wonderful collages and her INDIE ARTS: The DVD Magazine sites at the links below.