Artist Spotlight: Becky Raab Bokern

Our very first artist spotlight. I am so excited to bring you Ms. Becky Raab Bokern. If you are interested in being in our “Artist Spotlight”, please email me at email@jenniferisenhart.com or isenartco@gmail.com whatever photos you may want to use, or whatever ideas you have.

Me: What is your name?

Becky: Becky Raab Bokern

Me: What kind of art do you do?

Becky: I’m kind of all over the place. I do abstract drawings (colored pencil, water colors, water color pencils, markers, gel pen, oil pastels) fiber art, beading, abstract acrylic paintings, photography (digital and film) and mixed media projects. You could say I’m a magpie, a Jill of all trades. I’ve done lots of art forms. Currently mixed media abstract drawings are my main project.

Me: What are your top 10 fave supplies and why?

Becky: I like the prismacolor scholar color pencils better than the actual prismacolors, because they dont smear as easily. Despite the controversy, I like Brut Fumer square colored pencils. I like my Faber Castel water color pencils. My hands. I count my hands as an art supply becuause i use them instead of a paint brush sometimes, or instead of a burnishing tool, etc. I like mixed media paper because its forgiving and bristol velum paper because of the texture. markers? Sharpie because of the color range. I also like micron pens. and one more… I love my twinkling h20 water color paints. I dont think they’re made any more, but ive had mine for more than 15 yrs and they’re still great. So pretty and shiney!

Me: What got you interested in art?

Becky: What else is there in life? Art is all I know. if I have free time, i’m creating. period. Art is my go to downtime activity, my therapy, my alone time, my social time, my self expression, my life.

Me: Did you take art classes or are you self taught?

Becky: Both. I went to cosmetology school, so I learned a lot about color theory and other basic art theory (there is way more than playing with nail polish and scissors all day). I have learned photography from several professional photographers who are friends. My dad didnt beleive me that I knew photography, so he paid me to take a course at the local colllege. It was like kindergarten. I could have taught the class. I surround myself with creative people. We can all learn from eachother. Skill sharing/trading is a wonderful thing. Its amazing how much transfers to differnt media. Like what I know from photography, I use in my beadwork, and my drawings. I am constantly learning. I think we all are. At leasst I hope we are… saving now, i dont want to lose progress. will continue below

Me: Do you have any tips or tricks for us?

Becky: keep a small sketchbook in your everyday carry bag, by your spot on the couch, on your work desk, by your bed, in the bathroom…notice color combinations around you on billboards, on the product in the check out lane at walmart. notice the shapes in the woodgrain on telephone poles, or the shape of a puddle. Notice textures on clothes,food, buidings and animals. Write it down! Tweek it, make it your own. Think outside of the box. Learn the rules then break them.

Me: What is your favorite art store?

Becky: I don’t have one. I get stuff all over. Sometimes I even use non traditional art supplies, so I pick up stuff at thrift shops, flea markets and yard sales a lot.

Me: How much time would you say you put into a piece?

Becky: Depends on what it is. MInutes, or hours, or months.

Me: What do you think helped you get better?

Becky: Being around creative people, and practice. It all comes down to nature vs nurture. Only so much can be taught. I know plenty of people who make stuff, but they are not truely creative. They follow instructions, or copy what they see others do. To be a true artist, I fell that you have to be original. A person can take all the classes they want, and still not be creative. It sounds very cliche, but a lot of it comes from within.

Me: What inspires you, do you have a muse?

Becky: no muse. Stuff just comes to me. I’ve experienced some esp and predictive dreams. I have really strong deja vu frequently. My ideas just come to me. Like i’ll see a set of shapes on the back of a cereal box, and combine it it with the colors I saw on that strangers shirt yesterday, and i’ll take that and make it into something. If it looks and feels right, then its done. if not, its discarded. Its hard to describe.

Me: What artists are you drawn to most?

Becky: Abstract artists. Artists who use all the colors! Bold, in your face, just stuff you don’t see every day. Artists who tell a story, or stuff that makes you ask questions, or think. I try not to concentrate on any one particular style of artist. I don’t want to limit myself from opportunity to learn. My latest fascination is Betty Franks, on youtube.

Me: Were you an artist early on, in your youth?

Becky: I don’t know when I made the transition from poor kid who didn’t get toys, so she made them, into the person I am today, but I have always been creative to some extent. I was never interested in sports or other hobbies. Always creative stuff. I used to make barbie furniture from old macaroni boxes and scraps of my moms sewing fabric. I taught myself to sew, just watching my mom. Learned to crochet when I was 10 with some yarn and hooks from a yard sale. I made the lady who had the yardsale teach me how. Some people think that only paintings and sculptures can be art. Nope. Art is much bigger than that. Art=makeing something with an original idea of your own. Crafts=following instructions and/or copying someones work. (color by number, scrapbooking etc)

Me: What are your aspirations?

Becky: I don’t even think about that. I don’t have any goals like wanting to be in a museum or anything like that. I just like to make stuff. I do it for me. And if other people like it, then that’s fine too. I have sold some of my artwork throughout the years, and I have plans right now to do so. None of it is planned, it just happens. I just go with it.

Me: Do you have any pages, websites or events you’d like to tell us about?

Becky: not really. My instagram is tafkabecky23. That’s where I post my artsy stuff. If I post it at all. There is a bunch of stuff that I don’t even put on the internet.

Me: Anything we didn’t ask that you’d like to tell us about?

Becky: I like cool colors more than warm colors. Some creations have to be made in silence, and some require a certain type of music. And some can only be done when in the middle of chaos.Also? I enjoy talking about myself. And I use way too many words.

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