Talking with Teesha Moore

Interview with Teesha Moore by Kara L.C. Jones

Q: What is The Studio Zine? What is

Teesha: A magazine devoted to creativity. The website is a mishmash of everything I do and am involved with...pages from the magazine, my artwork, my journal pages, workshops I teach, retreats I plan, etc.


Q: How did you get started in the book arts? Do you consider yourself a writer and artist both?

Teesha: I took some classes in making books and have always been drawn to the paper arts. I am an artist, not a writer but I have had to write for my magazine. I write the same way I create and some people really respond to it. I think I frustrate english majors though.


Q: Do you find that your works have helped you to process grief and healing in any ways in your life?

Teesha: Definitely, my journals have done that for me. I learn things when I am journaling. Things spill out on the pages before I even know what is happening. I can look back and learn alot from what has been written and created on the pages. Creativity is the best healer and journals are the easiest way to the creative path.


Q: What is

Teesha: My husbands rubber stamp company but also a place where he sells his handmade journals.


Q: Your art is amazing! Looking at your gallery on just floors me. Where do you start your projects? Where do you get your ideas?

Teesha: What you see on there (Teesh's Art) is such a small portion of what I do. I must create. plain and simple. it has always been that way for me. Doing shows around the country with my husbands' rubber stamp company has allowed me to sell off the fruits of my creative outbursts. I am much more interested with the process than the finished product, so hardly ever take pictures of my stuff before I sell it at shows. Likewise people know that when they see something, they won't ever see me making the same thing again. To me, when I am repeating myself, I have lost that creative flow and then it just becomes mechanical reproduction. I don't think much about what the finished product will be but let the creativity direct the project. I suppose I do infuse my art with a sense of playfullness. It is my escape from some of the frustrations of day to day life.


Q: Do you teach others how to use various book arts? Do you find the teaching to be a resource for working with others and getting/sharing ideas? Or do you find the teaching to be a distraction to your own artist work?

Teesha: Yes...we try to teach as much as possible to help others in their own creative quests. If we can flip that little switch in some people's minds that they CAN be creative and this is just one way to start, then we'll continue teaching. I don't find teaching to be a distraction from my own artwork. My artwork is not my life is just a means to release my creative energy and keep me revved for the task at hand...which is to inspire people to create through my magazines, my art retreats, and the classes we teach. Students are a constant source of inspiration for me.


Q: I notice that on some of your journal pages you are using pieces of the Land Of Odd pieces you offer for purchase. Have you seen other works incorporating your Land Of Odd works? Do you create other pieces for reproduction like that, too?

Teesha: I don't worry about people copying my work or using my images. If something I have done inspires them, by all means, let them use it in their own art. existence is not about promoting myself but about helping others in the creative realm since I do feel I was given a gift and feel I should use it to the best of my ability to help others.


Q: Can you tell us a little about what the ArtFest is? I understand that it is a very popular event that sells out quickly. How did it get started? How has it evolved?

Teesha: Well...I wanted a place for like minded people to come out of their own isolated studios and be with one another, learn new stuff and be inspired. It's like a creativity shot in the arm and people seem to go home renewed and full of energy to create. People talk about the generous, kind hearted nature of everyone who comes. Some come to the event, shy and trepidatious, but leave feeling like they just aquired a new group of friends who really care about them. It is very gratifying for me to be a part of this. It sold out on the first day last year (2000) but in 2001, there was space left till the very end since we opened it up to more people.


Q: I notice that some of your works look like boxes, some like "books," some like quilt panels, yet they all seem to tell a story of some kind. Do you consider them book arts or did you purposely stretch "book arts" as far as you possibly could to see what you get or do you just ignore definitions

Teesha: I don't like rules or boundaries. So I am ALWAYS pushing the limits of a particular medium. I never want to be called a "book artist" or a "quilter" or any one thing in particular. when people ask me what kind of artist I am, I say that I specialize in creativity. and as such, I use whatever medium I am drawn to at that particular time.


Q: There are so many amazing materials in your works? Do you save things you find here and there to incorporate into your art? Do you make a list and go into a variety store and purchase things off a list? Do you make pieces exclusively with "found" art items?

Teesha: I save things that look interesting. and when I see things at a store, I'll buy it. Many of my friends do the same thing but never use the stuff they buy or find for fear that they won't find more. I really try to use it all up. I never go to a store with a list! I always create with whatever is around me and if the project needs something in particular that I don't have, then I find something else that will work instead. this has lead to some very interesting discoveries that I would have never known had I not been faced with a problem that needed solving.


Q: With all the works in your gallery, you seem to be so prolific! How do you find a balance between travel, teaching, sales, and actual art-making?

Teesha: Well...many times I feel I am very unbalanced. Of course, I would love more time to create. That is why I turned to journaling. I can create for 20 minutes at a coffee house or on a plane or in a hotel room with not much more than some crayons, pens, scissors and glue. I always feel I am too busy. who doesn't. but I stay sane through creating.


Q: Where are you in your artistic career today?

Teesha: If I were to die today, I feel that I have done my best to do that which I am on this earth to do....inspire creativity in others and help them on their own creative journeys. It's not about reaching that pinacle when I am making lots of money or have lots of fame. Those things are not important to me.


Q: What do you see for your art and for StudioZine, ArtFest, etc in 5 years? 10 years? 20?

Teesha: Ha! well...I always go with my gut in all things. and I use intuition to help me know the path I am to travel on. I trust that my higher power lets me know what I am on earth to do through my intuition. I don't really look back nor do I look forward. I am very much in the here and now. Right now, I am continueing to do artfest because I feel it is important. The studio zine is getting replaced with another publication focusing more on visual journals and it will all be in color. The name of it will be called PLAY. This switch got ahold of me and wouldn't let go of me until I submitted to the idea. That is the way my life goes. I have no idea what the future holds. I am hoping it holds a little more downtime for me...but I am up to the task of whatever I need to do.


Q: Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to try? If so, what is there that you'd like to try for the first time?

Teesha: Oh...there is always mediums to techniques to play with. I would like to do more artist books. I am very drawn to others I see.


Q: Where would you recommend a new book artist start? Are there any classes or books you find to be awesome resources for newbies?

Teesha: Hmmm...I am a huge book lover and know there are some very inspiring ones out there but at the moment, my books are in complete disarray because of a move. and there are no titles that immediately come to mind at the moment. I would say the important thing is to learn basic bookbinding techniques and then explore the medium, pushing the boundaries and letting your creative spirit have a chance to come out and play. This way, you will discover new techniques and ideas that are truly your own and will have fun in the process. You will surprise me!

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