Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Interview With An Artist
Today we have the pleasure of getting to know Marion Bockelmann

Patti – Hi, Marion, thanks so much for doing this interview with me.
First of all, share with me a little bit about what it’s like living Münster, Germany. Were you born there?

No, I was born in Cologne, then moved to Bremen when I was 9 years old and then moved on to Münster to study at the university there when I was 19. Münster has one of the biggest universities in Germany though it´s a middle-sized town with 300.000 inhabitants. It´s quite pretty here, but most of the "old" buildings have been rebuilt after they´ve been destroyed in the war, so there´s not so much original architecture as you would think at first sight.
Patti – What are your seasons like there? Does it get really hot? Does it snow in winter?

We have all four seasons here without any extremes usually: summer usually doesn´t have more than 30 °C (86 °Fahrenheit), and winter frost doesn´t go much under - 20 °C (- 4 °F). We have snow almost every winter, but not as much as in the southern parts of Germany. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, no flooding - it´s quite safe to live here.
Patti - Tell me about your family. Are you a married women and if so how long have you been married? Do you have children, grandchildren, or pets?

I´ve never been married but have had three relationships, the longest for 11 years, but am a single now for many years without children or pets.
Patti – Share with me how you first became interested in creating art?

It´s something I have always done - I didn´t go to kindergarten but always drew and painted and glued ... As a child, I liked to spend my pocket money for books about all sorts of craft and needlework, and I tried a lot of those techniques. I´ve never thought of being or becoming an artist though, and I wouldn´t do that today either.
Patti – I see that many of your pieces are mixed media. How did you learn to do mixed media art?
I started stamping in 2000, and it seems like a natural process to me that I went on incorporating other techniques. I didn´t like collage at school: We used images from magazines to put them together to finished artwork that I didn´t like because it wasn´t my style. So it took a while to explore that there are other ways of using collage that really please me and that can be a way to express my feelings and thoughts.
Patti -How did you learn digital art? Did you teach yourself or did you take art courses or lessons?

I had seen digital art at some friends´ blogs for a while and wasn´t sure if I liked it, but I´ve been quite sure that it wasn´t the right thing for me. On the other hand, I had Photoshop installed on my computer, and - remember that I´ve always loved to learn new techniques - really wanted to get to know its secrets. Then I won a seat in an online class with Marie Otero about two years ago, and I´ve had so much fun during the four weeks of the class, and I learned so much that I just couldn´t stop - so I went to the library and read many books about photoshop and digital collage, and I´ve found a lot of interesting tutorials online. I did another online class with Jessica Sprague one year ago because I think that online classes are fantastic if you want to learn digital art. It´s not easy to find your own style though as many classes and most of the digi stuff online are made for scrapbookers to use with your family photos. It took a while to learn that all those techniques to enhance your photos with PS could also be used for digital collages - because I knew from the beginning that it were digital collages that I wanted to do. I´m now creating for Tumble Fish Studio and Hidden Vintage Studios, and by doing this and staying in contact with their creative teams and the Deviant Scrap forum, I´m learning on daily, so I hope I´ll improve my digital skills in the future - there´s still such a lot to learn for me!
Patti – Do you incorporate any mixed media art with your digital creations?

Yes, I like to mix and match physical and digital art. I like to scan my own physical creations to work on them digitally (to make new headers for my blog for example) or to use digitally composed backgrounds to stamp and collage on. And I´m using a lot of digital images from several designers as collage images for my mixed media artwork.
Patti – Do you look back on some or your earlier art and compare what you have learned and how it has changed like in this piece 

“Offering Freedom”
Compared to this more recent digital piece

You´ve chosen two pieces that both deal with freedom, the freedom you´re given and the freedom you give yourself. I didn´t think about this before, but it seems that this is a theme I often choose and vary: Many people (including me) follow rules that aren´t carved in stone, they live within boundaries that have never been set for them, so they cut down their own freedom without being forced to do that. The older piece shows that you can do the change you want by yourself, that sometimes you just have to allow yourself to be free. The second piece on the other hand shows that sometimes there are strings you´re bound to and rules you have to follow and that you´re not able to get out of these boundaries. I like to leave the freedom of interpretation to the recipient, so you can choose how to interpret the hand of the puppeteer: if you´re religious, you can see an unearthly power, but you can also see this piece as an illustration of "The Night Circus" with the hand of the magician leading these children through their life.

Patti- Your work has such versatility. From mixed media to digital and Zeti.  Which of these is your favorite ?

I just can´t make a choice. I try to use the techniques that fit my feelings best and make it possible to express what I want to say. When I own the perfect rubber stamps for a theme I´m working on, then I´ll probably incorporate them, even if I´m doing a digital piece. And if I´ve just found a magazine clipping that inspired me to work on something, I will glue it down, paint and stamp over it and add other images until I`ve told my story. Telling stories is what I`m always trying to do, no matter what technique I´m using. I don´t like to do pieces that are just decorative but almost always try to tell a story, express my feelings, or just illustrate some lyrics or a quote.

Patti – This is considered Zeti right? It looks like mixed media but it is digital right? I am finding that more and more of Creative Souls artists are turning to this style. Is it easier to create Zeti or is it just a new phase of creating and which do you prefer?

I´ve always admired Teesha Moore´s Zetti style and love to use her stamps and images but try not to mimic her or any other artist´s style. That´s what fascinates me about stamping: you´re using pre-made images but use them in your personal way, or better: in a lot of different ways, and the challenge is to always make the result your personal piece of artwork though you´ve been using stamps and embellishment that everybody else could have used. Many stampers try to make crisp, clean cards, whereas I always prefered messy but expressive and personal pieces.
The page above builds a character from pieces that didn´t belong together before I decided to combine them, which is a characteristic of Zetti style, but there isn´t much black and white in this piece or any borders around the page, so it doesn´t look so very Zetti to me ;-) All images used here are from Tumble Fish Studio, so they´re digital collage images, but I´ve used them on a physical moleskine page here: I´ve printed them out, glued them down, painted around and over them and added some journaling. I really like art journaling (though I´m not doing it daily), and I like both physical and digital art journaling.
Patti - What inspires you to create?

Words! I´ve always been drawn to the beauty of the spoken as well as the written word, I`ve been collecting quotes and passages of books I´ve read since I´ve been a teenager, and I love to read song lyrics instead of just listen to the music. I never go out without a book, and you´ll always find me reading when I have to wait for a few minutes. I love the graphic quality of written letters (that´s why I´m doing a bit of calligraphy from time to time) as well as the sound of several languages: I really like the sound of German poetry or medieval German prose and poems when they´re read out loud, and I also love Shakespeare´s English (I like to read it loud, too) or the sound of French and Italian, two languages that I´ve started to learn but do not speak very well. I´ve studied German language and literature at the university (as well as art history and media sciences), so this is my biggest love and most important inspiration.
Patti – What program do you use to create digital art? What are your favorite tools or filters?

I use Photoshop (German version 8.0.1 which is similar to PS3 I think). My favourite thing about it may be playing with blending modes and textures, but as these both make massive changes, I don´t use them too much on my artwork for creative teams. I also love using PS brushes (including self-made brushes) and am always trying several fonts before I decide which one fits best.
Patti – Have you ever had any of your work published? If so tell me about it.

I´ve had pieces of artwork in several magazines during the last 8 years such as Somerset Studio, The Stampers´ Sampler, Artful Blogging, or Rubberstampmadness (you´ll find details listed on my blog), but these have all been stamped or mixed media pieces - I didn´t dare to send digital art for publication yet.
Patti – Do you have a blog you can share with us? Also, do you have a website on Etsy Shop or any other network?

I´m an avid blogger, posting quite often, and I love to get in contact with my readers. I´m even hosting an annual international ATC swap on my blog that´s open for everyone, and that´s another great way of getting to know my readers and followers. You´ll find my blog here:
You can also find me at Flickr here:
and here at Creative Souls of course.
Patti – Do you have a favorite artist or someone that inspires your work?

I love late medieval Dutch and German painters such as Rogier van der Weyden and van Eyck, as well as most Italian renaissance painters, admiring their use of texture and colours and their well-balanced designs. But the artists that inspire me for my own artwork are usually modern artists like Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte and many others.
Patti – What do you like to do for recreation or to relax?
As I said above, I´m reading a lot - mostly contemporary novels and poetry. But I also love to knit, to listen to music, to play card games with friends, and and and ...
Patti – Many artists are inspired by music. Do you like music playing when you create? What is your favorite music?
Yes, I always listen to music when I´m making collages. It may sound weird, but my favourite musicians are J. S. Bach and Led Zeppelin. I love baroque music, operas, and also rock/alternative/grunge as well as English/Irish/Scottish folk music, but I don´t like musicals and most pop music.
Patti – Here is a fun question…Would you rather ride a bike or a horse and why?
I´m riding my bike almost daily, but I´ve never been on horseback. In Münster, we have more bikes than inhabitants, and stealing bikes is the most common crime here. You don´t need a car here, and I don´t even have a driving license as I´ve always lived in big cities with good public transport.
Patti - What is your strongest pet peeve? 

Being forced to listen to music that I hate - like musicals or operetta, and see people chewing chewing-gum. Weird, I know.
Patti – Lastly Marion , if you could spend one day with any artist who would that artist be?

If I could pick an artist who has passed, I´d choose Max Ernst, but if it must be someone alive I´d go with Kaffe Fassett maybe whose fabulous colourful knitting designs I´ve always admired, or with Anselm Kiefer or Christian Boltanski.
Patti – Thank you so much Marion, it has been fun getting to know you. I admire your work and I am sure the Creative Souls family will be thrilled to know you better too.
Happy Creating !

Marion Bockelmann
Lotharingerstr. 6 - 48147 Münster - Germany