ADAA 2015 Faculty Profile: Myriam Powell

I met Myriam through an ADAA 2013 Faculty member:  Michelle Lynch.  Myriam became a vendor at ADAA that year and her dolls were so eye-catching and had such a sweet but creepy aesthetic that we started talking about her becoming a teacher.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Myriam’s work more frequently as we are both Etsy shop owners and in the Austin area, so we cross paths at Etsy Local events.  This is Myriam’s second stint teaching at All Dolls Are Art.  This year, she teaches a 1-day cloth and paper clay class:  Lucy The Halloween Devil.

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Myriam introduces herself by telling me:

“Hi, my name is Myriam. I’m from Colombia, South America. I moved to the United States 17 years ago. Since I was a little girl I’ve always been surrounded by art and handmade. My mother and brother are artists, so I was always connected with art. I discovered art doll making and needle felting about 6 years ago and have been hooked ever since.  My work has been exhibited in E11even2 Gallery’s Halloween show in Cleveland Ohio.

I have been teaching for 2 years. I love seeing the student connect with his/her inner creativity. I think we all have the capability to create. We just need to let our imagination fly and lead us.”

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Hi Myriam, I know that you have had your work featured in Prims magazine, but how about you tell my readers what type of dolls you like to make and what drew you to this type of sculpture?

Myriam:  I was featured in Prims in 2014 and will be included in the Summer 2015 issue!  I was also published in Better Homes and Gardens 2013 and 2014 Holiday Crafts editions. 

I create Gothic art dolls with a touch of whimsical. I’m drawn to this by my love for Halloween, Gothic, Victorian and Steampunk art. I try to combine a little bit of everything in my creations. I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown and the dark side of things.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Congrats Myriam!  Tell me where you started your artistic journey and did you always want to be an artist?

Myriam:  I started my art doll journey here in Austin about 6 years ago. I started experimenting with paper clay and love it. I get excited when I find a cool fabric, a cool material, etc. I’m a pretty sensitive person. I always connect with emotions. I use those feelings to come up with my creations. Although my degree is in Business Administration I’m happier following this creative path.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Are you a full-time artist?

Myriam:  Yes, I’m a full time artist. I work from my home studio. I also opened an Etsy shop in 2011 where I sell much of my art.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Where do you find artistic inspiration? Do you keep an idea book or a journal?

Myriam:  I find my artistic inspiration in music, emotions, people, cool materials and life experiences. All my dolls in some way represent a special event in my life. I don’t keep a journal. It’s all in my head.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe your process for starting a new piece.  Do you know exactly how your pieces will turn out before you start sculpting/painting or do you allow your creation to develop as you work?

Myriam:  My process for starting a new piece usually comes with an idea either manifest by a cool material or feeling. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out. It’s like puzzle pieces in my mind that start to come together as I work. As the doll starts taking on personality the other touches fall into place. Sometimes I make changes to the original idea to suit the doll’s esthetic needs.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you think you have a muse?  What happens if you ignore her?

Myriam:  I don’t have a muse per say, but music plays an important role when I’m creating my dolls. I strongly believe that music helps my creative process and opens my imagination.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Describe a day in your studio when you have no other obligations.  How do you make time for your art?

Myriam:  A day in my studio starts around 8:00 a.m. I organize my day by customer orders or a project I’m working on. Depending on how much work I have, I start sculpting, selecting colors, fabrics, laces etc. and then take and edit pictures to show my work in progress on my business Facebook page. My Facebook page allows me to promote my work and connect to fans. I work until 3:00 p.m. then break to pick up my kids from school.

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It’s hard to create when I have other obligations that need my attention. It’s important to find a balance between family and your work. I noticed when I’m overwhelmed with my other responsibilities my creativity fades away. It doesn’t flow easily and I don’t enjoy the process much. The key is to find balance then it all falls into place.

Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Balance is one of the hardest things for me.  Describe an idea that you have that is yet to be born.  What is keeping you from starting?

Myriam:  I would like to submit my work to more galleries and be part of more art shows. I haven’t been able to pursue this due to lack of time and my family commitments.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Do you participate in a regular art gathering, crit group, or other face to face meeting for the purpose of discussing your sculpture or creating it?

Myriam:  I don’t participate in a regular face to face art gathering but I have been able to meet wonderful doll artists through art shows and Facebook media. I would love to find one someday, but right now it is a bit complicated because I have young kids and they require a lot of my time.

My advice to people who want to find/start a group is to pursue it if they have time. It’s a great way to relate to, and learn from other artists, and also find support. If time is an issue for some people like it is for me, there are a lot groups online and in FB to join.

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Amy, AnLiNa Designs:  Myriam, thanks so much for taking the time to share your journey with me!

Myriam is teaching the 1-day class Lucy the Halloween Devil at All Dolls Are Art 2015.  You can find more information by accessing her page in the workshops section of the site.

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