Featured Artist Interview: Haydee Torres From UGallery

I have not done a featured artist interview in awhile and have been really wanting to get back at it. What better way to start then with one of my favourite figurative artists Haydee Torres. This is an artist that I have admired for quite a few years now, we have been on a few of the same selling sites together and after having watched her art progress over the years I have just recently gotten to know her a little more personally and I am so thrilled to share her work through my blog. You will find her art to be brilliantly colourful, mysterious and emotionally packed. You are left wanting to learn the story behind each piece, the story behind the eyes of her subjects. It’s art you can really feel.

Here is her interview.
















How long have you been an artist?

For about 9 years.













How did you come to choose art as your life path?

When studying Fashion Design I realized how much I enjoyed the art part of my curriculum.

I received a lot of positive critic and encouragement from my instructor and for the first time I was called an artist! Off course at that moment I was not planning to be a painter, so I just ignored it. I took some fine art classes, but I was not really convinced that art was from me until I took a live drawing class, then I just knew I had found my niche.
















Was your family supportive of your choice to pursue art as a career?

My family is very supportive and very patient with me:)
















What motivates or inspires you or your artwork?

My motivation is the love of the process and the satisfaction of the act of painting. Then come the subject, color, mediums and techniques, which allow for the creation of the painting to take place.















What obstacles have you faced in your career as an artist and how did you overcome them?

My biggest obstacle has been time. I cannot ignore my obligations as a wife and a mother so everyday is a balancing act. Sometimes it can get pretty disorganized but my husband is a great cook, so nobody is going hungry.





















Do you have a favorite artist and if so who?

I do admire many artist mostly in the Expressionists movement like: Egon Schiele, the Bay Area Figurative artist, and the figurative expressionists from the San Francisco area Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, and David Park.

















What other interests or hobbies do you have?

I don’t really have time for hobbies, but I love to watch movies and TV series in the horror science fiction genre.
















What are you working on right now?

Right now I am learning the Braque Drawing Method.
















Where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to get into sculpting so I can mix painting and sculpting.














If you could give an aspiring artist three pieces of advice what would they be?

Learn everything that you can, eventually it will find its way into your work.

Be yourself. Work everyday, if you cannot draw or paint just use your imagination! Handle your self and your work in a professional manner.
















Please take the time to visit Haydee’s online gallery to view more of her amazing paintings and share the ones you love on all your social media outlets to help spread her art and talent!


Featured Artist Interview – Matt LeBlanc – Abstract Artist and Supreme Marketer

Today’s featured artist is someone I am very excited to share with you! Not only is he an amazing artist but he is an artist that promotes himself like no other. He’s also a good friend of mine who has taught me so much throughout the years; I feel very proud to know him.

 Let me introduce Matt LeBlanc, an abstract artist from New Brunswick, Canada.


1- How long have you been an artist?

Unofficially, I would say all my life but I only started officially a little over 6 years ago.  The first year was a bit slow but then it picked up really quickly and I never looked back.  I now have a fan base of over 25,000 people and sold over 2,500 pieces in all corners of the world.  I’m so grateful to be able to do this everyday and make a good living out of it.







2- What made you choose this as a career?

Never in a million years did I think I was going to grow up and be an artist.  I always envision myself being on top.  Being on top of a big corporation and being the boss.   I studied business at university and went on to work for a fairly big company.  I started at the bottom and made my way to the top.  After ten years, I finally got where I wanted to be and I had the ‘now what” feeling.  Luckily, I had started painting on the side and my passion for it was growing by leaps and bounds.  The day I realized that I was meant to be an artist is the day I realized my dream was so close to me.  Six months after, I left my day job and fulfilled my dream.

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3- Were you always a creative person?

Since a very young age, I’ve always tried to approach a project or a situation with a creative angle.  I feel that being creative is what will give you an edge on your competition.  This can be applied to any business and especially when you deal with the marketing side of your business.  You have to set yourself apart from the others.  Creativity will give you an edge.  I always tell other artists to be creative outside their canvases.


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4 – What motivates you as an artist?

The drive to succeed and the drive to be creative.  I constantly create new projects and that motivates me.  A few years ago, instead of doing a typical art show, I’ve decided to create an evening of art and entertainment called FUSION.  That show has been selling out at 500 tickets for the past three years and it’s becoming one of the most popular shows around.







5 – What is your greatest accomplishment since you began your art career?

I consider every battle an accomplishment.  If I were to pick one it’s probably the fact that I was able to build my business from nothing to where it is today.   It’s not everyone who can quit a very good job and not have any financial stress.  I consider myself very lucky but I’ve also worked my tail off the past six years to be in this position.







6- Do you have any regrets or anything you would change if you could?

I have no regret because I make my own decisions. I made a few bad decisions over the years but I like to call that experience.  I don’t regret anything. Surely I could say that I should have started painting earlier in my life even if I’m still quite young but I believe that things happen for a reason and it was probably not meant for me to start earlier. I was able to work ten years in marketing and that is helping my art business tremendously.







7 – This year you started a Foundation called Mado’s Gift, can you tell us a little more about that?

Ever since I started creating art, I started supporting various charities.  I always had the attitude that I was given a gift of a talent so why not put it to good use.  After raising over $75,000 for various charities during my short art career, I’ve decided to focus on something that was dearer to my heart.   I’ve decided to raise funds in the memory of my sister that I lost to cancer.  I basically work with kids to do art related projects which we in turn sell and give all the money back in forms of gifts to kids with life threatening diseases.  So essentially it’s like kids helping kids.  It’s a beautiful concept.  In less then 8 months, we have raised over $10,000 already.  It’s so much fun and kids are so creative.

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8 – You have so much going on all the time, what do you do to relax and unwind?

I actually get all of my big ideas when I run or lift weights.  It’s a way for me to disconnect but also to re-focus on my business.  I don’t think entrepreneurs ever fully relax and unwind … do we? 😉

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Here are a few places you can find Matt’s work





Featured Artist – Meghan Deinhard – An Interview About Her Love Of Life And It’s Joyous Adventure

Today’s featured artists name is Meghan Deinhard, she’s a quirky and fun loving photographer and artist who sees beauty everywhere and believes “life is a joyous adventure”. With that kind of mindset who can help but be inspired by Meghan and her amazing artwork.

Here is her interview.



How long have you been an artist?


I’ve been a fine artist for about 20 years, I got my BFA degree in 1995, but I consider I did “art” before that.  I was an actress and costume designer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.   


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Where do you find your inspiration?


I get my inspiration from the world around me.  Everyday moments.  I am a very visual person and when something strikes me as interesting or humorous or marvelously beautiful I take a photo (or zillions) of it.  That’s one part of the inspiration.  The other comes from inside me when I am creating on the computer or in a studio.  I play… with ideas, color, texture, light, shadow, positive and negative space… whatever seems visually exciting to me in that moment. 

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What are you working on right now?


I’ve been going in an abstract direction lately.  I take one of my photographs and goof around with it in Photoshop Elements.  I am no pro at PSE, but learn something new every time I do a project.  It’s a blast!  I find a photo that wasn’t very successful on its own and see if I can transform it into something filled with color and texture.  Often you can’t even see the original image when I’m finished.  It’s like an adventure of discovery.  The other thing I’m excited about is my new blog… it’s not just about art, but about finding happy moments.

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What obstacles have you faced in your career as an artist and how did you overcome them?


I didn’t believe in myself or my artistic abilities enough to try to make and sell my art, or earlier in my life become a professional actress.  I think artists are very vulnerable and I had a lot of knocks when I was young.  It has taken me years to trust that I am a pretty great person and it doesn’t really matter if others don’t like my art, because I do!  It makes me happy to make it and happy to look at it.  As for how I overcame this?  Lots of self help books and meds… just kidding, sort of.  I do take meds for bipolar disorder, and I’ve done a lot of inner work.  But I think what it boils down to is trusting that life is good, and we are born to thrive and express our own unique energies.

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What is your favorite subject matter?


My first thought is nature.  Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and an endless source of inspiration.  But, I think what really informs my art is the interaction of me with my daily environment.  In 2011 I carried a camera with me everywhere I went. Each day I took at least one photo and posted the best reflection of that day on Facebook with a unique and descriptive caption. I now have a fascinating visual autobiography of my year.  What I learned is that life itself, inner and outer, is art; and hidden within every moment is a miracle… you just have to pay attention and look for it.  Then as artists we make those moments visual… or as writers, verbal…  I guarantee you there were only a fraction of images I posted that year that are “saleable”, but the true artwork was the story the year of images and captions told.  People watched me go through the death of a cat, finding a new kitten, online dating, finding the love of my life and getting engaged to be married. 

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Besides your art what else are you passionate about?


Riding on the back of a motorcycle with my new husband!  And enjoying his ranch in McCall, ID where we go during the summer (we were married in a magical glen on the property last July). 

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Do you have any tips or insights you would pass on to an emerging artist?


Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s!   I never thought I could be an artist because I can’t draw well.  Pfft…  silly me.  Here I am now with a degree in ceramics and a burgeoning portfolio of photographs and abstract digital images.   Just keep doing art and try not to judge it.  It’s one thing to toss out something that doesn’t work, but constantly criticizing your work is a shame.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder… and if nothing else, if it makes YOU happy, you’ve added joy to the world.   

Oh and if you are a digital or photographic artist…. back up often on an external hard drive!  😉

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Blog:  http://firebonnet.com

Art Gallery:  http://firebonnet.artistwebsites.com/index.html

All of my other social media connections can be made from either of these places. 

Featured Artist – Sharon Cummings – An Artists Interview

Today’s featured artist, Sharon Cummings is an artist I have known through social media and some selling sites for quite a few years now. I’ve always admired her amazing work and her ability to market herself. It’s inspiring to see an artist do so well and still make the time to help others. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.



Here is an interview with Sharon about her and her art.


Have you always been an artist?


I have always been an artist. But I have only been creating professionally for a little over 10 years.

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Who or what inspires your art the most?


I am not the type of artist that looks at other art to get inspired typically. I seem to just have a zillion ideas going on in my head all of the time. My paintings must be inspired by an accumulation of life scenery. My photography and photo painting is inspired by what I see.


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Do you have a studio space in your home, outside of your home or maybe a shared space with other artists? Tell us a little about your workspace.


I have a dedicated room in my home that acts as my studio. It isn’t very large, so when I paint the huge pieces over 6 feet long, I use my garage which is outfitted with a large table, lights and air conditioning.


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Is your family supportive or your art and your career choice as an artist?


I have had a lot of support from my family and friends with my art. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I am successful and not the “starving artist” type mooching money and food off of them all of the time.


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What obstacles have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?


There are many obstacles to my career choice. But one of the hardest for me is the “isolation”. I work from home and am alone most of the time. I do not have coworkers to cut up with or go out to lunch with. It can get very lonely. I still struggle with this. But try to get out with friends as much as I can.


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How do you find balance between your work and your family?


In order to achieve a balance with my work and family life I have to mark off of time for both and stick to those fiercely!


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Do you have a favorite artist and if so who?


Everyone always asks me if I have a favorite artist….I am not good with favorites…I like so many, so I will choose my daughter. I believe her to have far more talent than I do!


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If you were to give an aspiring artist three pieces of advice what would they be?


My advice to artists who wish to succeed with their work is to expect to invest a lot of time creating (make something every day!) and also to expect to spend some money…invest in yourself by getting on pay sites, buying the right camera, etc. Dont skimp! And lastly it is to believe in yourself no matter how grim it looks…sales wax and wane…just keep on believing…


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You can find Sharon on Fine Art America, Etsy, her blog and her facebook page as well as many other places on the internet.