You guys are in for a real treat today! I stumbled upon Stephanie’s amazing art on Face book. Her talent blows me away. She creates the most amazing mixed media pieces. She is innovative! I can not wait for you to get to know her and see her gorgeous works of art.

Tell us about yourself! Let’s start with your name and where you are crafting from.
Stephanie Aune from Willow Creek, CA.Stephanie Aune Designs
Originally from Casper, Wyoming.
What kind of crafting do you do?
My current passions are altered books and mixed media.  My degree is in fine art, from Columbus College of Art and Design. Before I found mixed media, I painted large scale landscapes. When I found altered books, I fell in love with the process immediately. There were so many cool new products to try out beyond acrylic paint and canvas. I loved being able to use stencils and stamps, ink and watercolors… even washers from the kitchen sink. All rules went out the window and it was very liberating as an artist.
Tell us about your creative process. Where do you get inspiration?
I LOVE museums and art history. And I really enjoy seeing what people are creating now. I watch a lot of different YouTube videos to see new techniques or processes. I look at the past for inspiration and try to figure out a way to combine the old with the new. I always want to try something different and to push boundaries. I strive for innovation. 
Do you go through a routine when you create? If so, what is it?
First, I have to set up my phone for filming, check lighting and make sure that I can record what I’m doing. I have everything close at hand so that it’s within arms reach if I need it. I love having a cup of coffee or tea, however it usually gets cold before I can finish it lol. 
Do you snack or drink when you create? IF so, what?
I love snacking while creating, whether it’s crackers, pretzels or even sometimes M&Ms, they are all wonderful. However the downfall to having food on your crafting table is that it’s very easy to eat without thinking. And pretty soon you look down and you’ve eaten a whole bag of wheat thins, that’s not good LOL. The best way I’ve found to bypass that is to just take a small bowl of whatever you’re snacking on and have that on your desk instead of a full box.
Do you watch tv, movies, listen to music or podcast? Tell us your favorites!
I love to have the TV on in the background while I’m creating. However as a YouTube artist, I find that can be problematic if I am wanting to talk through the process as I’m working on a piece, I record everything I make. If I know that I’m going to be overlaying music or voice over the video, then I like to watch some thing that I don’t need to pay close attention to. Same with music or podcasts. Usually I just have to have things quiet. 
Show us your creative space! Tell us about it. What do you really like about it? Is there anything you would like different in it?
I think I have finally gotten my creative space settled after about a year and a half living in my current home. It is a very small space and my art supplies take up most of my living room. I work on a small 5 foot desk. I recently re-organized and it has made my living room a bit bigger. It’s a good thing I live alone, as I only have one comfy chair, not even a sofa. Between Ozzy (the German Shepherd) and I, the space can feel really cramped Sometimes. 

I love the fact that I live in the woods by the river and that my desk is set up to look out the window. I love watching the hummingbirds. I love seeing the trees and looking out across the mountains. 

I would love to have a bit more space and some Shelving that would blend in with the wall better. Right now it always feels a bit messy and very full. 
8)What are you currently working on?
Right now I have three different projects that I am currently working on. The coffee table art book, which is an altered book, A large scale painting that I haven’t gotten back to for a while because I was working on a different altered book, and my most recent project is building your own book focusing on product exploration. I am looking forward to my next altered book which is going to be a steam punk theme, and I also need to finish up my circus altered book. To many projects!!! Lol. I have my projects that I love and then I have my projects that I have to film for videos. Some things get set aside in order to start a new series on YouTube and it is hard to find time to get them finished up. 

9)  What is your favorite thing you have ever created? Do you have a link or picture to it?
The circus altered book is really amazing. I love this one because it has really pushed my construction, sculptural and technique abilities. I have a full series playlist of 50+ videos on the circus altered book over on my YouTube channel, under my name Stephanie Aune.

In my coffee table art book, I made a spiderweb that turned out incredibly cool. I think that layout was really amazing and completely unique. As I look around my home, I see about 10 other things I could list as my favorite. 

I think one of the best series I did on YouTube was the “creating your first altered book series”. I really focused on teaching about how to get started, what different products do and how to put it all together.

I truly put my heart into my art.

 What is on your crafty wishlist?
As far as products, I have a lot of different art supplies already. There is always something new and interesting to try out though! I love new art supplies!!! 

However I think what I would really love the most is to have a space where I could teach classes, have a studio space and to live. That’s truly my greatest wish, to be able to teach full time. 

  What is one thing you would like to see change in the craft industry?

I think the most frustrating thing about the craft industry is the focus on “craft” over “art.” My goal is to teach real art classes to people in a friendly, non-threatening way. I teach color theory, product knowledge, art history and general art knowledge without people even realizing it! I want my viewers to be able to walk into any gallery and to feel comfortable there. I want my viewers to be confident in the fact that they are true artists. I also want them to know that good art takes practice and time.

There are many professional artists in the “craft” world that will never receive recognition in the “art” world for what we create. I would love to see a new genre created where mixed media is a truly respected and exhibited art form. 

What is one thing you love about the craft industry?

I think my favorite thing about the craft industry is that there are so many different products to try. Truly there is no reason to ever do the same process over and over again, there are so many different combinations of media that you can put together to create something new and interesting every single time. How cool is that?

I also love the feeling of camaraderie between people in the craft world. I have an amazing group of artists over on my Facebook page, the messy hands band of artists, on Patreon and on YouTube. I feel very lucky to have all of my friends and students. 

10)  How can people find you?
Facebook group: the messy hands band of artists
Instagram @stephanieaunedesigns

Altered Circus Book

Build Your Own Book

The Coffee Table Art Book

Craft Space

Until Next Time ~ Happy Crafting!

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