Vicky Knowles: Holding onto a Vision

Your paintings have revolved around Wibbley World for more than a decade, tell us, what is a Wibble and where did you get the idea?

The Wibbles are just the creatures who live in Wibbley World! I never set out to come up with a brand or a name for my universe of characters, it just evolved on its own. At first the name was “Wiggly World” which came to me repeatedly when I was painting (back in 1999 when I first started selling on ebay) – it was literally as if my characters were telling me who they were, but I heard it wrong – “Wiggly World” wasn’t quite right. A few years later I was redesigning my website and for some reason I wrote “Wibbley World” as the title, and that was it!

  

Are there any artists you feel are/were instrumental to your style of painting and the subject matter?

I would say there are many artists I admire and I’m sure that they do influence my work, although probably mostly in technique rather than subject matter, since my characters are so completely personal to me. I study the work of other artists with the goal of better representing my own vision. For example, if I see an artist whose technique I admire I want to know how it was done – what materials were used, etc. Even if I’m not successful, I still believe the information is still being processed on a subconscious level and eventually I hope to incorporate it into my work.

Have you ever found it difficult to stay inspired and true to your vision?

Yes, periodically I get bored and feel uninspired – at times I feel like my work is too predictable, particularly when I’m creating “for” something (like a show, or for the Nibblefest contest, etc.), or when I’m trying to interpret someone else’s idea instead of my own. At times like that I feel frustrated and am tempted to quit (although invariably that’s when some sort of external validation will come along.) What helps me through this is looking back through my older paintings and sketchbooks, and creating for myself rather than with the intention of selling. I have no problem staying “true to my vision,” in fact I wish I could branch out more (be more serious, more commercial, etc.) but somehow I always end up “Wibblifying” whatever I’m working on, even if that was never my intention.

Do you have a favorite character from your World of Wibble?

I don’t like to have favorites, but if I did it would have to be Lunchbox, the lunch-pail toting, diaper-wearing chipmunk. Lunchbox is a true innocent who frequently finds himself in predicaments. But everything always turns out ok in the end, because when you have your lunch-pail and your diaper, what more do you really need?

http://platypus.ebsqart.com/

http://www.evknowles.com/

http://wibbleyworld.blogspot.com/

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EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Vicky Knowles

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week comes to us all the way from Wibbley World, “Where nothing bad every happens! Well, nothing really bad…” Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Artist Vicky Knowles

Who and where are you?

Vicky Knowles, I live in Basking Ridge, NJ.  My blog is “The Art of Wibble”

Captain Pankirk by Vicky Knowles

How did you get started art blogging?

Back in 2007 my husband started a very successful blog, he encouraged me to do it myself.  I actually started mine in 2008 although at first I was very lackadaisical in my posting habits

Moonlight for Monsters by Vicky Knowles

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I would recommend posting as frequently as possible, every day if you can, even if its just sketches or discussing something you’re working on.   If you can’t post every day, then try to stick to some sort of a schedule so that people know what to expect and don’t just give up on checking your blog.  I admit I’m much better at giving this advice than following it, although over the last few months I’ve made a concerted effort to post at least a little more frequently and have seen my followers pretty much double.

For content, I suggest including a lot of pictures. I suppose it goes without saying that you would have lots in an art blog, but even if you’re not posting new work you should try to get some pictures in there.   I think people also like to see a little of the more personal stuff too, so they can feel like they’re getting to know the artist.

Another thing is that it’s important to always reply to comments people leave about your posts.  That sounds like common sense but not everyone does it, which to me gives a negative impression.  It’s also important to visit other blogs and comment there, but not in a “come and look at MY blog” sort of way.  Linking to (and following) other blogs is a good idea too because those people might link back to you!  I think it’s better to keep your links relevant however (if your blog is primarily an art blog & not just a personal blog).

And finally, I recommend linking your online presences as much as possible, have your blog post to facebook & twitter etc.   It’s also a good idea to use the same (or similar) names for all of your online presences, this helps with branding and makes it easier for people to find you.

Murder by Vicky Knowles
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I don’t listen to music too much when I’m painting.  Since my daughter is usually in my studio with me while I’m working, I let her put what she wants on TV while she uses my computer.  Nickelodeon & Disney aren’t my ideal choices for background sounds, but I’d rather have her company.  When I’m alone I like listening to audio books, podcasts, and  movies or tv (preferably stuff I can just listen to without having to actually watch since I can’t see either my monitor or the tv while painting).  I find that this is more engrossing and less disruptive while I’m working than music, which seems to require constant involvement for some reason.

Chipmunk on the Moon, Twice by Vicky Knowles

What’s coming next from your easel?

2011 is going to be the year of cuteness (I hope!). I’ve also been working on some very miniature paintings (“Micro-Wibbles”) that I will be showing soon. I also plan to do most of my listing on ETSY, with the exception of my entries for the Nibblefest Art Contest on eBay each month.

http://wibbleyworld.blogspot.com/

Thank you Vicky for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Last call for Candy plus Haiti fundraiser

Art: Soft and Fuzzy Johnson by Artist Vicky Knowles  Today is your last chance to add work for consideration for our very first brick and mortar event in conjunction with The Chocolate Shoppe. Candy entries will be accepted through 11:59pm EST tonight.  It’s a fantastic looking show online and I for one cannot wait to see how the selected pieces will look in the space when they debut to the public on March 5, 2010. Wanna come to the opening? RSVP here on Facebook!

Also, while I have your attention with Vicky Knowles‘ lovely art, I’d like to remind you that we’re also accepting entries through the end of the month for our Red Cross fundraiser to benefit Haiti Earthquake relief.  Yes, there’s a $10 fee per entry, but half of your fee goes directly to the Red Cross, and the other half goes in the kitty for prize money for the show winner to be voted upon by you next month. It’s a win-win, and we like win-wins here at EBSQ! Please consider entering Art from the Heart to benefit Haiti today!

Simon Sez… Noses! winner announced

The winner of this week’s Simon Sez challenge is W. Kevin Murray with his photograph “Beautiful”. Vicky Knowles, asked to see “Noses” for her turn as Simon. Vicky’s reason for choosing Kevin… “I couldn’t resist, just loved that face!”

Beautiful - W. Kevin Murray
Beautiful - W. Kevin Murray

If you want keep up with Simon Sez, be sure to go to the EBSQ Forum and check Challenge Central. Challenge Central is the place to check on current and past Simon Sez challenges – complete with all the entries, as well as all other EBSQ Challenges.

Congratulations Kevin! We look forward to your turn as Simon.

Simon Sez… Noses! (Yes, it says noses)

This week’s Simon is Vicky Knowles. Vicky was direct and to the point when announcing “Noses” as her theme choice: “Let’s see ’em – snouts, probosci(?), nostrils, anything nasal!”

W. Kevin Murray
W. Kevin Murray

All Simon Sez challenges are open to everyone. To enter Simon Sez… Noses! and to see  the all the entries,  simply go to the EBSQ Forum, find Member Groups, Challenges & General Art Discussions and then go to Challenge Central. All the challenges past and present – including Simon Sez, can be found there.

The winner for Simon Sez – Green! is…

This week’s Simon Sez winner is Vicky Knowles with her entry “The Queen Of Green”. Simon – aka Stephanie M D’Aigle, asked for “Green” to chase her winter blues away. Stephanie considered all the entries but in the end said “I loved every single entry and it was not easy but… I hereby pronounce Vicky the Queen of Green and the next Simon!”

The Queen Of Green - Vicky Knowles
"The Queen Of Green" - Vicky Knowles

If you want keep up with Simon Sez, be sure to go to the EBSQ Forum and check Challenge Central. Challenge Central is the place to check on current and past Simon Sez challenges – complete with all the entries, as well as all other EBSQ Challenges.

Congratulations Vicky! We look forward to your turn as Simon.

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Challenge voting – give them your two cents

The “What’s In A Name Challenge” opened for voting yesterday on the EBSQ Forum. Voting is open through Saturday, November 22. What is the “What’s In A Name Challenge“? I am glad that you asked. I have the particulars right here:

What’s in a name, or Avatar depiction challenge!!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what kind of pic would fit my username, “espressojoe”, and notice the different images that come to mind when I see other people’s usernames.

With this in mind, I propose a challenge of art created around your username (handle)!! The more creative the better!!!!

Even if you don’t have a “creative” username, you can still participate, just stretch it a little. If I used my name, Joseph Callahan for a handle, I could go look up the “meanings” of my names and fly with that:

Joseph means: He will enlarge…. (ok, with how my bathroom scale is reading, I guess I’m living up to that…. NOT going to be inspired by the Joseph or the Joe half of my username!)

Callahan means: Lover of Churches or Bright Headed.

Of course, my username is espressojoe, not Joseph Callahan Art, so Ill be using espressojoe to come up with a example. This was just to show that even if your user name is a variant of your name, you can still get creative and enter!!!

The rules:

Any media art allowed!

Art should be inspired by some part of your username, with a brief description of how its inspired if it’s not immediately obvious.

Art does NOT have to become your avatar, so don’t worry about having to change your avatar.

Entries CAN NOT be something you have ALREADY used as an avatar! Let’s get some fresh stuff!!

Whatever media, whatever form, HAVE FUN!!!! (Isn’t that one of the most important reasons we do these?)

I’ll open a thread for submissions with the first piece, my “example” piece, on November 1st and submissions will be open until Midnight November 15th.

I’ll then ask EVERYONE who entered to vote for their favorite submission, either by PM or have admin tag a poll to the top of the post. Only request is that you DO NOT vote for your own piece! Only vote for your favorite submission by someone else. This should help keep it interesting!!

As this challenge is NOT media specific, I am posting it only in the Challenge Central forum.
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This challenge was posed by Joseph Callahan and ten people took him up on it. They need your vote, so go to the EBSQ Forum and vote! Of course all the entries are right there for you to peruse before you cast vote but you can see one or two of the entries right here until voting closes.

platypus (Vicky Knowles)
“OK here’s mine, pretty obvious”