We recently sat down with artist Colleen Dee, who is an instructor and current president here at Visual Arts Brampton, to learn more about her and how she encourages creativity.
When did you join VAB?
I joined VAB about 3 years ago as a VAB Member then as an instructor and finally a board member.
Why did you join VAB?
My art studio had been used as storage and not presently available after returning from 5 years of living in Vietnam teaching art. So I needed a place to do art and I wanted to belong to an art community where you speak the same language.
What is the best thing about your role at VAB?
As an instructor I teach all levels of art from the very young to learn to draw adult programs, and it is very rewarding. The other great thing about my role here at VAB is linking up with fellow artists to show their work through our Artway Invitational Gallery.
Why should someone join VAB?
For ANY reason! Art community, have a routine for doing your art, friendships. You name it.
How did you get into art?
I started like most kids - doing cartoons. Then the cartoons turned into cards then cards became paintings. It made me the happiest to make and do art.
Were you always an artist?
It took me a long time to call myself an 'artist' as there are many levels to an artist, but artist I am.
What is your preferred medium?
Any sculpting material: plaster, wire, paper maché, cement, clay, wax.
What are your specialties?
Graphic Design for sure but my forte has always been sculpting and mixed media.
What type of art do you enjoy the most?
I feel most at home doing 2D or 3D art.
What is your favourite colour and why?
A lot of colours are my favourite but green stands out more than the others. I don't know why, it just does.
What are you inspired by?
I am inspired by creative people in any form be it art, literature, technology, science, design. Its mind boggling to know there are so many ideas out there.
Do you have a favourite artist?
My heart belongs to the impressionists era particularly Toulouse-Lautrec. To me he was the father of graphic design illustration.
Of all the art work you've created, which is your favourite, and why?
It's my photo art. While living in Vietnam I needed a creative outlet but there was limited space and resources. So I turned to photography and because I know my design programs so well I altered my photography. I have some lovely pieces that highlight my curious life in Vietnam. They are originals as I could never duplicate them again. Ironically I do not feel the same for producing photo art back home here in Canada.
In your opinion what makes a piece of art amazing?
I think there has to be the emotion behind a piece to make it so. The piece does not have the emotion but the spectator does.
What is your favourite thing to look at?
I never tire of looking at the pretty vistas in Vermont.