the pulse of mixed media by seth apter

first and foremost, i want to congratulate seth apter on his AMAZING, wonderful, absolutely stunning new book.  at the time of typing this post, i have not yet held it in my hands, but i run to my mailbox several times daily with the great anticipation of its arrival.  soon it will be here and i cannot wait!

thinking back to when seth initially invited me to be a part of his now-released book “the pulse of mixed media: secrets and passions of 100 artists revealed” i was awe stricken, dumfounded, proud, humbled and blissfully elated all in one.  i couldn’t for the life of me understand why he would invite “little ol’ me,” the weird girl in mis-matched striped knee highs and uneven pigtails who still, in her adulthood, played with doll parts and was fascinated with bones and other such things but i was so honored that he did.  i was so excited!!  (and still am!)

before i get into that though, i have asked seth a couple of questions that i was quite sure people would be interested in knowing the answers to.  after all, he did ask us many fantastic thought-provoking things of the participating artists so i felt it only fair… not that these are thought-provoking or deep, but i was curious.  🙂

dyad, copyright seth apter

dyad, copyright seth apter

alicia: when you initially started “the pulse” 4 years ago, did you ever imagine it would grow into something so large with such a huge following?  at what point did you envision taking it to the next level and publishing a book?

seth: The size and impact of The Pulse has really taken me by surprise. I remember very clearly that I had 35 artists sign up for the first edition of The Pulse back in January 2008, just 5 months after I started my blog. At that point, my expectations were already exceeded but I had a sense that I had tapped into something special. The 5th edition of The Pulse is now running, with 150 artists participating. That number boggles my mind. I had turned the 3rd online edition into a print zine and had often thought that this project had the bones to become a book. But it wasn’t until I was approached by Tonia Davenport, my editor from North Light Books, that I realized I could make this dream a reality. That was 2 years ago, almost to the day of the book’s release, and I couldn’t be more happy with how it has turned out.

alicia: based upon the gorgeous amazon preview i’ve looked it, it appears that you have a vast array of different styles of beautiful art.  what inspired you to invite the artists you’ve featured in your book?   

seth: There are 2 groups of artists included in the book: 31 spotlight artists that I personally invited to contribute and 102 additional artists that responded to an open call. All of the contributors moved me with their art and their words. I selected the spotlight artists in particular based on a number of different criteria. They were all artists I respected, with a body of artwork that spoke to me. In all cases, at one time or another, their creations had taken my breath away. Although I was already in contact with many of the artists, there were a number of contributors I asked having never connected with them before the book project began. I sought out a very eclectic group of international artists so that many distinct art mediums would be represented and the entire range of the mixed media community would be included.

billboard, copyright seth apter

billboard, copyright seth apter

when i think of seth, i think of an amazing artist, a grand collaborator, a pioneer, and a friend i have yet to meet (soon though!).  he is a thought provoker, someone who makes you really think.  i spent a huge amount of self reflection time when reading through the many questions he’d asked for the book.  several of these were not easy questions by any means, and i think just the process of answering them made me feel like i understood a tiny bit more why i am the way i am and why i create the things i do.  that may sound weird, but it’s true.  so thank you for that, seth!

i have been a huge admirer of seth’s artwork since the moment i laid eyes on it and [so far] am the proud owner of one of his pieces (not shown here).

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the thing that intimidated me most, initially, when being invited to be in the book was that all featured artists were supposed to create a self portrait.  it was actually the only thing that intimidated me.  this was pre-alicia-attempts-to-paint people days.  i tried to paint myself.  i tried to collage myself.  and then i emailed seth and said “wait, can my self-portrait be an assemblage??”  his answer was the best ever: “i wouldn’t expect anything else from you, alicia” (or something to that effect).  at that point i felt totally free and confident, and created my “self portrait” with both passion and ease.  the following is a peek of my piece entitled “exhibition of self”. (you’ll have to get the book to see the piece in its entirety, or wait until i share more about it at a later date).

alicia caudle, exhibition of self, assemblage, doll head, altered bits, bird, nest

the second piece that i created for the book was in response to a question seth asked me: “how do you express anger in your artwork?”  this too was a difficult question for me but after sitting on it awhile and getting good and pissed off (for a non-related reason), i created “feigning death”.  again, this is only a peek:

alicia caudle, art, assemblage, skull, bones, doll hand, antique vial, wood, anger

since creating these two pieces, i’ve started two series of similar works but have been keeping them under wraps.  check back as i’ll be posting about nine of them over the next several weeks as time permits.

thank you so very much, seth!  i feel so honored to be a part of your first book.  you are the best, sir!

if you didn’t start on seth’s blog today, please head over there now.  he’s featuring each of the 31 spotlight artists during this 31 day month and today is my day.  the altered page >>  also, for every comment you leave on his blog or the others in the tour, you’ll be entered to win signed copies of the book.  check out the details on seth’s blog.  exciting stuff indeed!!

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