Introducing Our 2014 Cover Artist :: Geninne Zlatkis

[gallery ids="1179,1186,1187,1185,1183,1182,1181,1180,1178,1177,1184"]       Behind the scenes, it has been a great pleasure to work with each of our cover artists for an entire year at a time. The cover art is completed long before the content for each issue is put together. The cover art then inspires what we fill the pages with and how it all takes shape. We're ever so grateful to Jennifer Judd-McGee and Nikki McClure for our first two years of cover art - it has been a true pleasure to work alongside each of them.  And we're thrilled to introduce you to our 2014 cover artist now....Geninne Zlatkis. Her work actually first appeared in our inaugural issue, SOIL, alongside Holly Bellebuono's herbal remedies. But now, we're so glad that Geninne will be joining us for a full year of four issues - in the  full color and delight she does so well.   Geninne is a "passionately curious artist/crafter, living with her husband Manolo, two teenage sons and a cute border collie named Turbo' outside of Mexico City. Her work can be found on stationary, notecards, activity books, and in prints in her shop. And she so cleverly shared some of her techniques in her book Making an Impression: Designing and Creating Artful Stamps. By way of introducing you to Geninne, our editor Meredith Winn sent a few questions her way. We hope you'll enjoy her responses and the above gallery of photographs she shared with us.   Meredith: Mexico is full of artistic inspiration! Do you find that the colors, textures, and surrounding nature of your environment work their way into your art? Where does your inspiration come from?   Geninne: I’ve lived in Mexico on and off since I was a child and it has forever left its mark in my creative life. I am constantly inspired by the cheerful spirit of the people and their fearless use of color. I cannot leave this country for more than a week or two and not feel terribly homesick. I am inspired by the culture, the colors and the diverse flora and fauna of the different regions that I’ve been blessed to experience. I am aware of the subtle differences between what I was painting while living in the semi-desert to what I’m doing in the forest these days. My environment is definitely a big influence in my work.   Meredith: You have a beautiful new studio in your (new) home.  Does working from home aid in your productivity? What does a typical creative day look like for you?   Geninne: Having my own space to create has been wonderful, but I haven’t always had that privilege. I always find a time & place to play around with my watercolors because I just cannot fathom a day without creating. When my boys were little I didn’t have the luxury of unlimited time but I’d find a few minutes here and there to paint or craft something for our home. The good thing is that I love doing all kinds of things like embroidery, knitting, sewing, carving, etc... so there was always something I could do to fulfill that creative need. Now that the boys are older and much more independent I can dedicate a big chunk of my day to my art. My days vary a lot so I don’t have a typical schedule, but every spare moment I have from being a stay at home mom/wife I spend in the studio.   Meredith: You offer a desktop calendar for downloading on your website, they are quite lovely! Your November offering was inspired by your own journal pages. Can you tell us more about your personal journal/planner pages? How long have you been creating them?   Geninne: I’ve been journaling in one form or the other since I was fourteen years old but I began these calendar layout pages a few month before my oldest son was born as a way to record the days and be able to look back and remember all those important little milestones in our lives. I’m not a writing a journal kinda girl so just being able to scribble down something important about a given day gave me the freedom to be very artistic in how I decorated each week’s layout. I love incorporating little bits of collage and using my own hand carved stamps as well. It’s a fun project that takes very little time each week and is very rewarding. I love looking back into my old journals and reading about when my boys walked for the first time, or a fun road trip we had.    Meredith: Your teenage son is also a talented artist. A few of his charcoal sketches are currently for sale in your etsy shop. How does art bring you and your children together in your everyday? Do you find yourselves sharing ideas/inspirations and creating together?   Geninne: Both of my boys are very artistically talented but Daniel, my youngest, who just turned 16 years old today has a serious passion for art and it looks like that is what he will be doing professionally as an adult. Daniel and I are very close and we spend a lot of time taking and sharing about art. We’re about to enroll together in an etching class at a local Museum and I’m really looking forward to it! They both were very interested in doing whatever craft I was creating when they were very young. I always shared my own  ‘grown up’ art supplies and I think it made them feel like what they were doing was important. I’ve kept every single drawing they’ve made and it’s my most treasured possession. I’m sure that they’ll enjoy going through those when they are older.   Thanks so much for your time, Geninne. Readers, we can't wait to show you what she's cooked up for us all to enjoy in 2014!   ~amanda & meredith