Welcome to the Tuesday Author Interview with Christina Boyd for the Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
Many moons ago, when I was first married, MrB & I received an amazing Christmas card from one of our wedding groomsmen and his wife, Deborah Boschert. I don't even remember what the card looked like anymore--only that it was unique--because since then, Deborah has made countless others that have each topped the previous in creativity and originality. In over a quarter of a century, through Christmas letters and then social media, I have watched Deborah's love of quilting and art evolve from hobby to an impeccable career. When we finally met in real life in Annapolis at our husbands' thirtieth class reunion, I admit, I was a little choked up. A lot of living had happened in those thirty years--and there I was meeting someone I had admired from a distance. Knowing the many art lovers and crafters here at the Quill Ink, I thought you, too, might appreciate Deborah's story as an artist and published author.
CHRISTINA: Tell us a little about your background in the craft industry and your journey to publication.
DEBORAH: I wrote Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch in 2016 with C&T Publishing which specializes in the craft industry and publishes books across a range of handmade art subjects. Beginning in about 2012, my art quilts gained recognition in quilt shows, magazines, exhibitions, and on social media. An editor from C&T reached out to me and asked if I was interested in writing a book about my work, favorite materials and techniques, process, and inspiration. [Gasp!] What an exciting offer. I was excited to give it a try. The writing process was a challenging but rewarding experience, and I’m honored that the book has been very well received and led to other opportunities including teaching gigs all over the world. The book is in its second printing.
A few years after Art Quilt Collage was published, I wrote and self-published a workbook titled Head, Heart and Hand: Developing Your Creative Voice. It's a super DIY project that I sell at in-person events and through my Etsy shop.
CHRISTINA: I bought your Head, Heart and Hands Workbook for my mother-in-law when you first created it. She was a huge quilter, and I knew she would especially appreciate the Boschert connection.
How has the publishing industry changed since you started?
DEBORAH: In the craft industry, I am thankful that books are still valued as a way to learn about artwork. But I’d say that books are now part of a broader media landscape of ways to connect with viewers, collectors, students, and other artists. I teach virtual workshops, post regularly on social media, upload tutorials to my YouTube channel, do podcast interviews, write an e-newsletter, share news about exhibitions, and engage with followers as often as I can. In the past, all of those channels may have focused on getting eyes on the book, but now they are all important and complement each other. It’s a lot of work and, sometimes, I’m more productive and effective than others.
CHRISTINA: Technology is a blessing and a curse. It gives us all a wider reach but, to do it well, it does take time. Well done, you.
What is your current project or latest release?
DEBORAH: My publisher, C&T, created an online learning platform called Creative Spark. I just launched a new interactive lecture called Developing Your Creative Voice. I built the lecture around the concept of maximizing what’s going on in your head, heart, and hands to create your own best, most original, authentic work. In the lecture, I share art quilt collages from my body of work and stories of the process of creating them including the times when everything goes smoothly and the times when I struggle.
My latest art quilt collage is in the hand stitching stage of the process. I like to listen to audio books while I’m stitching and currently, I’m loving Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
CHRISTINA: I have heard such great things about that book! love that you enjoy audiobooks while you work. When I had my pottery business, audiobooks and listening to films were great company.
What makes you get up in the morning? What do you love?
DEBORAH: Well, I love coffee, and it helps me get going in the morning. If it’s above forty degrees outside, I have my first cuppa on my patio. I feed the birds and have a group of crows that are often waiting for me to toss out some peanuts. I also love creating and the creative process. As an artist, author and teacher, sometimes I’m creating actual artwork, but I also love the creative process of developing workshops, writing articles, blog posts, and social media about art.
CHRISTINA: There's something comforting about morning rituals. Your coffee time sounds lovely.
What do you think makes a good story?
DEBORAH: I try to make my art quilt collages have a strong visual impact from across the room, but when viewers take time to view my work up close, they’ll be rewarded with intimate, small, hand-crafted details that enhance the overall story of the artwork. I am sure this is true of novels too. I want the viewers’ eyes to be drawn around the composition and to see the visual connections created with line, color, texture, and shape. I also explore metaphor in my artwork and often use shapes that act as personal symbols. You can find bowls, chairs, ladders, and houses in several of my art quilt collage. I try to create compositions with these personal symbols that allow viewers to put their own story into the visuals and to create their own metaphors and stories.
CHRISTINA: Your work certainly makes an impact from a distance as well as the smaller, up-close details. Your art collage mural, Looking Up, is an excellent example. I was awed to see that installation in Dallas.
What are you reading now?
DEBORAH: I’m reading A Prayer for the Crown Shy by Becky Chambers. I loved the prequel, A Song for the Wild Built. In fact, I loved it so much I sort of avoided the sequel because wanted to just remember and savor all the wonderful details from the first book. Then I realized that was silly and downloaded the e-book from my library app. It’s a beautiful story with stunning atmospheric details. Some of the ideas and imagery will definitely inspire future artwork.
CHRISTINA: Funny how we set these odd rules for ourselves about what we read and how we should read. Glad you decided to give it a try.
You continue to impress me with your energy, creativity, and achievement. I can't wait to see what you create next. Thank you for taking time for this interview. I wish you every good thing, my friend. And if you ever make it to the PNW: mi casa, su casa.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deborah Boschert is an artist, author, and teacher. She creates art quilts with layers of fabric, paint, and stitching. The personal symbols and details in her work reflect her experiences and feelings about places she’s lived and the things she’s done. In her art quilts, the tiny details are as important as the over-all design. As in life, every-day little joys complement the bigger adventures.
Her award-winning art quilts have been exhibited in quilt shows and art galleries throughout the United States and internationally. She has appeared on Quilting Arts TV and The Quilt Show. She is published in many books and magazines. Deborah is the author of Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch.
Deborah regularly gives presentations and workshops to quilt guilds and visual arts groups. She is always eager to share her ideas about creativity and the possibilities of creating with fabric. She gently nudges students to try new things as they work through the process of creating original art that they love.
Deborah also serves on the board of Studio Art Quilt Associates. She lives near Dallas, TX with her husband and two kids. She loves to travel, do crossword puzzles, drink coffee, practice yoga and listen to podcasts. You can connect with Deborah via: