I’ve been a fan of Cheryl’s since I started in this industry. I love her sense of humor and even her sarcasm. You never question what Cheryl is saying. What you see is what you get. Cheryl’s art is just as bold. I love her mix of metal, wood, leather and more to create amazing works of art.
I had the chance to quickly meet Cheryl a few years ago at a trade show for the Craft & Hobby Association. However, I had the special opportunity to get to know Cheryl a little better while I was visiting Texas and teaching at The Crafty Scrapper in Waxahachie.
You cannot imagine my anxiety…aka thrill…aka complete freak out…when Cheryl attended all three workshops I taught that weekend. It was an amazing honor. And the icing on the cake was having a slumber party with her for the weekend and then getting to visit Ten Seconds Studio in person.
It was such an experience to stand in a studio I’ve watched online so many times.
Let me introduce you to Cheryl.
Artist Crush Interview with Cheryl Darrow
How would you describe yourself or your art?
I am interested in all types of art and crafts. I have done everything from cross stitch, woodworking, candle making, weaving, jewelry making, PMC, wire work, watercolor etc. I’ve owned my own rubber stamp store so I’ve done all the paper crafting you can imagine and in some aspects was the catalyst for many popular techniques. I’ve sewn my own clothes, made quilts and banners. I’ve taught classes all over the world and the U.S. and have enjoyed meeting so many interesting and talented people along the way. I love calligraphy and have done that for over 30 years.
When I started my company, Ten Seconds Studio, I would show people how to write on metal and that became my trademark in design. When I get interested in a new surface, my talent is using all my other creative techniques with the new surface. When I got interested in leather and started selling leather, I would write on the leather and that distinguished me from other artists. I am currently working with steel wire and creating art incorporating wire, metal and leather. All of these mediums go so well together and I get totally stoked when I create something different.
Are you a full time artist?
I create full time along with running my business. I am very lucky to have a job that fulfills my creativity. With that comes my passion of collecting all sorts of different items that have turned into major collections for me. I started collecting doll heads back in the 90’s, then added type ( I have boxes of type), large letters (I was collecting them from signs for buildings), and anything metal. I have found that once something becomes popular in the mainstream I’m then out of that collecting. My garage sales are fabulous for the collector.
What is your favorite medium?
I’m really into steel wire right now. I’ve taken classes with several artists around the world and have developed my own style of working in steel. But, then I like to incorporate it into leather books or jewelry and in shrines. I love making shrines from when I started using cigar boxes to my own metal structures. Right now I’m working on something for over my TV that will be about 5′ long. It’s in the development stage right now.
Is there a medium you desire to learn more about?
I’m going to take a real wood working class and I would also like to get into welding.
What inspires your art?
Surfaces inspire me. When I find a new medium to work on I try to incorporate all my other talents such as calligraphy, mixed media, carving and of course my VerDay Paints on whatever surface I’m working on.
Do you have professional training as an artist or self taught?
I am self taught, but have taken many classes in design.
Do you sell your work?
I do commissions and sell some of my pieces
If yes, what venues do you use to sell your work?
I sell quite a bit from my website and have pieces in several stores in my area.
Do you exhibit your work outside of your website or blog?
Owning Ten Seconds Studio, I have shown my art at many different shows around the country as wholesale and retail shows.
Tell me about your studio set-up
I own a warehouse/studio in North Richland Hills, TX and we run the business from that location. My studio takes up about 1/4 of the space and I teach classes and film videos there. I call it controlled chaos. My husband walks in and just cringes. I walk in and am home. I also have a studio upstairs in my home, so I can work on projects at home. I recently made a lap desk out of various types of wood so I can work on my sofa, while watching TV. I like to multi-task.
What is the one thing in your art arsenal that you can’t do without?
My imagination. Without that I’ve got nothing.
Please explain your creative process?
I get a lot of ideas while taking a shower. I usually sketch something out and then gather the supplies and start making something. Sometimes, I’m just messing around with something with absolutely no idea of where it’s going, and then I set it down for the night and the next day what it should be is obvious. I have an extensive collection of art books and magazines and will flip through for ideas in color or shapes. My son, Geoff, sometimes will write something and I will do it up in a certain script and write it on metal or leather. He can take any subject and write the coolest poem. I like to collaborate on things with him.
Expand on the concept of how you are Living the Art Life™
I’ve been doing art for most of my life, so it’s ingrained in how I live. I love to collect unusual items and repurpose them. I love to decorate spaces with my collections. We had two scrapbook retreat houses for about 5 years and I decorated those with my art and various collections. I was very proud of how they turned out. My husband and I have a couple of homes that we have renovated over the years. That in itself, is creative and we enjoy changing rooms and knocking out fireplaces. It keeps us busy and on our toes.
What is your greatest joy in your art life?
I get to do exactly what I want, when I want and where I want in my life. I have a wonderful husband who is there with me for the ride and we enjoy ourselves. I enjoy life and making art.
What is your greatest struggle in your art life?
Putting up with other people’s drama. It really sucks the life out of you.
What other things would you like to share with our readers about Living The Art Life™
Be yourself. Don’t take shit off anyone. Life is only ten seconds long so live it wisely.
I sure hope you enjoyed getting to know Cheryl a little better. I am honored that I can now consider Cheryl a friend rather than me just being a stalker fan! I can’t wait to see what Cheryl comes up with next.
Leave me a comment below and let me know who else might you want to learn more about? Who is your Artist Crush?