Claudine Hellmuth -- Hip Art for Playful Hearts!
Claudine Hellmuth is a nationally recognized collage artist, author and illustrator. She combines photos, paint, paper and pen into quirky, whimsical-retro collages.
Caludine's artworks have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine, The New York Times, on HGTV's "I Want That!" and on the DIY Network's program, "Craft Lab."
In addition to creating her artwork full-time, Claudine has developed a product line with Ranger Inc. under the brand name of "Claudine Hellmuth Studio", she licenses her illustrations to the gift and craft markets.
Claudine also teaches collage workshops in the US & Canada, and she has written 3 books and 3 DVDs about her techniques.
Originally from Orlando FL, Claudine now lives in Washington DC with her husband Paul and their very spoiled pets: Mabel cat and their dog Maggie.
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Q & A About Me:
Where are you located?
I now live in Washington DC in the U Street area with my husband Paul with our cat Mabel and our dog Maggie. Of course I can never resist posting photo of my babies to my blog, so you're sure to see tons of pet photos there!
What is your studio like?
Right now my studio is the second bedroom of our apartment. It's a combined studio/office with a computer on one side and all my mess on the other!
How old are you? Do you have any siblings?
I was born in 1974 (you do the math!) and I am an only child.
What do you create?
I create mixed media collages that incorporate paper, paint, fabric, pen and photocopies. I would describe my work as whimsical and colorful with a dash of retro.
You use a lot of photos in your work. Where do you get your images?
When I am not creating custom artworks for clients, I use my own family photos and also my friends family photos. When I run out of those or when they aren't suitable, I "create" my own photo heads by combining 3 or 4 photo images together to "make" my own people. For example, I'll purchase retro stock photos and then combine a nose from one person with eyes of another and a hair style of another person until I arrive at the look I want. This has been a lot of fun and it's very useful because then I can make sure the photo image fits with the context of the artwork.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I have been working full time as an artist since 2001, but art has always been a part of my life. I come from a creative and artistic family, so I think it was pretty much expected that I would be an artist of some sort. There was never a point where I actually "got started" in it. I was encouraged to create from the first time I could roll around and paint with finger paints. I was always at one type of art lesson or another. I enjoyed it all -- sculpting, drawing, painting etc. Working in all these different mediums while I was so young is probably the reason that I enjoy mixed media so much. I like all of it, and now I don't have to leave anything out.
Do you have a degree in art?
I graduated in 1997 from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington DC (right across the street from The Whitehouse!) with a Bachelor's of Fine Art degree. My concentration was in painting, but in my senior year I began doing more mixed media work which led me to collage.
Where do you see your art going in the future?
Oh so many things I want to do! I hope to expand further into illustration and also licensing more of my artwork in the gift industry. I would love to animate my artwork, more advanced animation than what I have done for my ecards. Something with a whole story! Also I have always wanted to illustrate children's books, so that is a goal that I hope is in my future.
You work on many different projects (custom artwork, workshops, illustration, licensing, books, dvds, etc). Which do you like best?
I like all of the above for different reasons. I love creating custom artworks, working with other people's photos and their stories is so exciting and refreshing. I get a thrill knowing I am making something that will be treasured. The workshops and classes I enjoy for the social aspect and helping others find their creative voice. The only thing I don't like about the workshops is being away from home and the travel. I hate the travel part. I wish I could just beam myself there. The books have been a joy to create and it's thrilling to be a published author! I really enjoy illustration because I love the challenge of working with a theme and combining my vision with the needs of the assignment.
What kind of music do you listen to when you create?
I listen to NPR. I love This American Life and All Things Considered. I also love it when I can catch Car Talk. Even though I know nothing about cars, those guys are hilarious.
What's a typical day like for you?
8:30am - get up, eat breakfast, check email
9:30am - do yoga
10:00am - check email and go to studio and start working
12:00 - eat lunch, work in the studio until 6pm 7:00pm - dinner time, check email, update blog
8:30-10pm - relax and watch TV with Paul
10-11pm - check email one last time, finish up any other work
Midnight -get to sleep!
That is sort of a typical day. But my "typical day" can vary greatly with more time being spent on biz stuff like email and packing and shipping and paperwork and less time in the studio etc. I really end up doing what ever needs to be done at the time so each day is wildly different from the next and that's what I love!
Where do you sell your artwork?
I would like to get my work into more fine craft galleries so if you know of any, send me an email! I also sell some of my original artworks on my Etsy shop.
I would like to take a workshop with you, where are you teaching?
I am reducing my workshop schedule and only teaching a few locations. You can find out where I am teaching on my workshop page.
I would like to have you create a custom artwork for me with my photos. How do I get started?
I would love to create an artwork for you. Visit the custom artwork section of my web site for more info.
Why do you call your artwork PoppetsŪ?
I began creating the PoppetŪ artworks in late 2002 after a long dry spell in my art making. I was stuck and wanted to try something new. After about a year of experimentation, and finally, a break through the creative block, I arrived at the PoppetŪ style of collage.
I decided that these new works needed a name and I wanted the name to be a little silly and unusual.
My English grandmother used to use the word "poppet" as a term of endearment saying to me "don't worry little poppet everything is going to be OK." And since these artworks make me feel happy, safe and young -- the name fit perfectly.
This new way of working, beckoned me back into the creative process and the thrill of creating simply for fun. I hope that these artworks bring you the joy that they have brought to me!
Additional Links» Custom Artwork Using Your Photos!
» Visit my Blog
» Visit my Facebook Page
» Follow Me on Twitter
» Visit my Etsy Store
Hours of work
Website is open 24/7!
Studio Sticky-Back Necklace with Claudine Hellmuth
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Embossing
Claudine Hellmuth Demos Studio Extra Time at CHA
Claudine Hellmuth on HGTV