Spotlight Artist Interview - JoAnne Sharpe

Spotlight Artist Feature
An Interview with Joanne Sharpe

By Lorraine Bell

Hello Documenters!  We are so pleased to feature another wonderful artist who is a part of The Documented Life Project!

While we are certain that many of you already know her, we wanted to share a peek into the creative life of Joanne Sharpe.  Joanne calls herself a “Whimsical Art Maker” and with one look at her vibrant sketchbooks you will understand why.

Among her many classes, Joanne has developed one in particular, “Draw Your Awesome Year” that is a wonderful companion to The Documented Life Project.  You know we love anything to do with planners and calendars and Joanne teaches her style to document 12 months of your life! 


You can visit Joanne’s website HERE and view her amazing, vibrant and bold artwork and read all about her classes and her new book, “The Art of Whimsical Lettering.”

We asked Joanne a few questions to help us get to know more about what inspires her:

A5:     Where do you currently live?
JS:      Rochester, New York (in the top five of the snowiest cities in the US!)

A5:    What kinds of art do you do?
JS:    My work consists mostly of colorful hand lettered, inspirational messages in watercolor, pen and ink.  Most of my time these days is spent teaching online and in-person workshops, so I art journal every day.  I do make time every single day to make something in one of my MANY art journals with mixed media, paint, lettering, marker or collage.  I'm also an art quilter and was just named as an "Artisan Ambassador" for BERNINA sewing machines, where I travel the country teaching mixed media art sewing.  I love making colorful textile art with a sewing machine!

I am most excited about my first art book "The Art of Whimsical Lettering" that just launched in February 2014.

A5:    What medium or craft did you start with?
JS:    From the very beginning CRAYONS!!  I have been an artist my whole life, knowing that I am truly doing what I was "born to be".  Starting out as a serious artist in collage, I always have been most comfortable with paint and lettering.  Watercolors, pen and ink, markers, etc are the things I started with and still use every single day.  When I am home, I also make sure I am sewing on my BERNINA every day.

A5:     You are packing an art travel bag with your Top Five go-to items. Tell us what you choose.
JS:    I always have watercolor pan set, waterbrush, small 5 1/2" square journal by Handbook, pencil with an eraser and black permanent fine tip pen.

A5:    What is your latest product discovery?
JS:    By far Havel's scissors (!  These are my favorite fabric scissors on the planet for my sewing and textile art.  I haven't found any scissor that cuts fabric and fibers like these.  I can't create without them.

A5:    Tell us about your work space.
JS:    The great thing about having four grown kids is that they are now all on their own leaving us with three empty bedrooms. I have taken over TWO of those!  One is a messy, mixed media art studio filled with paints, inks, papers, tools, pens etc.  The other is a giant sewing room with 3 machines, piles of fabric, scissors, thread, etc., a ton of space.  I love my studio rooms, and my four kids!

A5:    What is one thing you MUST have when you create?
JS:    All my delicious art stuff and a clean, cleared off workspace (I know surprising!).

A5:    What do you wish you were better at?
JS:    Dancing and drawing birds and faces!

A5:    What color(s) are you loving right now?
JS:    It never changes, peacock teal, aqua, lime green and orange.

A5:     What is your favorite pen?
JS:    The holy grail of WHITE pens, the Uniball Signo UM-153.  I use it just about everyday.

A5:    Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes.
JS:    Working from home most of the time in the frigid Northeast US, I covet my Uggs slippers in a few  colors.  They are my "work shoes".  For Christmas I even got sparkly, blingy Uggs for when I need to be fancy!

Visit JoAnne Sharpe HERE