Blog: cjs2020

Jumping with… Jen Crossley – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Jen Crossley. I have known Jen for a few years now and have had the pleasure of teaching with her in the past. This is her 3rd time teaching with CJS and I am happy to have you get to know her a bit better now. In this interview Jen talks about loving to create from a very young age, then a professional start with paper arts, and finally moving to metal and found objects. She describes how art making helps her get a release from the pressures of life. She also talks about using vintage items and the stories and history that those items may or may not bring to a project.

Thank you Jen!

You can learn more about Jen on her website.

And now it is your turn to make a commitment to creative play this year: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Jen.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Marsha Valk, Andrea Chebeleu, and Iris Fritschi-Cussens – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today some video interviews I did with some of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Marsha Valk, Andrea Chebeleu, and Iris Fritschi-Cussens.

First we have Marsha Valk who I have had the pleasure of working with for many years on different projects including online workshops and my Creative Squad. Marsha is from the Netherlands and she is an incredibly talented mixed media artist who always wows me with her work and her videos. In this interview we talk about the parallels between traditional printmaking techniques and modern ones that can be done in a home studio. She shares how she first learned about gelli printing. We also discuss how travel and visiting museums inspires our work.

Next is Andrea Chebeleu who runs A Work of Heart in San Jose (where I have taught workshops in the past) and is also a talented artist. In this interview she discusses ways to make time for art when you are juggling a busy schedule – which in her case includes not only running a business and family, but also fostering kittens who need homes. She champions the idea that you don’t need a lot of supplies to make art, it can happen almost anywhere with materials that you already have on hand. She also talks about a couple new materials that she has been playing with lately and her Etsy shop where you can find some of her creations.

Finally we have Iris Fritschi-Cussens who is with us for the second time for CJS this year and is an amazing expressive artists who I love to share with you. In this interview Iris talks about her personal motivations for creating art and the therapeutic benefits that she finds through creating and expressing her feelings in the safety of the creative space. She discusses authenticity, the not-so-nice feelings we all get sometimes, and allowing ourselves to be true to who we are. Iris also talks about what it means to call yourself an artist. She mentions Teresa Austin as in artist whose work she loves, as well as Egon Schiele and the Leopold Museum.

Be sure to sign up for Creative JumpStart if you haven’t already! The classroom is open and class began on January 1st. This year we have 31 amazing and diverse mixed media artists.

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Jumping with… Birgit Koopsen, Rae Missigman, and Joe Rotella – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today some video interviews I did with some of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Birgit Koopsen, Rae Missigman, and Joe Rotella. Three very sweet and talented artists to hear from :)

First up is my good friend Birgit Koopsen from The Netherlands who I have known as a friend for many years and who’s artwork I have always admired. In this interview Birgit discusses her journey into art journaling and mixed media, her natural ability to work with color, and how her artwork reflects her personality. She talks about the influence of travel on artistic choices and the lessons she’s learned from her students around the world.


Next we have Rae Missigman, who I have also known for years and who has such a wonderful fun personality that I think shows through in her art. Learn how she came to mixed media and art journaling from an interest in writing and crafting as a hobby, while today still keeping other hobbies outside her regular artmaking as a catalyst for creativity. Rae talks about carving out small amounts of time for art in a busy modern life, trying new materials without worrying too much about how they are “supposed” to be used, and the joys of her pocket journals.


Finally we have Joe Rotella, who I have also known for years and who is so much fun to hang out with that it is always a blast to have him on CJS. In this interview we joke and laugh the whole way through, but you will also learn how his mischievous and curious mind as a child sowed the seeds for his creative life to come. He talks tools, tech and magic. He encourages viewers to not be intimidated by new tools and tech. And he discusses how he visualizes and plans projects ahead in his style of working. There is definitely a bit of magic in the interview and for the ultimate laugh at the end, be sure to watch the bloopers :)

I hope you will join Birgit, Rae, and Joe and all the amazing teachers for this fun and inspiring challenge beginning in January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Mary Beth Shaw, & Carolyn Dube – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today some video interviews I did with some of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Mary Beth Shaw, and Carolyn Dube. Wow what an amazing group to hear from :)

First up is Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, who I have known now for many years as a friend and colleague. Her artistic style is unmistakable and her talents cover so many areas so chatting with her is always fun and informative. In this interview we talk about how to manage time in our busy lives, how her fiber art connects with her mixed media work, and how she loves to try new things and explore her curiosity for creativity.


Next we have Mary Beth Shaw, who has been a teacher with Creative JumpStart now for a long time and is a wonderful artist with an abstract style. Mary Beth is also the woman behind Stencil Girl Products so she is very busy with everything that she does. In this interview Mary Beth discusses ways to carve out time for artmaking even when time is tight and how her art journal helps with that. She also talks about different phases she’s gone through in her abstract work, and the importance of knowing what other art is out there (past and present) to be an informed artist.


And finally we have Carolyn Dube, who has been a part of CJS for a few years now and who always brings color and play to the world through her art and personality. In this interview she talks about her current obsession with gelli plate printing, the liberation and fun that comes from embracing “mistakes”, and how she found confidence working with color. Carolyn also hints at what her cjs video will be about and describes it as that glorious moment where chocolate met peanut butter :)

And now it is your turn to go after a fun and inspiring challenge beginning this January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Nancy Curry – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Nancy Curry. I learned about Nancy many years ago when I got her book Rubber Stamper’s Bible and then several years ago had the pleasure of meeting her in person at an art event where we were both teaching. This is Nancy’s first time teaching with CJS and I am excited for you to get to know her more :)

A little about Nancy: Nancy is an artist, author, and educator in the mixed media world since the 1990’s and is known for her gorgeously abstract style. In this interview she describes her journey to the creative world and setbacks and discouragements along the way that in the end didn’t dissuade her passion. She emphasizes the importance of play in the studio and the joy that comes from experimenting and making without an end goal in mind. She discusses some media that she is particularly excited to use including Citra Solv and eco dye, and speaks about her background in words and her love of the written word and language.

Thank you Nancy!

You can learn more about Nancy on her Instagram page.

And now it is your turn to make a commitment to creative play this January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Nancy Curry.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

Comments (1)

  • Sue

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    Hi, Nathalie and Nancy….I really enjoyed this interview. I’m looking forward to seeing the super powers of all the wonderful artists that have so much talent to share. I was jotting down some ideas during your interview including keeping an eye out for quotes, going through my National Geographic magazines and checking out your book on stamping, Nancy. I might have it but my art bookcase is in our bedroom and my husband is still asleep so I have to wait. 🤷‍♀️ This was such a good interview…thank you for the opportunity to know about the artists that are participating this year, Nathalie…See you in January. 🤗 Happy Holidays!

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Jumping with… Marieke Blokland – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Marieke Blokland. This is Marieke’s first year teaching with CJS and I am so excited to have her joining our amazing teachers. I have known Marieke for many years and I’ve always admired her artwork and all the online workshops that she also organizes.

A little about Marieke: Marieke studied graphic design and was able to take that training and turn it into a career that she is so passionate about as an artist and educator. In this interview she talks about balancing this home-based business with the demands of family, and about her love of artistic expression in the world of art journaling. She discusses how important it is for her to be in tune with emotions when she is creating and also how she feels about sharing such personal art. She gives advice to beginner art journalers, talks about what artists and designers she is really interested in now, and explains how she keeps her artistic inspiration strong.

Thank you Marieke!

You can learn more about Marieke Blokland here on Instagram and also here on Facebook and Youtube.

And now it is your turn to go after a fun and inspiring challenge beginning this January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Marieke.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Jane LaFazio – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Jane LaFazio. Jane joins us again for this season of CJS and I couldn’t be more excited. I have known Jane for many years and long admired her artwork before finally getting to meet her in person at a teaching gig we were both attending.

A little about Jane: Jane began her artistic journey as a technical illustrator but after some drawing classes she realized her talent (and wow is she talented!) with drawing and later added watercolor, stitching, and all manner of fiber arts into her mixed media repertoire. In this interview she talks jewelry (oolala) and the joys of the simple things in life. She talks about how she combines various media and the flexibility that mixed media as an artform provides to an artist. Jane also explains how she uses her art journal while traveling to gather inspiration for future pieces, and how she makes color choices in her art journal and fiber art pieces.

Thank you Jane!

You can learn more about Jane here on her website and here on her Facebook and Instagram pages.

And now it is your turn to find the simple and expressive joy in creating this January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Jane LaFazio.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

Comments (1)

  • Sue

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    To Nathalie and Jane: Good morning…How could you not love Jane? I took a class from Jane when she taught her class at Sketchbook Skool. I was looking through my class sketchbook the other day and I have photos of me and my husband standing in a yoga position in a movie theater in front of a poster because of a suggestion in Jane’s class….I’m in my 70’s and my husband is in his 80’s. I still remember the feeling I had when we were being silly that day. I love Jane’s teaching style, her art and especially her happy, positive personality. Her super power through my eyes would be her ability to lift people up and encourage people to live life to the fullest. I’m looking forward to her class. Thank you for these interviews, Nathalie….so fun and informative. 🤗 Happy Holidays!

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Jumping with… Jodi Ohl – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Jodi Ohl. Jodi has done CJS with us before and we are very happy to welcome her back this year! I have known Jodi for many years through online and in person workshops and I have always admired her artwork, so this interview was a lot of fun to do!

A little about Jodi: Jodi is a full time artist, author, and creative instructor who is well known for her whimsical and abstract artmaking styles. In this interview she discusses how her path led her to creating art and how at transitional moments in her journey, her art making played a huge role. She talks about overcoming rejection when submitting art and seeking out opportunities, and the rewards of taking risks in the creative process. I think you’ll also enjoy hearing how she uses color and brushwork to express what is going on in her life, and how powerful that can be.

Please enjoy this Jumping with… Jodi Ohl Interview!

Thank you Jodi!

You can learn more about Jodi Ohl here on her website and also here on Facebook.

And now it is your turn to go after a fun and inspiring challenge beginning this January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Jodi Ohl.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Cheiron Brandon – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share today another great interview with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Cheiron Brandon. I have known Cheiron now for a while and she was also a wonderful addition to my Creative Squad a few years back.

A little about Cheiron: Cheiron works by day in the world of finance but returns to her studio at night to refocus, rejuvenate, and explore another important aspect of her life – creating! She is an extremely talented card maker and mixed media artist and both teaches classes monthly in NYC and enjoys taking classes to expand her artsy skills. In this interview she speaks about balancing her career and her art, and she talks about how creative activities improve all aspects of her life – from ways of dealing with problems at the office, having the courage to try new things, and even realizing the power of artmaking to bring joy into your life and surrounding relationships. Wow. Yup there’s a lot of great stuff in this interview :)

Please enjoy this Jumping with… Cheiron Brandon Interview!

Thank you Cheiron!

You can learn more about Cheiron on her website or on her Instagram feed.

Are you ready to get artsy in January and experience all those benefits of being creative? Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 fun and inspiring lessons from 31 different Super Hero Artists like Cheiron Brandon. See you soon in the CJS classroom :)

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