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Creativity-Portal.com Creative Careers in the Arts Series
Angela Hook Interview : Page 2 of 2

Wire Artist and Equestrienne Angela Hook

continued from page 1

Cowboy on Horse Wire Sculpture © Angela HookQ: Can you share a project with our readers — something simple they can make at home?

A: One of the first things I did with wire when I started this bending frenzy was to decorate glass objects with it. Whether you wrap a votive holder, vase, or wine glass… a fanciful embellishment of wire and beads adds a little sparkle and is an easy way to personalize a gift for someone. I would recommend starting out with a smaller craft wire until you are able to gauge the pressure needed to manipulate your larger wire without potentially cracking the glass. I don't have a specific pattern for this. Just make some loops or squiggles or spirals as you move the wire around the object. Add a bead here and there, and have fun! The results are sure to make you smile (or maybe even giggle!).

Q: Congratulations on your new post as Art Director for Penticton Business & Lifestyle. How is that working out? Can you tell our readers a little more about a typical day there, so they can understand what the Art Director position entails?

A: Well, I don't actually go anywhere… the magazine is created in my home studio. The publisher sends me the stories (and usually photos) with a brief outline of the content for the issue. From this, I put everything together on the computer in a format that is ready for the printers. Each issue takes 60-80 hours to complete (including creating ads for our advertising customers). It's pretty crazy around here for a week or so each month! But, I don't necessarily have to get out of my pajamas to do my work, so I feel pretty lucky.

An Art Director is generally responsible for the overall look of a magazine, ensuring consistency and quality. This may involve art directing photo shoots, or working with an illustrator to get visual material for an article. It usually involves supervision of the graphic design, as well. In my case, I do all of the design and production work myself. It's a one-woman show!

Q: Are there any new challenges you're facing at this point? What are some of the rewards inherent in working in this field?

A: My biggest challenge right now is getting my new studio space built before the snow flies again! Working from home is wonderful, but it can be difficult when work space starts taking over the family living space. We are currently building an attached garage/workshop/studio that I hope to move 'all things creative' into before the end of the year. This will help to separate the business from our home a bit.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your connection to the animal world? It seems that your work is largely inspired by horses — who were the most important horses in your life, and why? How does it feel to have another horse in your life after a twenty-year hiatus from riding?

A: Wow! Answering this question could very well require a whole book. Let's just say I was a horse-crazy girl early in life… my grandparents fed my addiction by buying a horse and keeping it on their farm for me. My parents made it possible for me to attend a private equestrian school in 1981, where I learned the finer points of the equine world.

I am, admittedly, under the magic spell cast by horses on humans all over the world. Their power, strength, and gentle beauty stir my soul.

I love my new horse, Chester. Without really knowing it, I guess I chose him to carry on the spirit of my beloved Keeba, who was my equine partner for many years as a teenager. Chester is the same breed, same size, and same color. Amazingly, he also possesses a similar character and personality to my 'main man' twenty years ago.

Q: What delights you, makes you shine and glow inside?

A: Well, other than horses you mean? Watching my husband play guitar… my beautiful daughter turning sweet sixteen… my grandparents celebrating 61 years of marriage… a flea market filled with treasures… a riverbed of rocks… Junior Mints… and stickers! I really like stickers!

Q: Who forms your support system? This is your chance to give those special friends, encouraging family members and fabulous fans a shout out!

A: Everyone in my family has been very supportive of my unconventionally creative career!

My husband, Jeff, left his full-time job several years ago to join in the self-employed fun. His background is in audio and video production, so we work together sometimes on our freelance media projects. However, he has also built me a fabulous display booth for my wire art, and even started bending wire in his own creative ways! We're a really great team, and I don't know how anyone can imagine doing something like this without their spouse's support.

My mom and my daughter have both been a big help over the years, too. Having someone always there to lend a hand in sales, production, administration, or even workshops has been such a benefit, as we've struggled to keep this creative dream alive.

Q: If you could travel back in time to visit your thirteen-year-old self, what advice would you give her?

A: Never mind boys… stick with the horse!

Q: What does the future hold for you as an artist? Are there any new projects, workshops, or goals for the years ahead that you'd like to share?

Wire Horse © Angela HookA: I'm just about to submit a proposal for an Art Show that I'm very excited about! It's titled 'Unbridled'… and will be a collection of my equine wire sculpture, combined with some of my own photography and drawings that I have used as reference and inspiration along the way. It will look at the contrast between horses for show and horses for pleasure. The 'show' portion will be shiny and stark, featuring some nickel-plated sculpture, while the 'pleasure' part will feel warm and natural, with many copper, gold, and brass pieces.

I'm also creating some new work for the 2008 Grand National Rodeo's Celebration of Western Art in San Francisco! That will keep me busy.

Q: Looks like you're in the process of building your own studio — can you tell us a bit about the challenges of this huge undertaking? What is your vision for the completed space?

A: Yes, we decided last year that expanding our facilities at home rather than leasing commercial space would best suit our lifestyle and benefit our business. So, we are constructing a two-level studio that will house workshop space on the top, and a gallery-style boutique on the second level, where I will also set up my computer and be able to work on graphic design projects from there. I'm really looking forward to seeing that space take shape. It will be nice to have a more public area that we can welcome people to come and visit… you know, a hangout for creative folks!

That sounds fabulous! For those of us who can't visit soon, Angela has written a book, "Let the Wire Inspire," to welcome you into the magical world of wire art. Get in touch with your creative self and learn new techniques for creating three-dimensional wire art! You can learn more and order this book online at www.wireinspire.com.

© 2007 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »

9/19/07