The Couch - BubbleWrap 11/05/07 Interview

I felt really honoured to participate in The Couch this week because the RedBubble team have done such an excellent job, and are continuing to work extremely hard at promoting our work and keeping us happy and stimulated. Without RedBubble and this whole creative community of members, I believe my emergence from a mundane, everyday existence into one of creativity, would have been much slower. In fact, I wonder whether I would ever have emerged to the extent that I have now.

So thank you RedBubble for this opportunity to chat.

Q. RedBubble
A: Whirligig

On the couch today we have Whirligig – an artistic all-rounder with an impressive array of drawing, printmaking, digital art and writing skills, and also one of RedBubble’s most enthusiastic members. Many of you will have received comments, praise, feedback and suggestions as she whirls across RedBubble.

Q. We’re very curious – where does your username “Whirligig” spring from?

A while back I was looking for a business name that was a little quirky and different. A “whirligig” is a tiny insect that whirls around on the surface of ponds. My life was a bit that way at the time – here, there and everywhere – and so were my creative ventures. So I called my venture “Whirligig Creations”. Fortunately I’m no longer whirling around. RB: except on RedBubble where we love your whirling around!

Q. You have a full spectrum of creative talents and interests – writing, photography and digital artwork. Which do you enjoy most and why?

Without a doubt my first love is drawing, with printmaking being an extension of that. Within printmaking the more immediate, spontaneous monoprints appeal to me most, and those methods that more often than not, render unexpected results, like collagraphs.

My newly acquired interest in digital art is simply an extension of my love of printmaking, and a close favourite after monoprints and collagraphs. With digital art no time is wasted setting up, or cleaning up ink and chemicals afterwards, which is handy as my creative time is limited. Also, it has introduced a new dimension into my photographic pursuits.

My writing is really in its embryonic stages, but something I feel compelled to do, as it is interconnected with my other forms of creative expression, each drawing inspiration from the other.

Q. When you get home from work, do you know which form of creative expression you’ll choose that evening – does it depend on your mood, the weather, your day, your imagination?

I don’t always know beforehand, which is bad because I’ll often decide to go home and finish off an assignment for my writing course, only to find myself working on digital images all night. Once my mind wants to pursue the imagery side of things, that’s it, and my assignments fly out the window. Hopefully, once this newfound infatuation with digital images settles down, I’ll be more self-disciplined.

On the other hand, if I’ve already commenced a story, nothing will distract me from that. But, if the creative desk is clear, what form of expression I’ll choose that night is anybody’s guess. Then it depends on my mood and my imagination.

Q. You mention in your profile that your creativity has been dormant for 10 years. Tell us about the experience of getting it back.

Honestly, I owe that to RedBubble! I heard about the writing competition on RedBubble, logged on, and Lo and Behold, there was this mega gallery of incredible artwork and photography as well! So from joining to learn from other writers, I’ve been lifted out of a slump, and now can’t find enough time in the day for creative expression. It’s due to this wonderfully supportive community of writers, visual artists and critics, all willing to help each other improve.

Q. Who and what inspires your work?

I’m drawn to artists like Egon Schiele, Anselm Kiefer, Giacometti, Rothko, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, van Gogh, Dali, Brett Whiteley and Fred Williams. I’m particularly inspired by raw, intense, emotional art.

I don’t yet have an extensive list of inspirational writers. That will develop as I learn more, but Maurice Gee, Tim Winton, and Kate Grenville have definitely got my attention. Then, of course, there are many artists and writers on RedBubble, as is evident from my Favourites and Watchlist.

Inspiration for my images and stories comes from the people around me, from nature, whatever I feel close to, from my own emotional state, places I know, and from reading and writing.


  • jennihei
    jenniheiabout 7 years ago

    It is so terrific that you were chosen for the couch interview Miss Whirli, you have not only become my cherished friend but your work inspires me tremendously and your continued support keeps me firing, its one thing to be artistic its yet another to feel challenged and to have made real friendship…so heart felt congrats hun….and wanna see some more beautiful imagery …and thankyou in everyway
    hugs and love xxxme

  • Craig Shillington
    Craig Shillingtonabout 7 years ago

    VBS …. I read the Couch interview with the biggest smile on my face Whirli …. and one BIG question kept popping up in my mind …. over and over and over …. and I will not rest till I get the answer from you!!!!!!

    IS the couch comfy? Hmmm, nice and warm and relaxing .. .or it it one of those really stiff ones, that make you feel all fidgety and restless? LOL :P :P :P

    Well done :) :) VBS

  • ©   Elaine van Dyk
    © Elaine van...about 7 years ago

    Craig, I’m tempted to tell all, but then again, perhaps I should leave it for others to find out! RB was asking for volunteers a while ago – perhaps you should put up your hand and sing…………….just for the experience of it all. Suffice it to say I was personally very relaxed and comfortable…………

  • ©   Elaine van Dyk
    © Elaine van...about 7 years ago

    Thanks Jienn, it’s such a great place to meet like-minded people and to form friendships. I appreciate your kindness. xx

  • kseriphyn
    kseriphynabout 7 years ago

    That was an excellent wrap Whirligig! Kate Grenville’s Writers Work Book is my favourite one of hers :0). It’s really a bummer your story didn’t make the winners list. But I loved it none the less. I can see why Louise picked the 15 that she did. They flowed into a theme within unleash, which anthologies are based on I guess.

  • ©   Elaine van Dyk
    © Elaine van...about 7 years ago

    Khylan, I agree with you about the finalists. I think those 15 stories were an excellent selection for the book. Can’t wait to see it now! I never expected to get into the finalists, I didn’t even expect to get into the shortlist, so I’m not at all upset. As Craig said somewhere, everyone who entered the comp is a winner. It was a matter of selecting the best for publication. I had so much fun reading people’s stories. For me it is all about learning, and I’ve learned heaps, but I have a long, long way to go yet. But thanks for your comment re the wrap. One never knows how one comes across to others.

  • Charlotte Morison
    Charlotte Morisonabout 7 years ago

    Congratulations on being featured on the couch this week! It was great to learn more about you and what inspires you.
    Keep on whirling about, because I think you’ll find that I’m not the only one inspired and encouraged by you.

  • ©   Elaine van Dyk
    © Elaine van...about 7 years ago

    That’s a really lovely comment Charlotte, thank you. I’m a fairly reserved, shy person, but I really had fun answering those questions. It wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be.

  • StephenH
    StephenHabout 7 years ago

    You were a great choice for the couch Whirli.Because you are a great contributer with your own work and with your checking out other artists and writers, journal comments and encouragement. I felt I knew you a little bit like an aquaintance you would love to know more about and meet up with for a chat and now we have done that and now you feel like a friend . Great to know you.

  • StephenH
    StephenHabout 7 years ago

    Actually I am masquarading as Stephen H. I am realy AnnH staying with Stephen, my son for his birthday and my grandson John’s Birthday. We are going to choose some wall art for Stephen and T shirts.