Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[ an interview with artist Corey Moortgat ]

I'm so excited to introduce artist Corey Moortgat to you! I have followed Corey's blog for a long time now. Her art is fun & whimsical and she incorporates vintage pictures in her art. I love the art journal books she makes for her children. More on that in the interview. Here is some info on Corey:

"I am a stay-at-home Mommy, wife, artist, decorator, sewer, thrift shopper, and probably lots of other things I'm forgetting right now! I have a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, a Master's degree in Art Therapy, but the majority of my work career was in artistic custom framing. Since becoming a mother, I've satisfied my artistic cravings by writing articles for magazines, writing a book (The Art of Personal Imagery), and being generally artsy and craftsy at home.

My family consists of my husband Jason, my son Riley (born 2005), my son Noah (born 2007), and our newest addition, daughter Avery (born 2009). Two sweet boys, and finally a little girl to share in my passion for ruffles and dolls and shopping and all things girly!"

1.   You have three beautiful children. Any tips on finding time to be creative?
Thank you so much!  Finding time is always the issue, isn’t it?  I do it in different ways.  Sometimes, I can fit little projects in while the kids are around- like small decorating or sewing projects.  If it’s something that can be broken into smaller steps, I’ll sneak away for a few minutes at a time (if I see they are entertaining themselves!) and work for a bit.  You know kids, though- it only takes a few minutes for them to migrate back to wherever I am!  So for more involved projects, like painting or scrapbooking, I don’t even attempt to work on them until I know I have an uninterrupted block of time.  Both my older boys are in school five days a week, and my daughter goes two mornings a week, so those are good times for me to work.  When my children were a bit younger, I was very strict about naptime/rest-time.  I always made sure that they were all in separate rooms napping or “resting” for at least 1 ½ hours a day, so that I could have some “me” time!  With summertime looming before us, I will probably re-instate some form of rest-time (only my daughter naps at this point), or I will really go bonkers!  I may not have as much creative time with them home all day, but at least I’ll have a little down-time until school starts again!

2.   Where does your love for vintage stem from?
I have always loved “old” things.  I can remember going to antique stores as a teenager and buying things.  When I was younger, I collected dolls and teddy bears, and that’s where some of the interest probably originated.  My mother and sisters and I went to doll shows frequently, and I loved looking at the vintage dolls.  As I grew older, I stopped collecting those particular items, but I continued to like old things and began using vintage ephemera in my artwork.  My interest in vintage children’s and nursery items came about when I began having children, obviously.  And it blossomed into a full-on obsession when I had my daughter!  I’m back to collecting dolls and vintage girly things, as you can see in the way I’ve decorated her bedroom and my studio.  Oddly enough though, she isn’t really that interested in dolls!  I guess that’s okay though, because I’m pretty selfish, and I don’t know that I want to share– ha ha!

3.   You must have great antique shops in your city to be able to find so many wonderful vintage items. Do you ever shop online too? If you do, are there any sites you'd like to recommend? 
You know, I actually haven’t bought much of my stuff near home!  One of my favorite things to do when I’m on a trip is to scout out the antique shops in the area.  It’s always fun to shop in a new place that I haven’t been to before- no telling what undiscovered treasures there may be!  This is where a lot of my treasures have come from.  But I also shop a lot online.  Ebay is my favorite source, but I also look on Etsy and the Goodwill auction site.  In fact, I have to stop myself from shopping on Ebay too much- there’s SO MUCH good stuff there, I could buy things all day long! 

4.   Do you have a favorite art piece you have done?
That’s a hard one!  I try to always work on a piece of art until I love it.  I’m a perfectionist, and it really bothers me if I’m not happy with a piece.  But there are a few that I would call favorites (for now anyway!).  This one (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreymoortgat/5453120197/in/set-72157600262370987) and this one (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreymoortgat/6964940212/in/photostream) and this one (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreymoortgat/4847407791/in/set-72157600262370987) all hold special places in my heart.  And my kids’ art journals- those would be the first things I’d grab if we had a fire!

5.   What is your favorite photo alteration technique?
I don’t know if I’d call it an alteration technique, but my favorite way of incorporating photos into my artwork is to use the photo’s colors as a guide for the whole piece.  Before I begin a piece, I try to gather all the key images (whether they are photos or other ephemera).  I look at the photos/images and determine the color scheme based on their colors.  This way, the photo always feels as if it belongs in the piece and doesn’t stand out too much.

6.   Who are your favorite artists? 
I get inspiration from so many artists, but these are some of my current favorites:
You can always check out my Pinterest boards for images and artwork that I find most inspiring as well!

7.   Do you like to read? Any favorite, must-read, books?
I go through stages of reading.  I won’t read for several months, then I’ll get on a reading kick and read for several months…  Anyway, I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy (like everyone else in the world!), and I really liked them.  They were definitely entertaining, easy reads.  Generally, I love “coming-of-age” books about young people and I also love anything that has to do with psychology or the mind.  I have a master’s degree in art therapy, so those topics are right up my alley.  In fact, if anyone out there has any good book recommendations with those themes, I’d love to hear them!

 Corey's book is called "The Art of Personal Imagery" and is a wonderful source of art techniques and inspiration. I highly recommend it!

I would like to thank Corey for taking the time to do this interview. I really appreciate it!

Here is a link to Corey's wonderful blog:


  1. I love Corey's artwork. Each and every piece she posts is splendid!

  2. Fantastic interview! I am also an admirer of Corey's art, so it's fun to get to know her a little better through this interview.


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