Jessie and Kate from Hunter Moon Homestead are joined by guest artist Aimee Bishop to discuss her creative process and upcoming workshop. Aimee shares that she finds inspiration for her art by exploring her visual language through nature. She emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with one's inner child and the joy of exploring and playing with art. Aimee also talks about teaching art as a way to express emotions and process them, rather than solely focusing on selling artwork.
Watch the full interview on Instagram.
Hunter Moon Homestead: How are you? Are you in your studio?
Aimee: I'm at the shop studio. I'm in the city.
I love that you have a studio in town in your work, other workplace.
Yes, for sure.
We get to chat with you today a little bit about your creative process and about the workshop, The Magpie's Nest, that you'll be doing with us. There's something about your offering that really is different than most. I'm really curious about how you came up with your concept for your class, and why it's different.
Inspiration for The Magpie came about when I was really exploring my visual language after moving to the forest, which is a completely different world. Like I get goosebumps just talking about it.
When we moved from the city (Denver) to the mountains, it was just like this whole new world of art. I could walk out my door and find [inspiration]. That's all I wanted to do is collect things and study them. I felt so in touch with my inner child that it was really exciting to me. My creativity exploded through that.
My inner child artist came out. I found my voice in the exploration of art, not really the end product, but what it means to explore and to play and to be in touch with that [inner child artist] part of ourselves. It's life altering. So that was really my inspiration for Magpie. [It's grown] from there. It's why I make art.
Wow. So it started, [your career as an artist] really started with Magpie.
Yeah, the way that I make art now, yes, definitely. That's why I wanted to teach it in person because this is such a cool way to get in touch with that little inner artist. I think animals and children are like instinctual in a way that we don't have as adults. Just to be in your, in your instinct, you know, making decisions out of that. I love that.
Yeah, there's something that. I mentioned to you last time we spoke that there's a little part of your bio on your Instagram that says you teach. Do you remember what it says?
I call myself a creativity coach. Yes.
Yes! I'm listening to you talk about Magpie's Nest and I'm really heartfelt struck by it. Because I still am stuck. I haven't found the place where you are. I'm still stuck in the outcome, and I know it holds me back.
Will you talk to us about that?
I wrote this down because I think something that occurred to me in the last few months was that I really protect that part of myself. So I don't make art to sell, I make art to process things. To process my feelings. So my journal keeping is visual language. I don't always feel comfortable writing. So I have found such release in my visual language and how that presents itself.
So when I say I don't even really like the the word 'artist' because I feel like that comes with a lot of like stigma sometimes, like we have to do in certain way that our mother or our art teacher told us.
So when people come to see you [work with you in person], even if they've taken Magpie online, you're going to have a completely different experience.
Well, creating in a group of like minded people that mirror [back] to you is profound. We don't get that opportunity every day. A lot of us, we don't have spouses that mirror our creativity to us. You're lucky if you do! To be in a room with other people, that get that and can see that in you is so healing. You walk away from that a different person. People see things in you that you can't see in yourself. I always walk away from, from those experiences a better person.
Being inspired by nature, and being in a new kind of environment with a new kind of nature, you find a new kind of inspiration.
And Hunter Moon Homestead is a nurturing little beautiful nugget of [inspiration]. I don't have a mother anymore, and I didn't have a good mother, so when I find places that I feel mothered in, which Hunter Moon Homestead is, it helps me heal that little girl that didn't have that.
There is a really grounding, nurturing kind of presence that exists here and I just folded myself right into it. It's really brought up my mothering self here because, like, you know, Jessie and I do all the cooking and we just love nurturing people. The only hard part for me about doing the life here is that I don't get to take the classes!
Can you tell us a little bit about your daily practice?
Right now it's not so great - it's been a busy summer, and I've been working with my family. We work really long hours. I work in the city most of the day. So I have to work really hard to find beauty. I [dedicated myself to] that 2 years ago, when my dad was sick and I was in the hospital every day, and there was just like, so much sadness going on.
I was like,'I have to find the beauty in this. I have to find the moments, the glimmers.' I have worked really hard because it's easy to get kind of sad when you're in the city and there's just a lot of sad things you can focus on.
For me it's very intentional. I have to go out and find the little crack in the ground that's pretty, or the little flower that's growing, you know. That's my process right now. Finding beauty in the inner.
I would love to know more about your actual physical process. For someone who's not familiar with your work at all, what is involved in that? One of the major things with Magpie's Nest is [that it nurtures] our little inner collectors.
We're [as humans] always like collecting and finding things. And there's a reason for that, there's a reason we're drawn to a piece of rusty, I don't know, bottle cap. There's beauty in it. So I love taking those things and making with them. In the workshop we're gonna do rust and tea dying and layering and layering [with fabric and paper] until it speaks to us.
The process is so cool. You don't even realize how [powerful it is] to get into that flow state of exploring.
Is there a specific piece that comes to mind that was very cathartic for you? That brought up some kind of healing or specific process?
I think the books do. I love books because they're still very private. I can close them. I don't have to share them if I don't want to. They're very soulful in that way. I love making little artist books.
Do you go back to your Magpie book and re-visit it?
Oh, yeah. That's what I love about these books; they're living pieces of art. They're always in motion. I always find things that I want to add. I collect all year and then I sit down with my bowls and my collections and my books, and figure out where stuff goes and what the stories are from the year.
I heard the visual of you saying 'I can close the book.'
I don't know if that's an emotional thing. If you're processing, I can shut it and that's done. Or [I can always] revisit it and dig some stuff out.
I can't tell you how grateful I am that you wanted to come and that you're gonna be here. I'm so excited for that.
I can't be there soon enough.