Wow, this talented lady is quite the "go getter!" Ms. Mongeo is not only a sculptor, but a lecturer/speaker, and a passionate marketer (to name a few)!
In this interview, she describes her daily process in detail and also describes the environment that she has created which is conducive to all of her skills (right down to taking her tea to her studio). So, read and get to know Ms. Mongeo, but also, be inspired (and maybe get some tips) to reach beyond the limits in your own creativity.
Ever since I could pick up a crayon I wanted to be an artist. My first commission was the bulletin board in the hallway of my school, when I was in kindergarten.
I sculpted a few times in my life, an elephant in grade school, a bust of Christ that blew up in the kiln in high school. I was drawn to sculpture in my 20's. I started by sculpting on the beach in Boca Raton and then came home and taught myself. That was 30 years ago. Prior to that it was painting and pastels.
I marveled at people at the fair who could draw someone. I seem to have always been drawn to the emotional involvement of portraiture. I have always said, "I see the world in the face of the elderly and the heavens in the face of a child" -Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon.
I found I could capture a likeness when I was about nine years old. It was a portrait of my sister. Before I started to sculpt portraits, I did watercolor portraits and also pastels.
I have been creating for so long and all of them have a special attachment to my heart.
My process really depends on what is due. I work a lot, but I love what I do and I have an art husband who works just as hard on his own stuff. So, we are not really high maintenance for each other. Besides sculpting, I'm also a writer. I am writing several books right now. My favorite time to write is in bed. I like to wake up thinking about my words and then reach over and get my laptop and write for either a designated amount of time or designated word count, usually 2,000 words. I'm very excited about my new book project about finding your creative self and I'm lecturing on that in a couple of weeks so that is taking up my time.
My studio is 40 feet from my home in a separate building. I have a pond and a stream that goes from the house to the studio. I absolutely love taking my tea out there in the morning and talking to my turtles.
Then it is either to the studio to sculpt, or up in the office to work on digital projects or marketing.
I can have several projects going at one time. If I'm working on a project that will take me a long time, I have a hard time focusing on it for long durations of time. I have taken to listening to audio books while I work. It keeps me engaged with the sculpture and I don't want to stop until... one more chapter is read.
A sculpture can be in various stages as well. I may be sculpting, or mold making, or cleaning waxes for the foundry process. All stages mean that I have to clean up from the previous stage. I also have interns that come into the studio. I love sharing my knowledge with up and coming artists. Taking on interns is a win, win situation.
The office is where the business end happens, bookkeeping, and marketing. I spend as much time as I can, marketing my work. I'm rather obsessive about it. I also teach marketing in the arts to artists and art organizations. I have several blogs. My personal art blog and then each time I do a project I create a separate client blog. For example, erjcc.blogspot.com was created for the sculpture I am presently creating for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. Or the Prairie View Panther blog or the Richard Hathaway blog.
I like having blog about projects because it is like people are watching me in my studio. They become a part of the creative process.
Marketing happens in a variety of forms. Print, my blogs, twitter, linkedin, and Facebook, as well as other social media sites.
I also have a gift line.
Sometimes, during the day, I will help with shipping of the sculptures, and of course, from time to time, I get to create new pieces. Most of my fine art is done through commissions, which means they have a home before I ever begin. The God's Word Pieces are for myself.
Upstairs in the office is where I also create my podcsts. I got into this in 2008. I began a podcast with my mother and daughter. The podcast is called Generations. It was a way for us to connect. The sponsor was my God's Word Collectible sculptures. I create three podcasts a month on different subjects. Though it is a lot of work, I enjoy how it inspires me and it has made me some wonderful connections.
I also am very into digital technology in the traditional sculpture studio. I just finished up a master degree on that subject.
In the office I am using and learning new software to help me with this process. There is a youtube video that shows you how I do this.
So, besides creating in the studio, I also have to create presentations, get bids from my suppliers, and monitor artwork at the foundry and manufacturer. For a while I was creating some art and technology podcasts. I hope to get back to those.
I am lecturing on this and creating a symposium on 3D technology. I'm excited about this as I do want to write a book on the topic. I wrote Digital "Sculpting in Mudbox: Essential Tools and Techniques for Artists," but I really wanted this new book to be a resource for artists. It will feature artists who use new technology to realize artwork into a physical form. I will cover their work and their process.
I am really loving digital sculpture and the new technology. It is opening up so many doors for me.
Besides sculpting in Mudbox on the computer I am also working in zbrush. Please see any link(s) in the "Connecting" section at the bottom of this interview; located under the relevant link reference(s).
All of my fine artwork is commissioned-based. Clients call me, pay me, I create, send it home with them and go on to the next piece.
I seem to have always been drawn to the emotional involvement of portraiture...I like having blog about projects because it is like people are watching me in my studio. They become a part of the creative process.
I have several fun commissions I'm working on and have bids on right now. When I'm not sculpting, I'm writing and I'm thrilled about my writing projects. Many times the two cross over. For example, I'm working on a book called "Creative Living: How to nurture and find your creative self and business." It is about the tools I have found and used to get where I am today. I just completed a young adult novel about a young girl whose mother is a sculptor and sculpts deceased loved ones. There are many strange things that occur in their home. Yes, it is loosely based on real experiences.
I hope to travel and do more lecturing and workshops. So, if anyone is interested in having me come and speak on creativity, marketing in the arts, art and technology, give me a call.
The best way to keep in touch is to sign up for my newsletter (under blog 2). I'm sharing a lot of my free marketing articles, art opportunities, and other things through my newsletters. Please see any link(s) in the "Connecting" section at the bottom of this interview; located under the relevant link reference(s).
In the words of Bridgette Mongeon, from her website, "[I am] an artist, sculptor, writer, educator, public speaker, and wife and mom too. Ever since I could pick up a crayon I wanted to be an artist."
Connecting with Bridgette Mongeon :
|Artist Website :||www.creativesculpture.com|
|On-site Store :||www.godsword.net|
|FB Page :||facebook.com/godswordinspires|
|FB Profile :||facebook.com/bridgette.mongeon|