Cynthia Motian McGuirl

Cynthia is well known in the East for her beautiful hand-woven art.  Drawing on her Armenian Heritage, she creates in rich colors and ads a sense of motion that transcends textiles and infuses the work she does in other mediums.  For Fiber College she’s using her unique sense of design and color to introduce students to silk painting…another facet of her vast artistic world.  If you’d like to join Cynthia, she’ll be teaching an all day class on Thursday.

We asked her some questions and this is what she said:

Presumably you’ve been an artist all your life…when and how did you decide to label yourself as one?

I used to prefer to label myself as a craftsperson, but now I see that the artistic component of craft is more important to me. I started calling myself an artist only about ten years ago.

Tell us about your first attempts to be creative.

I made embroidered patches for jean jackets when I was a child.

If you could have any mode of transportation in the world…how would you get from place to place?

By TARDIS! (The TARDIS is a machine from the TV show Doctor Who that can move through space and time. It resembles a blue phonebox.)

Do you make a living with your art?

No, but I feel very satisfied that I am able to financially support making stuff through the sale of my artwork.

What is your preferred environment when you’re in a creative mood?

My studio. I like to have all of my tools around me. I am very process driven.

If you were forced to give up your current artistic medium, what medium would you pursue next?

I don’t like to give up anything to pursue other artistic mediums. That said, I do make choices about what I have time for. I tend to concentrate on one medium for a block of time but often go back to the others eventually. My recent work combined metal, fiber, and paper etchings.

Are you currently working in “the perfect” studio? What does your perfect creative space look like? What would we find in the drawers and cabinets?

Yes, I just wish my studio was bigger, so that I could all my mediums set up at the same time. I have a sewing area, a table with an anvil and tools for metalworking, my loom, shelving units for yarn and such, multiple tables, a printing press, a big sink, and lots of boxes. I also have another room that I use to display my finished garments and other art. As for the drawers and cabinets…I don’t know what you’d find there because I can’t remember where I put anything! I’m currently looking for crochet hooks!

With the tap of a magic wand, you can go anywhere and study with anyone…time is of no essence…what are you doing and with whom?

I’d go and study with the Armenian rugweavers of the past!

When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

At 1:40 PM July 29, 2011, which was a few minutes ago.

How many projects do you generally have going at one time?

That’s a scary question! I have six main categories in which I would sort my projects; there are an indefinite number of projects in each category.

If you’d like to see more of Cynthia’s work, visit her website.

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