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Meet Stefanie Girard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefanie Girard.

Stefanie Girard is an artist with a re-purpose. She has been cutting stuff up since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors in her tiny hands. She earned her degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry first as a Set Decorator and Prop Master then onto TV Producer specializing in How-To TV shows for HGTV and the DIY Networks.

She wrote five craft books for the Quarto Publishing Group including Sweater Surgery: How to Making New Things from Old Sweaters.

Along with being the Recycled Editor at CraftGossip.com, she is currently creating art that is informed by the power of words and quotes and strives to elevate the words to art with font choices, the materials they are made of, techniques used to create them and the surfaces they are presented upon. She strives to combine the words, fonts, images and materials in the most ironic and unexpected ways possible to create something that is both aesthetically pleasing and meaningful.

The work includes large modular installations created with unusual things like recycled bricks and paper, embroidery and recycled wood along with traditional acrylic paint, watercolor and porcelain. The best compliment I can receive is for the viewer to have a laugh out loud or “ah-ha” moment of getting the joke or juxtaposition hidden within the art or in plain view but requires a bit of contemplation.

She continues to produce art educational content online and as the Programs Chair for both the Glendale Art Association and the Burbank Art Association.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Actually pretty smooth, yet unexpected at some points. A few quotes that I live by that may explain why I would answer “smooth-ish”.

“Plans on plans on waffles.”

“Be prepared.”

“Knowledge is power.”

“Those that adapt the quickest survive.”

Please tell us more about your art.
My philosophy is that I make art that I want to look at. As I work on each piece and make each decision I ask myself, “Do I love this color? Do I love this pattern? Does this make me laugh?

A quote that I live by is my college’s motto, “Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.”

I try not to make things that I think will sell or “on-trend”. They can be inspired by current events but above all else, they should be pretty, funny and meaningful to me.

In this current time, I tried something new.

Something I learned while working in the film industry is there is no “no” there is only “yes” and then “how” and then “how much” and “how fast”.

As an example, when the director asks for a stretch VW bug limousine you answer, “OK” and then you see if one exists and then if one doesn’t you find someone who can make it, how long it will take and how much it will cost. You present the options to production and they make the decision.

I carry this philosophy through to my work. I ask myself how can I bring this idea to fruition. What do I need? How can I make it? Where do I find the supplies?

So when all my gallery shows were canceled, my first thought was I can still make art.

I’m OK.

Then I thought how can I share my art?

And I was inspired by the hashtag #putartinyouryard and I wanted to share that idea with others so I started the Burbank Neighborhood Gallery.

I live on the corner of Oak and Fairview in Burbank, CA and have a great fence – perfect for displaying art. I used heavy duty plastic pockets attached to the fence to hold cardstock stamped with the words, “Your Art Here” and added a bit of signage explaining the concept that artists of all ages were welcome to pop a piece of art into a pocket to share.

It is a big hit! As of this writing there are close to 50 pieces and the gallery is registered for the Nation Arts Drive June 20th.

As neighbors pass by, they are sharing their love and gratitude of the gallery! It is a big hit. It accomplished everything I had hoped it would by bringing joy and opportunity to all that participate and view it.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I think the most fortuitous aspect of my childhood was my mom being a big sewer and as soon as I expressed an interest, she showed me how to use the machine and put no restrictions on its use. Pretty much the same philosophy they had about driving. Once I learned there was nowhere I couldn’t go. Access to both machines opened my world to creativity with fabric and the world to learn and explore.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Helena Bowman (the first photo of me with scissor painting “I’ll Cut You)

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