Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Zoe Tilley Poster

Friday, June 14, 2013
We're so inspired by our interview with fine artist and illustrator Zoe Tilley Poster!  Her earthy and magical world is captured here in her words, photos and (of course) her work.  Take a peek...

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.
I gave up my gardening business and started drawing pictures for a living about a year ago. I wanted to work from home, where I could balance time in my own garden with my artwork (something I'd been dedicating my off season/winter to for years). While the balance isn't quite there yet - I spend way more time building up my new business than I do working/playing outside - it still feels really good to be pursuing a career I'm excited about.  I mostly sell from my Etsy shop, but also do commissions. Two local spots - Earth and Wears in Dallas, PA and the Butternut Gallery in Montrose, PA - carry my prints.

How did you learn your craft?  Do you have formal training?
My parents, Rodrica Tilley and Michael Poster, are both artists.  They've helped me to develop technical skills, along with my own particular aesthetic sense. Beyond that, I've learned by drawing a lot, and also by looking at the work of other people that I admire.

What kind of materials do you use to create your work?  How long does each piece take to make?
I use graphite pencils and vellum-surface (toothy) Bristol paper. My pencils are Tombow. I'm particular about that, because a) my Tombow pencils are stylishly black, white and gold, and b) their graphite is smooth, buttery and grit-free… rarer qualities in art pencils than one might hope! Pieces take anywhere from a few hours to a couple weeks, depending on size of work and aptitude/ineptitude of artist on a given day.

How would you describe your style & where do you find inspiration?
My style is earthy and magical, I hope. I am inspired by animals, the energy of nature,  and the darkness of nature. I guess I'm striving to portray charm, or beauty, or intrigue, or cuteness, but sad and angry emotions are great inspirers for art too. I do my best to harness those artistically, instead of throwing fits.

What items will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival?
Hmmm… butterflies, woodchucks, some very naughty dogs, an owl or two, and…? Some notecards, fine art prints, and original drawings.

What is your most popular item?
People like my foxes. Because while we can all have a naughty dog… few of us can have a real live fox. But we can all have a paper one.

What are your can’t live without art studio essentials?
A flower in a bud vase, a small mountain of chocolate chips, a pile of woodland ephemera on my desk that threatens to crush me, and a good something to listen to… like an audiobook rife with mystery and revenge.

How do you make your workplace an inspiring place to be?
My tiny corner-of-the-bedroom studio is just a comfortable/comforting place to be. I like my chair, my oak desk, the smell of my pencil shavings, and the view of the hemlock tree out my window. I bring inspiration with me when I sit down there - it feels right.

Will you be demonstrating your craft at Arts on The Square? If so, tell us a little about it...
No. I am easily distracted, and that would just never work.

Is there any other information you would like us to share/highlight about you or your work?

I'm for hire! I do completely custom, one of a kind wedding invitations, birth announcements, and pet portraits.

Follow Zoe Tilley Poster
Location: Scranton

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