|artist + writer.|
dreamer of dreams.
valeri believes that every moment is an opportunity for awareness, growth, and change on this fantastical journey of learning to listen to and follow our hearts. she's really a peace-loving hippie though she also has a propensity to swear. a lot.
in another life, valeri was a single, teen mom that got an industry-specific degree, worked for corporate america, and decided with much certainty, at 21, that she had no desire to do that ever again. and she didn't. she later received a B.A. in psychology in hopes of someday becoming an art therapist, though somewhere along the way while working as a community social worker, valeri eventually came to terms with how much she'd wanted to be an artist for as long as she could remember.
in deciding to follow her dreams, she'd realized that of course, she'd only ever been an artist.
in 2008 "make art everyday" became her motto and she did make art everyday, even if some days it was no more than a quick sketch on a dirty napkin.
in 2012, valeri moved into her very own dedicated home studio and in twelve months she painted more than she'd painted in the previous twelve years. by 2013, valeri's artwork was in galleries + boutiques, as well as private collections, throughout north america and the UK.
heavily influenced by music, valeri can often be found in her studio with paintbrush in hand and modest mouse, built to spill, or interpol on the stereo.
Q + A
where'd you come up with the name awesomama/awesome mama? isn't that a bit pretentious and bold?
a little, especially considering how little i provide awesome parenting tips on this here blog, but then not so much when you know the story. when my middlest was four-ish he had some pretty rad long hair that would make for some wild bed-head 'dos. one morning, while serving the porridge, i told him he was the cutest little ragamuffin that i ever did see and he responded with, "i'm not a ragamuffin, i'm an awesomuffin." and that was that. see, at that point, i'd been sketching my little heart out, every morning, trying to "find my style" and thinking that i had, i had also been on the search for what to call these sweet elfin creatures. of course, my middlest son, being the ruler of elves that he is, would reveal the name.
and that's related to awesome mama, how?
well, awesomuffin soon became a household name, not only because i'd thieved it for art-related use, but because calling my kids "awesomuffins" was just, well, it was awesome! then they started calling me awesome mama so when i started an etsy shop and named it awesomuffin, i decided to blog under the name awesomama (for the sake of cohesiveness).
what about slightly imperfect? i have a moo card with your info on it but a different etsy shop name...
ah. yes. slightly imperfect. it was my vintage/mixed media art shop when i thought i'd operate two different shops and sell my happy, kid-friendly characters in the awesomuffin shop and the darker, more abstract stuff, alongside rare & vintage finds in a shop called slightly imperfect. things happen. things change. awesomuffin is currently retired, though, i'm still reserving the right to re-open slightly imperfect, solely as a vintage shop on etsy, since my artwork has evolved quite a bit in the last few years and i'm no longer separating the light from the dark. ♥(✿ ❛‿❛)
and valeri screaming from the gallery...what's that about?
the beatles. in particular "maxwell's silver hammer," which isn't my favorite song and isn't particularly meaningful except that they say "rose and valerie screaming from the gallery," so naturally, i had to borrow it.
of course, you may have noticed, the etsy and facebook name is now "valeri dreaming from the gallery" which makes a lot more sense because i often borrow from one beatle, in particular, when describing myself with, "you might say that i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one."
also, at this point in my life, dreaming is way more effective than screaming.
also also, i wrote this once:
"art galleries are such a part of my earliest memories that they feel instilled in me, like home. they were already familiar by the time i was three or four years old. my great grandmother supported herself by cleaning the homes and offices of wealthy people as well as art galleries in santa fe. i remember one, in particular, the jamison gallery, now closed. i was not yet tall enough to see all of the oil paintings on the walls unless i stood on one end to take them all in. i could hardly see above the bottoms of the frames if i was too close. i remember the feel of the dark wood banister and velvet cordons in brass stands. i also remember the dark stairwell and creeping upstairs (or perhaps it was downstairs...this was 30 years ago and memory is a funny thing) to spy canvases in various stages of repair or process. i remember my grandmother unlocking the door on saturday morning, the bright sun reflecting off of the giant storefront windows and a feeling as magical as the one i get when sebastian walks into that bookstore for the first time in a neverending story.
i could go on and on about this. the vacuum. the never being bored. the starting at myself in the mirrored walls. i don't know how much of it would be accurate or a juxtaposition of the collective childhood memory bank but i do know this...in 2003 or 2004 a friend and i were sitting on my couch and i was like, "i should start a 'zine or open an actual gallery and call it screaming from the gallery" after having a spent a pretty heavy considerable amount of time listening to the beatles. it wasn't until this year (dudes, i'm really slow) that i was like, der, start a facebook page for your art and even though i was just going to use my name, i went for valeri, screaming from the gallery. why not? the other night i wrote it down, more seriously. like: this is one of those things i want to happen, one of those things i see doing for myself. i don't yet know how or when but i want to open a gallery someday and i will."
for anyone interested in the rest of that story, click here for the original post.
and thank you! if you've read this entire thing, go treat yourself because you deserve it!