Introducing C-Cubed

 

What is C-Cubed? Actually the question is who is C-Cubed. And the answer is... Janene Kalb. Creative Community Coordinator. Janene has become my right-hand person and a member of my team. In fact, as of now, the only member of my team. When I began teaching online and doing frequent Facebook demos at the start of the pandemic, many of you got to know Janene as the person who assisted me during these live events. She added directions and links to the comments, answered questions, sent reminders, helped behind the scenes, and more. Over time, she has officially become official and is now an indespensible part of my online adventures. As you may have noticed, she has taken a more prominent roll recently in my FB group - Seth Apter Creative Community, my live demos, and my classes. She is now prepping some exciting online features that we will be introducing soon and is always offering suggestions to make things better for all the people who visit me!

I have known Janene for a whole bunch of years, having first met her in person as an attendee in one of my classes IRL. Now that she is a working with me, I wanted to give you an opportunity to meet her as well.....

 

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about how you got into the world of art and craft.

Hi, I’m Janene Kalb, the “Creative Community Coordinator”, aka C-Cubed.  On the FB profile I use for this group, the one with profile photo of Bugs Bunny dressed as a girl (from my favorite cartoon “Hillbilly Hare”), I describe myself as an “Occasional maker of weirdly-bad mixed media art & hoarder of art supplies, grungy bits and ephemera”, which is pretty accurate.  Nothing makes me happier than a trip to the art supply store, the thrift store, or an antique store.   I love bringing home other people’s castoffs.

I could never have imagined having mixed-media art in my life.  I wasn't one of those kids who grew up  thinking I'd be an artist.  Formal art training was not part of my life, but there were always crayons and paper and yarn and fabric in the house that my siblings and I used for making things.   I wanted to be a professional musician when I entered college, but my ever-practical mother insisted I pursue a major that would lead to a job where I could support myself.  A complete fluke led me into the world of computers, and 40+ years later I’m still employed in the IT profession.  Throughout my adult life, I have always sought out different hands-on creative outlets, including sewing,  calligraphy, photography, needle arts, and stained glass, as a counter-balance to my work-life.  

So how did mixed-media become the primary artistic outlet in my life?  

Fast-forward to the early 1990s:  My husband was transferred to Maryland.  For a couple of months, with no job and no one to hang out with,  I spent a lot of time driving around, learning about the area.   I stumbled upon a magical place called The Queen’s Ink and took up rubber stamping.  A few years later, the store moved closer to my house, and enabled me to take tons of unique classes from The Queen, Patti Euler,  and from her incredible guest artists, including this guy named Seth Apter.  The products used and the wide variety of projects I was able to create really clicked for me.  The Queen is entirely responsible for nurturing my love of all things mixed-media, for providing a welcoming place where I could meet so many people whom I now consider to be dear friends, and completely to blame for my art-supply hoarding situation. 

What are some of your favorite creative activities? I enjoy making mini-books and ATCs.  I adore playing with the gel plate and making prints.  I also love assemblage, although I haven't done it for a while.   I need to pull out the massive pile of flotsam and jetsam I’ve collected and get busy using all that good stuff.

Can you share a motto that you live your creative life by?  “Give it a try, even if you think it’s not for you”.  I have taken classes or watched videos of art techniques that didn’t feel like me, such as drawing faces.  While I might not have embraced a particular technique or art material long-term, I learned something from the experience that can be applied to future endeavors.

What is the best advice you have received as a maker?  “Learn the rules, then break them”.   You have to know the foundational things to gain a few skills and to raise your confidence level, like knowing what happens when you mix red and green, or how to cut and glue properly.  Once you understand the basics, you can do whatever you want. I also try to remember the Seth-ism “Overthinking is the death of creativity” because it’s so true.  You can't let your brain get in your way of creating and having fun. 

What is something that inspires you regularly?

Nothing in specific and everything in general.  I love my daylily garden, reflections in an old chrome car bumper, the nubby weave of burlap, the colors someone chose for a food package design, handwriting on onion skin paper, architectural pediments, extreme weather conditions.   It's probably weird, but I find myself watching a weather broadcast thinking, “That radar display would make a great abstract painting”.   I am always observing seemingly unrelated elements and then finding a way to connect and use them.   I use my iPhone camera constantly to capture things I encounter to document them for future inspiration.  Right now, there are almost 23,000 photos on my phone and I scroll through them frequently.  

 

Lightning Round:

Vintage or Contemporary? Vintage in all aspects of my life -- the 1940s through the 1970s are particularly inspirational: California Googie architecture, vinyl records (the cover art!),  flared pants with embroidery.   I have a collection of old Sears catalogs, tons of vintage photographs and other paper ephemera like hand-written letters and magazines to flip through for inspiration.  Right now I'm obsessed with finding square snapshots from the 1970s to digitize and use for image transfers.

Standing or Sitting when Making things? Sitting mostly, because my workspace is pretty small.  But I am a stand-up stamper.

Matte or Shiny?  Matte, although a little bling never hurts. 

Scissor, craft knife or ripping?  Scissors for fussy-cutting collage elements, but ripping is so satisfying when the situation calls for it. 

Music, TV or silence when you work?  Always some sort of sound, usually music streaming from an online service or from my ancient iPod.  If the TV is turned on, it’s tuned to a retro TV station with shows like “Green Acres”.  I don’t want to watch anything that requires me to expend too much mental or emotional energy.  

Facebook or Instagram?  Facebook, because I’m accustomed to its quirks.  I do have an IG account (@janenekalbart) and I am trying to embrace it more.    

Heat Tool or Air Dry? Air Dry, as long as the piece is out of the cat's reach. 

Abstract or representational?  Abstract, most definitely. 

Stamps or Stencils?  I can’t pick a favorite.  I own a ton of both. 

Straight line or wonky scribble?  Lines can be straight or wonky, so long as they’re placed horizontally or vertically.   Off-kilter makes me a bit twitchy.

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Comments

Welcome Janene!

So happy to see you are officially on Seth’s team. Looking forward to getting to know you better. I too am a hoarder of art supplies and collector of grungy bits and ephemera!

Welcome, Janene

I loved the personal question and answer interview and learning about you. I, too, had a stint with stained glass amongst other art forms. I love your commentary, comments and wonderful sense of humor. It’s great to have an addition to Seth’s team. I also, love that I see you a lot of other places, with your finger on the pulse of all my favorite artists! Welcome and immense thanks for all your hard work to make this a great place. This group is really the favorite of all my artsy groups, and you and Seth are a big part of what I enjoy seeing and sharing. ♥️

Welcome C-Cubed

I so relate to this whole blog about you and your interests. We could be sisters by another mother. I learned a new phrase too, flotsam and jetsam. I have learned to appreciate you and what you do for the LIVES and all the links you post as well as feedback. Seth is very blessed to have you on his team as we are. Thank you.

Welcome

Thanks for sharing yourself with us. It’s nice to learn more about you. Your notes are a great help!

Pleased to meet you Janene.

Pleased to meet you Janene. Such a wonderful interview with so much of it paralleling my own approach in my art life. Thanks for all you bring to the lives and SACG.

Welcome abroad, C-Cubed. I

Welcome abroad, C-Cubed. I said abroad instead of aboard bc we know Seth’s reach across the world is far and wide. And so shall yrs be. It will be fun to see what all u have in store for us…long live thrifted castoffs, vintage finds and grungy art.

So happy to have you

So happy to have you alongside Seth building and maintaining this wonderful community. I am particularly drawn to your motto and advice sections of the interview. So very true. Welcome to the team of two Janene! Looking forward to your future plans and ideas for this group.

Clappity clap great to hear you are officially part of the team

And so good to learn a bit more about you. Congratulations on the promotion

Welcome, Janene

Great to hear some background and share that ‘out of the cats’ reach concern. Already benefited from your helpful info during demos!

C-Cubed!

Seth and C-cubed, what a fabulous duo! I love all the “extra” Janene adds to our community. She enables Seth to concentrate on creating. The words are barely out of Seth’s lips and Janene has captured them immediately. Adding links at the speed of sound, she makes it even easier to get what we “need.”

They are the dynamic duo as far as I am concerned. Thank you both!!

C-cubed

Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself. Seth is lucky to have a friend in IT. We are all lucky to have you in our community. It's nice to know others who "get" why we save all this ephemera. So many fun projects await us!
Look forward to seeing what you post on Thursdays.

C-cubed

Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself. Seth is lucky to have a friend in IT. We are all lucky to have you in our community. It's nice to know others who "get" why we save all this ephemera. So many fun projects await us!
Look forward to seeing what you post on Thursdays.

C-cubed

Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself. Seth is lucky to have a friend in IT. We are all lucky to have you in our community. It's nice to know others who "get" why we save all this ephemera. So many fun projects await us!
Look forward to seeing what you post on Thursdays.

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