What's your real name? How did you come up with your shop name?
My name is Joanne Paquin. My shop name originated from my love of the lotus flower and celestial themes. The lotus flower is actually a tattoo that I had done on my ankle a few years ago. I plan on adding the crescent moon to it very soon.
What inspired you do create your first mosaic?
My first mosaic was done while taking classes at a local stained glass studio. I took classes for approximately seven years, when they finally introduced a mosaic project. It was an octagon shaped stepping stone, and with my love of anything celestial, I created a sun and moon design. It was as that point that I absolutely fell in love with mosaics.
Has mosaic art lead you to any other art forms/been a lead to any other passions?
When I initially began creating mosaics, the only tesserae that I knew was stained glass. It wasn't until finding Etsy and Flickr that I realized there was much more to mosaics than that. It gave me more creative freedom, and I went on to learn how to work with polymer clay and tempered glass. I've also incorporated my love for bead work into my designs. I've been an artist for over 30 years and have tried just about everything, to include painting pottery and jewelry design.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I think most of my inspiration comes from the work of other mosaic artists. There are so many talented artists out there, and they give me the inspiration to challenge myself. I would have to say that I'm drawn the most to whimsical and nature inspired themes.
Do you have any mosaic daydreams?...... is there one thing that you dream of being able to create someday?
I have mosaic daydreams all the time. I keep a small sketch pad with me so that when an idea strikes, I'll be prepared. My co-workers will find me doodling during lunch time. I dream of being able to retire and create mosaics all day long. One thing that I would like to create someday is a three dimensional piece, such as a cow skull or a mannequin. I think that would be very challenging.
Is being an artist your full-time job? What other jobs or hobbies consume your time?
Mosaics is my hobby, not my full-time job. By day, I'm the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent (AKA: Warden) of a maximum security prison! When I'm not creating mosaics, you’ll find me supporting my husband ~ who is a part-time performing musician in a band called The Fuzzy Side Band. I just love listening to him sing, play the bass and create music.
Tell us ,briefly, about your family.
I live with my husband Mike, who has been very supportive of my creative endeavors. He gave up his backyard shed and converted it into a studio for me. I have two young adult boys ~ Michael, who is 22 and Jonathan, who is 19; I also share my home with two fun-loving Boston Terriers named Bridget and Baxter. Bridget was my inspiration for the last Peacemakers mosaic challenge.
Do you have one or two creations that have been favorites?
I would say that my favorite mosaic piece is my 'Sun, Moon and Stars', which hangs over a buffet in my kitchen. It’s a 3’ X 3’ panel, and it’s the first thing you see when you step into the room. It's the first large mosaic that I created, and I get comments on it all the time.
To see more of Flowering Moon's fantastic art, head over to her Etsy shop!