CINDEE MOYER’S FULL ARTISTIC CIRCLE!
CINDEE MOYER, artist, painter, designer, dress maker, teacher, sculptor… Cindee Moyer is all of this and more. Cindee Moyer is a doll maker but I think she’s more than that, I think she’s a story teller…
“I was born and raised in the Des Moines, Iowa area. In fact, I live about five miles from the house I grew up in, where my father still lives. However, I have been lucky enough to travel. In high school, I was a foreign exchange student to the Netherlands. My husband and I have traveled to Greece, Germany and Italy, as well as Canada, Mexico and around the United States. I have sponsored incredible doll artists from Russia, Switzerland and the US to teach doll making here in Des Moines. And I have extensive experience with refugees from Asia, Africa and Bosnia through my previous work. So, although my roots are grounded, I have managed to branch out.
It was seeing the world for myself, or through the stories of those I have met along the way, that inspired me to want to expand my own horizons in doll making. Seeing another culture, sharing their emotion, smiling at their humor and delighting in our differences, I can’t help but feel the oneness that the doll conveys. ”
Cindee, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project. I fell in love with your work as soon as my eyes had the pleasure of seeing it. I feel all my readers will do so as well!
No. 1) What is art to and for you? (in general and personally)
To me, art is expressing your heart. With music, with words, with paint, with clay.
My paternal grandfather owned the first paint and wallpaper store in Des Moines, IA, and I was exposed to the beauty of wallpaper texture and pattern; and the magic of color at an early age.
My maternal grandmother was a fantastic seamstress who created clothing, even wedding gowns, for clients from magazine photos or sketches. She also worked at a toy wholesale house and ‘rescued’ Barbie from the trash…the owner didn’t think she would sell! Her interest in Barbie was, of course, the clothing. The original Barbie clothes were remarkable – zippers, buttons, darts – all to scale.
One of her brothers was a painter and wood carver. His paintings were quite large, six feet high or more, dark and intense. It seemed he used a lot of black and dark blue even in the skin tones. I remember as a young girl being in awe of the size of these paintings as well as drawn in to the intensity of his work. Painting both religious and realistic subject matter, the palette always remained the same.
Both my parents were artistic in their own right. Both had attended art schools. My father did anatomy drawings for textbooks as well as painted. My mother had a flair for painting, decorating, fashion and design.
Not knowing at the time how fortunate I was to have been exposed to all the beauty and talent within my family, I took it all in stride. This was my normal.
I love color and when it came time to choose a major in college, I chose painting. My first painting instructor compared my use of color to that of Pierre Bonnard. That was very encouraging to me. Color, or lack thereof, conveys the mood of the piece. And, to me, is the most important factor.
No. 2) What made you choose to express your creativity, yourself if I may say so, through doll making?
As many doll artists will attest, I have dabbled in everything from basket weaving to quilt making. But, thanks to my grandmother, I also love dolls. Around 2003, I had seen an article about Akira Blount in Art Doll Quarterly magazine. Someone was offering a workshop where she would be teaching and I went. It was an eye-opener for me. In one genre, you are the designer, the painter, the sculptor, and the seamstress. I could apply any of the ‘crafts’ I had honed – onto the doll.
No. 3) What inspires you?
I am inspired by a lot of things. Color, fabric, design, music, books, paintings, sculpture. And fashion, as in Alexander McQueen. Every one of his designs would make a fabulous doll!
No. 4) When you are creating, where does it take you? Where does your mind travel?
When I am physically creating the piece – not the sketching and designing – I am lost in it. I don’t think about anything else. It is a process. As the doll starts to reveal itself, some things may change. A fabric or trim that you had selected somehow doesn’t work. So you play. A face paint is wrong so the head is tossed and replaced. Or sometimes, everything just falls into place and you just sit back and admire what you just did.
No. 5) Do you feel music, art and health are related and if so, how?
I definitely believe that music, art and health are related. Both allow a freedom from the stresses of everyday life. Getting lost in creating a doll may not show much at the outcome, but being able to shut out the outside world for several hours does. It is rewarding to solve the problems of taking a sketch to a three dimensional piece. Just like music can ‘take you away’, so does creating art.
No. 6) Your dolls tell a story, express emotion, do you identify with the subject and if so, on what level?
Sometimes I identify with the name of a piece. But I often don’t name them until after they are finished. I think all doll makers see themselves in their dolls. For example, I have blonde hair and green eyes. Consequently, I have a tendency to use light hair and green-eyes. I love fashion and I try to make beautiful clothing. And I don’t like conflict, so I think my dolls evoke my inner desire of peacefulness.
No. 7) How do you feel when you are working on your characters?
If things are going smoothly, working on a doll can get your adrenaline going. It is exciting to see it come to life. If things aren’t going so smoothly, it’s like sitting in rush hour traffic. The engine is running but you’re not getting anywhere. I try to just walk away for awhile.
No. 8 ) Does your work help you connect with your “higher self” whatever that is for you?
When I am creating for myself – and just letting the ‘spirit’ guide me, the results are much richer. I can see a difference, if no one else can. ‘elusive butterfly’ is one of those pieces. From the moment I began making her, things fell into place. In my ‘perfect world’, there is peace, beauty, love and joy. This piece reflects all of those to me.
No. 9) How do you feel about creativity in the public school system?
I think it is critical to children to be able to express themselves with music, art, words, theater.
We lost a grandbaby to Sudden Infant Death in 2008. Her ‘older’ sister was 5 at the time. She is very artistic and was able to draw her feelings many times during that period. One showed her Mom, Dad, 2 brothers and herself standing on a line. There were trees, birds, clouds in the sky. Underneath the line was their baby sister.
In kindergarten, she was blessed to have a very impressive art teacher who nourished the kid’s talent. They ‘studied’ different artists and I am attaching one that Natalie painted in the style of Paul Klee at age 5. Her two brothers have the same desire to draw. It helps them express anger, sadness and happiness when the words just aren’t there yet.
I saw a t-shirt recently that says, “Earth without art is just Eh”. I so agree!
No. 10) In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?
The arts should be required K-12. Not an elective. And not dropped in lieu of sports to save money. There is nothing wrong with competitive sports, but it only helps those who are good enough to compete. Music, art, theater and creative writing should be a part of the regular curriculum, even if it is divided into four sessions during the year.
No. 11) What are you hoping to convey through your art?
I want my pieces to convey peace, beauty, love and joy……my perfect world.
Cindee, thank you for sharing with us so generously, your thoughts and feelings about your art. You’ve taken us on a wonderful journey and touched that part of us that we so often neglect. I do hope we can work together again in the future. Until then, best of luck in all your endeavours, keep well and be blessed!
TO THE READER :
You are cordially invited to visit Cindee’s links below, to see more of her fabulous work. Your comments are always appreciated, thank you so much. Enjoy!
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