Susan Shorter

“Paint what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy, someone else is bound to like it, too.”

Those powerful words helped inspire Susan Shorter to stop struggling to please her professors and follow her passion of creating fantasy art, art that tells a story or makes you wonder about the character/story behind the piece. “Some might find it cliché to want to paint fairies and mermaids, but it makes me happy. I love to create beautiful, colorful things that can take me to another place, and at the end of the day, I’m pleased with that. I love to play with color and lighting, and I just love to work from the human form. Lately, I have been drawn to drawing elderly people; there is so much story etched in the wrinkle patterns on their faces.”

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Susan is no stranger to the world of art. Her mom put her in her first gallery show when she was only three years old and she won the children’s competition (and she still has the tiny award). After that, she never stopped drawing. In high school, Susan started driving up to Indianapolis to take Saturday courses at Herron. After high school, she moved on to enroll in Ball State’s art program, but after three semesters, she transferred to The Herron School of Art. She received her BFA from Herron in 2004.

Susan recently wrapped up a show in August at the Harrison Center for the Arts. They had raw paintings and drawings she created for her book “Incredible Pebbles” on display. She also has work for sale at Blue Moon Gifts in Brazil, IN. Coming up in November, Susan will be showing in the Flashlight Gallery at the Waldron Center in Bloomington, IN. Working on her fantasy art and fine art painting that she loves isn’t her full-time job, although she has a small studio at home where she can work on these things. During the day, she is a staff illustrator for Author Solutions in Bloomington, IN, primarily working on children’s book illustrations, of which she’s done over 250 so far. She also creates paintings and custom artwork for the covers of novels the company publishes. As if that isn’t enough, Susan has written and illustrated two children’s books of her own, titled “It’s a Muddy World” and “Incredible Pebbles.”

This isn’t Susan’s first time showing her work at ORANJE, but the last time she was a participant was 2006. “In 2006, I was a recent grad and totally green to the world of showing your art. It was an amazing experience! I was so grateful to be a part of this amazing group of artists and a part of an event that was such a powerful display of creativity, it was an education, a confidence-builder and I still have the friends and fans I made that night in my life.”

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At her booth, you can expect to see a wide variety of Susan’s pieces, ranging from large fantasy paintings, figurative drawings and abstract art to signed copies of her children’s books. She’ll have both originals and prints available and will be doing quick, sketchy 10-minute portraits for $10. So what is she excited for about ORANJE 2013? “Variety, creativity, excitement and just a good ole’ time! I know a few of the artists involved and there is so much awesomeness in store for the people that are coming!”

Don’t miss out on seeing Susan Shorter on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Artist Spotlight: Kristen Neufelder

Artist Kristen Neufelder officially began her life as an artist back in elementary school, perfecting how to draw cats with pupil-less eyes and horses with backs so elongated that 20 people could fit comfortably on their backs. Equipped with her Ranger Rick magazines and How To Draw Horses books, she began to develop her animal drawing skills. Throughout middle and high school, she began to further broaden her skills and grew her subject base to include human figures and landscapes. By the end of high school, she had discovered a love of oil painting, committing herself to pursue that passion in college.

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After two years in art school working towards a Bachelors in painting, she began to get burnt out and craved using the non-creative side of her brain. Eventually, Kristen changed her major to psychology and took a break from all artistic pursuits. After a two year “artistic drought,” she began to refocus on painting as a hobby. She experimented with subjects and styles that had real meaning to her, and it was then that her artistic style emerged.

Today, Kristen has expanded her painting business to include design, photography and videography. She owns a business called enCompass Studio doing everything from wedding photography to senior videos to website design along with oil painting. She is also currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. “I enjoy the balance of pursuing my creative passions along with my passion for helping others,” she said.

Kristen’s oil paintings are comprised of layers and layers of paint that have been splattered and dripped onto canvas utilizing a variety of techniques. The background is then filled with animal images, her favorites being wolves and lions. These more detailed animal images are painted in a transparent manner, allowing the background paint layers to still show through. Some paintings are finished off with a mountainous or forested landscape painted in this same transparent manner.

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You can tell from looking at Kristen’s work that she is inspired by western motifs and color schemes, finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture. “I’ve grown up fascinated with Native American culture and spirituality, and it’s always guided me along in the creative process. A lot of my symbolism and themes relate back to Native American influence. Along with finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture, I love horoscopes, zodiac signs, constellations and star charts. Cave art, in all its simplicity and beauty, has always spoken to me on an artistic level. I love stories, storytelling, symbolism and finding meaning in the mundane, and that’s the direction the inspiration for my paintings have been taking me in lately.”

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ORANJE will be a new experience for Kristen, who has been involved in two RAW: Natural Born Artists showcases here in Indianapolis as well as various First Fridays at the Historic Irving Theater on Indy’s eastside. ”This is my first year at ORANJE and I’m honored to have been given this opportunity! I’m most excited to get to show off all my hard work to individuals who haven’t yet had a chance to check out my paintings. ORANJE is such an amazing opportunity to check out what local artists and musicians have been up to, that people should definitely come check it out.”

Make sure to check out Kristen’s booth, where she will have an interactive piece that will allow attendees a hands-on chance to get involved in what she does. “I would love for as many people to get to participate with it as possible!”

You can keep up with Kristen at her website, Facebook page and on Twitter. Stop by and see her on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Homeless Cop

If you watch Adult Swim, you might have already seen some work by Homeless Cop. This Indy artist by way of Chicago has created 11 animations that are now airing and a billboard that has its own time lapse video online.

Jason Fennell, the man behind Homeless Cop, is an oil painter that also dabbles with drawing, design work, t-shirt designs and making cartoons and music videos. Although he’s never been homeless or a cop, he put the two words together to create a memorable name and hopes to one day have a food truck to give away soup to the homeless and veterans.

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Originally from St. Louis, he has lived in Chicago for the last 12 years and recently moved to downtown Indy. He used to play drums in hip hop, funk and art metal bands, always making the flyers. Skateboard graphics and t-shirts caught his eye and he began making his own shirts, which led him to deciding to paint. “Actually, the movie Basquait was, and is, a big influence on me. I paint like I draw, and I make what I like, so that’s where I’m at today. Living the life and working at my art so when I’m dead it can live on around the world.”

His colorful and crispy creations have been featured at an art show in The Foundation Room at the House of Blues Chicago, and until recently has been in a downtown Chicago coffee shop called Dollop. Not to mention that some really cool guys such as Rainn Wilson, Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker and John C. Reilly all own work by Homeless Cop. “I live the life of an artist; I make art and I’m not concerned at all about paying my bills,” said Fennell. “Life isn’t hard. I do help out occasionally at my friend’s painting company because I’ve always liked painting and it’s cool to hang out with friends, listening to music and talking all day.”

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This will be Fennell’s first year as an ORANJE participant, and he promises to have a booth that kicks ass. “My art will be there doing it’s thing. I think it’s honest and it’s real, and I’m hoping it has a positive effect on people. I’ll probably have my cartoons and music videos playing on a loop. From what I can tell, ORANJE is going to be a great event with a lot of creative people, so I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m pretty sure I’ll have fun, ORANJE-style.”

You can keep up with Homeless Cop’s work on Facebook, Twitter and his website. Make sure to stop by his booth on October 12!

Caren Charles

Although Caren Charles has always appreciated the arts and enjoyed working with her hands, it wasn’t until about three or four years ago that she discovered her natural free-flow talent as an artist. Through this, she realized that her greatest dream is to become a successful artist.

Charles attended Indiana University, getting her BA in Fine Arts, where she developed fundamental skills in drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking and graphic design. Her current work is comprised of paintings, her favorites being made with ink, watercolor and acrylic paints. “I would describe my art as abstract, bright, positive and transcendent. Each painting is very detail-oriented with line work that is easy to get lost in. Sometimes I will have an idea of what the basic form will be in the end, but most of the time I like to let the painting reveal itself throughout the process.”

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Drawing inspiration from the natural flow of everyday life and the process of creation, Charles lets her subconscious take over, allowing her artistic intuition lead the way. “Growing as an artist is a process, where trying new things and taking risks is key. I want to continue to explore new media to keep things fresh and incorporate more messages behind my artwork. We, as artists, have the ability to share our ideas through our craft and make statements that will be remembered forever, so it is important to take advantage of that gift.”

Charles works on her art full-time in Carmel, also working on freelance graphic design projects for clients who need logo designs, show posters, album covers and more. She has also recently started working at a custom frame shop by the Design Center in downtown Carmel. Charles had her first art show in downtown Indianapolis in April, and since then has been bringing her art to several art and music festivals such as Good People Good Times Festival in Nashville, IN. She also travels with funk/rock band The Main Squeeze, sharing her art at their shows across the country.

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This will be Charles’ first year participating in ORANJE. Her paintings are mood-lifting, lively, energetic, soothing and therapeutic. Eyes are incorporated everywhere throughout her collection, giving a living quality to her creations. Several of them have no set orientation, so when rotated, each view presents a new, unique way of looking at it. For example, in her painting titled “Imagine,” you can discover many hidden faces, animals, plants and not to mention the word “imagine” incorporated in the design. Her intention was to get the viewers’ creative juices going and invite them to let their imagination flow when interpreting the pieces.

 

So what is Charles looking forward to during her first ORANJE? “I’m excited to share my art with as many people as possible! Seeing the originals in person versus images online is a completely different experience. I love showing people all of the hidden things they can find in my paintings and seeing people’s reaction to the art. I will also most likely be body painting people, so everyone should definitely come by and visit me!”

You can find her on Etsy and Facebook, and make sure to stop by her booth on October 12!

 

Stella Brickel

You could say that art is simply in Stella Brickel’s blood, and that she can’t survive without it.

Coming from a family that shares a passion for art, design and fashion (her father is a wood worker and artist), Brickel has always loved to draw. With plans to go to school for art, her life took a different direction as she focused on a General Studies degree, worked full-time and served in the Army Reserves. She eventually started working as the Coordinator of Staff and Environmental Development at Outside the Box, an organization that provides day, employment and art services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was at this time that her creativity really picked up.

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Brickel met Lauren Church and Kate Wagner (former ORANJE participant) at the art studio at Outside the Box and fell in love with everything they were doing, so she picked up a paintbrush and started painting. With no former painting experience, Wagner and Church gave her pointers and tips to help Brickel develop her art and technique. Ever since then, Brickel hasn’t stopped creating. “I don’t feel like a whole person if I don’t draw, paint or do something creative,” she said.

Brickel’s artwork can’t be put into a box or specific genre, and she doesn’t use specific techniques or materials. But if there’s one word to describe what she does, it’s funky!  ”I really enjoy painting, creating jewelry and drawing. My paintings are vibrant and playful; I love colors…bright colors! I do like to incorporate texture into most of my pieces, but some have none. I use collage from time to time as well. All of my most recent drawings are created with black ink and are sort of doodles. I also create wearable art from recycled paper products and other materials…some old, some new.”

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Brickel’s jewelry (starting at $25) has been shown at the Chicago open air artisan market early this Spring. Although she has an Etsy site, she’s somewhat computer-challenged so she shows her pieces in her home or others’ homes. ORANJE will be her first “official” art show. “I have been to ORANJE as an observer and it was so cool. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be on the other side of things. The event is so alive and the place is teeming with talent. If you have not ever been exposed to art, this is a great first event to attend because it has such a fun, party-time atmosphere. People should come to my booth because I am totally new to the scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am planning a pretty kick-ass display as well!”

Come look for Brickel’s booth on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Mike Altman

It’s hard to believe that someone who has had clients such as Nickelodeon, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, TV Guide, Denny’s and AT&T goes dumpster diving for spare cardboard for his work, but it’s all part of what makes Mike Altman and his colorful, fun and wacky creations so unique.

A full-time artist and ORANJE veteran, Altman uses simple line work and bright, bold colors to illustrate pieces that are complex, laced with symbolism, satire, spirituality and double-meaning, and sometimes as simple as a blue dog. Now in his fifth year as an ORANJE participant, he has used the event as a yearly release of new works. One of Altman’s latest projects has been collaborating with Flat 12 to do work on their labels. Whether you see his work above someone’s sofa or on a bottle of beer, his distinct style is hard to miss.

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Working from his studio that is cluttered with inspirational items that has been described as a museum meets Pee Wee Herman’s set, Altman works with a variety of materials to complete his work. Some are on cardboard, some are on canvas; some use pencil while others use watercolor. With ideas brewing all the time, his work has been shown all over the place, from Jacksonville, Florida to Nashville, TN.

So why does Altman continue coming back to ORANJE year after year? “I consider ORANJE the unveiling show for my work in Indianapolis…and there are always tons of friends and fellow artists to chill with. It is the premiere event for art and music in Indy…people have a great time and art is available, my art especially (haha)!”

541123_10151076077714331_1581723072_nYou can keep up with Mike Altman at his website, and make sure to stop by his booth on October 12! You can find his work in Indianapolis in December at Upland’s Propaganda Room in the Murphy Building and also a Henry’s on East.

Jason Rowland

A self-taught artist from Winona Lake, Indiana, Jason Rowland has been creating art all of his life but started showing his pop art style pieces professionally only a few years ago. In those years, he showed his work locally, nationally and internationally from Fort Wayne to New York to Italy and Spain.

Poppy and colorful, Jason Rowland’s pieces are made primarily with hand-drawn hand-cut multilayer stencils and spray paint on canvas, metal and wood. His method is similar to screen printing, but in a less traditional way. Rowland puts his heart and sou into his work, making pieces that he likes and would want on his walls. “Something that makes me smile and if someone else likes it and wants it in their home, that is just a bonus,” said Rowland. “I guess that comes off as kind of self-serving but I think making stuff for other people or to fit into a certain movement or scene is just going through the motions and not being sincere.”

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Recently, Rowland has branched out to try his hand at more traditional, fine art; drawings and papercut pieces done in a somber tone. So where does he get his inspiration? Anything from grocery store shelves to his kids and his own childhood. “A lot comes from stuff I was into as a child; horror/sci-fi movies, comics, skateboarding, music and being outside. Just like every other 80′s kid I seem to be trying to collect and document all the things that made me happy at that time.”

Between having a full-time job, being a father and husband, and life in general, Rowland doesn’t always get the hours he wants to spend on a piece, but when he does, it’s genius. He works out of his home’s basement and has a studio set up in the dining room, which is made complete with the chaos of artwork, tool, materials, kids, dogs, toys and even a bearded dragon.  ”I am constantly collecting flat stuff to paint on and then leave it sitting out where I can see it and just wait for inspiration to strike. Sometimes it takes a while…I have a very messy work area. I like a lot of noise while I work, when it gets calm and quiet, I get bored.”

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This will be Rowland’s fourth year as an artist in ORANJE, with pieces ranging from $100-$500. “Every year has been great and very successful. I look forward to it and would still go even if I was not accepted, just because it is so much fun. I’m excited to show Indy what I have been working on since the last ORANJE. I have a ton of skate decks that I painted, papercuts, drawings and bunch of other surprises!”

You can keep up with Jason on Facebook, Etsy and his website before ORANJE on October 12.

Iggy Arana

You might have seen his booth last year at ORANJE, where people were standing around in 3D movie glasses staring at colorful pieces. And while his art is colorful, vibrant and fun on its own, when you put on a pair of glasses, it transforms.

Third year ORANJE veteran artist Iggy Arana didn’t always plan on making art that has a 3D effect, it just happened. “I use acrylic paints, watered down and layered on wood or canvas, and I go back later and do ink work to really bring out the layers,” said Arana. “I didn’t do it on purpose, but the layered colors gives the work a 3D effect when viewed with the right glasses.”

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What started as a hobby of making Mother’s Day and birthday cards as a kid turned into a lifelong journey in the world of art. Arana started using water colors as a child when making cards, and still does on occasion for his nieces and nephews. As a new dad, he plans on continuing this tradition with his daughter Ava Elysse. Although he never went to school for art, his passion drove him to find and refine his technique. “I have a degree in Philosophy. Education is important, but knowledge is out there if you hunt it down and really want to learn.”

Taking inspiration from everything all around him, it seems like Arana is especially touched by nature, citing the flight of a butterfly, the crawl of a worm after a long rain and thunderstorms as being muses for his work. He quoted American painter and photographer Chuck Close for saying “inspiration is for amateurs, sometimes you just have to get to work,” telling us that when you really love to paint, inspiration can be anywhere and everywhere.

Currently, Arana has pieces hanging at the Upland Tasting Room in Broad Ripple and at The Funkyard in Fountain Square which start at $20. Although he works at Allstate as a Liability Determination Adjuster during the day, he loves painting in his home studio (which he welcomes visitors into). “I would love to see my work on surfboards, snowboards or skateboards,” said Arana. “I’d love to do album covers for the right band. I know I’ll be painting for the rest of my life, and it seems like everyday I have different ideas of how to express myself.”

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Don’t worry about bringing your own 3D glasses to ORANJE this year, Iggy will have plenty at his booth for you. “ORANJE is a truly unique and eclectic gathering of some of the most talented up-and-coming artists and musicians in Indiana. I remember first telling my friends or coworkers about ORANJE and seeing their hesitation…until they showed up and had a great time. I think what excites me the most about it is that ORANJE creates an environment that truly is about the music and the art. There are folks there with suits on, and people there in jeans and t-shirt, and everyone fits in. It’s amazing to experience it.”

You can keep up with Iggy Arana on Facebook or on his website.