RD: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
SS: I’m a retired, self-taught artist who loves Zentangle®, watercolor, and art-journaling. While much of my time is spent caring for my mother, I’ve discovered a whole new world on the internet, where I can share my artistic passions, and gain inspiration from others.
Life Imitates Doodles blog: http://lifeimitatesdoodles.blogspot.com
RD: How and when did you first discover Rhodia products?
SS: I discovered Rhodia products from word-of-mouth on the internet. I read so many good reviews that I had to try one for myself. And then, of course, I couldn’t stop with just one.
RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia products?
SS: The Webnotebooks. The 8 ¼” x 5 ½” landscape Rhodia is my current favorite, because the orientation suits my tendency for drawing landscapes. I also love the Rhodiaramas, and want one of every shade. I get to use the fantastic Clairefontaine paper, and add a rainbow of color to the décor. What could be better?
The Rhodia N°16 pads are a close second. I like having a hardcover, but the pads are nice for travel, or when I know I’ll want to tear out a page.
RD: Do you always use the same product(s) or do you change periodically?
SS: I tend to change often. I find my artwork goes stale if I continue to use the same size, same orientation, same anything, for too long, so I switch around. The smallest things can make a difference. Even the color of the cover because it acts as border for the finished work.
RD: Do you use them in any way that is specific to your work?
SS: I use my Rhodias for many things – drawing, painting, notes, lists, and calligraphy. I don’t have a paying job these days, but I love reviewing and sharing my love of certain products with the readers of my blog.
I like to write reviews about art and journaling products, and I use my lined-format Rhodias to take notes. People often have to buy off the internet, so I try to think of what a person might do when they physically examine a product. I takes notes about the weight of the product, how it appeals to the eye, what it might be used for, and how it feels in your hand. I usually end up with two or three pages of notes.
I also use the dot-grid Webnotebooks to create step-outs for tangle patterns.
RD: Does using Rhodia products make your job easier in any way? (Do quality tools make the job easier?)
SS: The dot grid definitely makes it easier to create step-outs. The Zentangle method calls for you to relax and draw your patterns without regard for straight lines, but the step-outs are meant to help people do that. A pattern is broken down into six steps or less, so people can see how it is done. The grids help me keep each step the same size and proportion as the last, while not cluttering up the space as a squared grid would do. I can work faster and create more cohesive step-outs.
RD: Pencil, pen, or other? Favorites?
SS: I use all sorts of media in my Rhodias – fountain pen, artist pen, brush pen, markers, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media – I think I’ve used almost everything. I do find that I come back to drawing with the fountain pen. There aren’t many notebook papers that can handle the saturation I give it, so the Clairefontaine paper in a Rhodia is fantastic for that use.
Even though Rhodias aren’t really made for watercolor, I like the brightness of the colors and the way the texture of the paper changes, without pilling or severe warping.
RD: Where do you regularly purchase Rhodia products?
SS: I’m fortunate to live in Portland, Oregon where we have several good brick’n’mortar art stores, such as Columbia Art and Drafting Supplies, who carry the Rhodia line. Sometimes, I do have to buy online, but as often as not, I’ll be in one of these stores and see a new Rhodia product and buy it.
RD: Is there any way we could improve on your favorite product?
SS: I do like the ivory color in the current Rhodia, but sometimes it would be nice to have white paper, or even toned paper in different colors.