At the moment the art that Janis Guthy is making is all a part of a big project, a novel.
Her exhibition, Lillydom, at the Tidemark this summer consists of hand made couture costumes, props, back drops and the photo art that each of the items was designed for. The characters in each of the photos are characters in the world that Guthy is planning to write.
Though she doesn’t have time to sit down in front of a computer at the moment, Guthy has a plan and she hopes to have the time to write in 2018. But instead of putting the project on the side burner, Guthy is working with the world and bringing the characters to life by designing their clothes and creating photo art.
“What I am doing is, since I don’t have time to write the book right now, I am writing the book in one way, through the photographs that I take so that will set up for when the book is written,” she said.
Guthy has been experimenting with multiple mediums since she was a child.
“My mom used to cut things out of the newspaper, little caricatures, and I used to bring them to camp and draw them out,” said Guthy.
All through grade school she sketched. In high school she began making 3-D characters with paper mache.
Though she wanted to go to art school after graduating, she decided she didn’t want to be a poor starving artist so she studied to be a chiropractor, promising herself that she would one day go back and study art.
After a few years of putting art on the back burner to raise a family and work as a chiropractor, Guthy moved to Campbell River, opened a practice and took the Emily Carr arts program at North Island College. She graduated in 2012.
Guthy said she isn’t so much inspired as the ideas come through her.
“When I look at things I don’t see what everyone else sees, I see something different, shapes and patterns and lines,” she said. She thinks she sees the world differently for three reasons.
First, it is in her DNA. Both her mother and her grandmother were artists. Second, she was brought up exploring the outdoors and using her imagination to keep herself entertained, and third, she learned different perspectives by travelling and witnessing the sites as well as the different kinds of relationships between people. Guthy’s photo art looks like a painting.
Though she does paint using a brush, her current paintings are done entirely with a camera and a photo editing program.
The goal, in 2019, is to release the book, with a book trailer, as well as have a full collection of the costumes and props and photos of the characters.