Tuesday, 19 October 2010

show & tell - tiel seivl-keevers


Though I'd long admired Tiel Seivl-Keever's design work which I'd seen in my online travels I only discovered her blog and fine art quite recently by following a link one day from Geninne's Art Blog.

Discovering Tiel's work was a wonderful surprise, I was immediately attracted to her sense of design, her wonderful colour palette and her beautiful photography. Soon after I fell in love with a small painting of hers and (after just a short while stalking it!) I bought it. I'm so glad that I did, it lives on my mantlepiece and makes me smile every time I pass.

Like many of us Tiel is a juggler trying to fit her creative life around her family and work life and she's very honest about the struggle. I love all her answers to the Show & Tell questions and there were some real moments of identification for me - her method of organisation, which sounds a lot like mine, and the revelation of where she takes her photos. Not on the kitchen bench, like me, but close!

Some of you will know Tiel's work well, I know you'll enjoy this look into her life and work. Some of you will know her ABCme and illustration work but like me are new to her painting. I hope that for some others her blog and art will be a wonderful surprise! As always I wish I could post more of it here, her work is so diverse, so do follow the links to see more. And have a look over at her Etsy shop where she's having a sale.

Don't forget to join my GIVEAWAY while you're here, thanks for all the lovely comments left so far, they helped me survive a particularly stressful day yesterday with assorted email troubles and my Dad in the hospital. (He's better now.)

Tiel Seivl-Keevers
Brisbane, Australia

website (abcme and illustration work)

1. Why blog? How did you start?
I started blogging in 2006. I think the first blog that I became aware of, and liked, was hop skip jump. One click here, and another there and before I knew it I realized that there were like-minded people writing about all this cool stuff and making beautiful things. The process of keeping a blog has helped keep me sane I think. It’s a little like a visual diary online.

2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
Self taught and trained. I have a fine arts degree and majored in printmaking. Somewhere between then and now I stumbled into graphic design, did a few courses here and there, and taught design and arts at universities and TAFES. I’m very keen to do some kind of practical arts related course again.

3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
Kitchen table, dining room table, verandah table, studio and any given wall and floor space available. I have a very understanding family. I take photos of my work in the bathroom, so even that has my stuff in it.


4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
 tsk tsk. My initials. Surprisingly it can take people a long time to work that out.

5. Favourite medium to work in?
Ink. Paper. Wood. That’s three… I could list more.

6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I would love to work with ceramics. I use my sewing machine and fabrics a lot too and really want to explore these areas more.

7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Somewhere in between. I’m a piler... but I like to think that the piles are extremely organised. It is hard working from home sometimes and having the socks and undies pile next to the bills, next to the works on paper.


8. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own? 
That’s too hard. I once did a swap with Geninne Zlatkis. I gave her a painting and she gave me a beautiful porcelain mobile (above). I think I have a soft spot of ceramics… mostly because I just haven’t attempted anything like that.

9. Favourite food?
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Love Japanese food. My mother in law’s homemade gnocchi. There is no recipe... it’s all about the spuds and how it feels in your hands… I’m still mastering it after 19 years. Black tea, freshly squeezed juice and Champagne… not all at once.

10. Favourite colour?
Depends on the day and mood I’m in, or the season. I’m drawn to muted, earthy colours. Hate bright loud colours.

11. Star sign?
Taurus. And an Ox in the Chinese horoscope. And I have to say I’m really stubborn and like to plod along.

12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
The Australian countryside really offers a diverse range of elements that I find really inspiring. I’m very keen to go to Tasmania at the moment. I’m drawn to rainforests and mountains more than say the beach. Italy is so beautiful. My children have Italian heritage so I’d like to pack it all in and live there for awhile.

13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
No. But if someone has any, please tell me. Perhaps it is about keeping the balance between them all... it is the bane of my life right now trying to keep my mind happy, my heart and the rest of the family happy too. I’m getting better at accepting that there are days, even weeks, where I won’t achieve my goals, because life offers disruptions that can’t be ignored.

14. Favourite artists?
It is always changing. We have some original paintings from Becky Blair and Rosetta Santucci. Current mix of favs include, Emily Barletta. Maxine Sutton, Marian Bijlenga, Julie Paterson, Emma Walker. Also love jewellery designers Nervous System and Ari Athans.

15. Favourite blog post?
I’ve never thought about a favourite post... sometimes I’m tempted to delete some posts. But I stop only because it really is a record of my days. One day I’ll be glad to look back at them and remember things I’ve forgotten.

16. Three words to describe you?
QUIET (but not shy). DETERMINED. HONEST ( I despise fake personalities).

17. What do you like to do besides creating?
I love cooking. Hate baking. Enjoy eating out. Seeing live music. Playing card games with the kids.


  1. got all distracted by the giveaway bit but this looks simply stunning...must remember to come back and read it properly when i have a little more time. thanks for introducing me to so many incredibly creative and inspirational people in this series.

  2. thank you so much for liking my work susie and the time you have taken to compile this.

  3. Wow! What a wonderful and inspiring show and teller. I think I've scrolled up and down looking at the photos about eight or nine times so far. Thanks so much for introducing us to Tiel's work Susie, I'm off to check out her blog now.

  4. Her work is quite light & lively, eh?

  5. Such beautiful work and photos. I admire honesty in people too. Off to check out her blog too.



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