Tell us a brief introduction about yourself.
Hello, my name is Marilou Cadiz Marshall. I was born in the Philippines and came to Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1974 and has been my home ever since. Though I am quite Canadian, there’s still much of the filipino heritage I still treasure.
Who or what is your biggest creative influence?
My art teachers in high school, I was quite involved in art especially in my final year of high school then applied at a local college and after graduation, started my graphics art career. Today, I would say Instagram and all the lovely fellow artists I have met the past couple of years. Creating a daily practice has kept me on my toes creatively.
Just recently I have launched a line of Bespoke Postage Stamps & Calendar Dates Digital Downloads and building other products that will complement this line.
When and how did you get your start in your craft? What drew you to it in the first place?
I’ve been an artist as far back as I can remember (starting in Kindergarten!) There was something about making art that drew me as a child and I have been artsy all my life in one form or another. For me I truly believe I was born with a longing for creativeness and it’s what drives me even today.
The most I’m proud of is launching my Bespoke Postage Stamps because of my followers’ interest in my artwork.
What are your other interests outside of crafting?
Cooking, baking, gardening, love to read novels, especially before bed so I can wind down and relax.
What is the project you are most proud of? Who or what is your inspiration behind it?
I took on 4, 30-day challenges this past 2019 & most recently #The100DayProject in 2020. The most I’m proud of is launching my Bespoke Postage Stamps because of my followers’ interest in my artwork. It was quite organic really and unplanned!
What are you currently working on?
I am currently designing other Bespoke Postage Stamp designs, complimentary products to this line using pressed flowers! I am so excited!
How do you decide on your next project?
It’s what calls to me or what gets me really excited. When I feel butterflies in my stomach it’s my cue that this is what I should do next.
What are the most common challenges you face when you create?
I have so many interests and supplies, sometimes it can be overwhelming. When I get overly visually stimulated, at times it can leave me exhausted. I have to keep myself balanced, creating and designing takes a lot of energy and I constantly have to recharge by eating properly and exercising. I have to constantly listen to the rhythm in my body, energy level and set priorities according to those challenges.
How do you overcome these challenges?
I try to stay organized and make lots of lists. My family is my first and foremost priority so I make sure the home is in order before I start creating. When I am tired, I rest.
What is the one thing you need to start your day?
Light a candle, it centers the start of my day. I have a routine which includes prayer and quiet time in the morning before I start my day.
What is a typical day like for you?
post in Instagram first thing in the morning. Eat breakfast, make a list for the day, say my morning prayers, check laundry or dishwasher, see what I need to make for dinner, then create. There’s errands and exercise too. I also try to take Nova, our dog for a walk.
What are your studio must-haves or favorite supply?
FW Acrylic inks, Derwent Inktense, Daniel Smith & Wildthorne watercolours, alcohol inks, Stabilo (Aquarelle) black Marks All , too many to count really!
How do you find time to get creative? What do you need to give up in order to find time for your craft?
I make time, it’s a priority for me. I can say I do have a daily creative practice that feeds me. I value my time and there’s so much I want to accomplish in my day so I really try to stay organized and I have learned to say no to things or negative people. I’m constantly evaluating things and situations that are good for me and stick to those.
What habits do you think have helped you with your creativity?
I’m curious, I’m eager to learn. I believe I’m a life-long learner. I just want to know that I can do a certain technique or acquired skill. Sometimes it’s good , sometimes it can be exhausting.
How long does it take you to create and finish your project?
I’m pretty impatient, I need instant gratification. I usually finish a piece of art in one day. I don’t tend to work on something over a few days, I think that’s why I am drawn to watercolours, acrylics and art journaling. It’s quick and fast and I can get results pretty quick.
Can you share your process?
In an art journal page I first decide which journal to use (I have so many and they are different styles), then collect images I want to work with, sticking to a limited colour palette of 4 colours, I then get my supplies which reflect those colours. I start with a background and I begin layering. I usually like to include some kind of line drawing and mark making for interest. I find this really enjoyable.
How and where do you source your materials?
Art materials are sourced at local art stores, Amazon, even Michael’s. Art journaling supplies through Instagram. I’m finding that most art journaling products need to be ordered online. Luckily now I am starting to design my own line. I really design for myself and I hope my followers like what I do or make!
What is your favorite paint medium?
Daniel Smith & Wildthorne watercolours, FW acrylic inks and Stabilo Black Water Soluble pencil, it’s amazing actually!
Any tips or tricks you have learned recently that you would like to share?
Use Derwent Inktense pencils wet rather than dry, it’s so much more beautiful.
Do you have any random household material or a found, unexpected object that you were able to use in your art?
Cheesecloth in collages.
How do you stay inspired?
I’m constantly taking online classes and posting on Instagram daily. Seek out other artists and art journalers who are passionate about making art and stay active in this community by sharing and getting to know other Instagrammers. I am a current member of #a3atcswapgroup hosted by Amy’s Art Alchemy. I am also loving the penpal exchange, snail mail revolution. It’s so fun!
How do you get better at your craft?
By creating daily, there’s just no way to get better than by putting in the time. You also develop your own style by just doing it everyday!
Are there any traits you wish to improve upon when it comes to creating?
I just would like to be the best artist I can possibly be by just trying and discovering new techniques. Be brave! Stay curious!
What’s your favorite part of doing your craft?
Using the different supplies that I have on hand. I love my art supplies, I love seeing what they do, how they behave on paper or whatever substrate. I love coming up with beautiful muted palettes. I love it when it all comes together in a pleasing composition.
Describe the space or studio where you create.
I work on our dining room table which is located in the brightest spot in our home. It’s a little challenging at meal time. But I manage to move stuff around and make it work. I would love to have my own studio sometime. It’s my dream! Recently I created a sweet spot in a corner of our bedroom as my INSPIRATION WALL. I have all my favourite artwork and other inspo there. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up and it makes my heart smile!
Wrap Up & Parting Words
What are you most thankful for?
I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to create everyday. I have been a stay at home mom or worked from home these past few years and it has given me the opportunity to create artful businesses and make art while at home. It’s been a wonderful journey and there’s still so much to learn. I’m hoping to in the next few months to develop online courses in art journaling & continue to develop my line of Digital Downloads to sell through IG then on ETSY under the name MCM.VOILA. That’s my next goal. I need to learn the technical end of things like video editing which takes time. But this will be my next challenge. I’m also thankful for my faith which gets me through some tough times and when I have self-doubt. I try to keep focused and practice self-care in times like these.
What are the 5 things you can never live without?
Art supplies, candles, books to read, good food and music!
What advice would you give to someone getting their start in your field?
Take some online classes in areas that interest you. See what you like first and don’t like. Don’t worry about having all the art supplies others have, it will come in time.
Where can people find you and/or your products online?
Find me on Instagram @mariloucadizmarshall
Please check my IGTV for new process videos and tutorials.
Are there any questions you wish I asked?
There’s a time and season for everything under the sun, if you can’t create art at the moment just stay in touch by being interested and follow other artists that inspire you.
All shall come in due time. Make art because you want to not because you feel you should.
It’s your journey, no one else’s. TREAD YOUR OWN PATH!