"Inspiring Artists!" Carmen Torbus

Welcome to the first edition of “Inspiring Artists!” I am so excited to be beginning this new series and thrilled to start it off with such an inspirational artist! Meet Mixed Media Artist, Carmen Torbus…

I would like to start with you as my first “Inspirational Artist,” since you are the one who gave me the idea for the series. The first time I ever visited your personal website I was amazed. It overflows with so much creative and inspirational goodness: your vibrant mixed media collages, online workshops, personal blog, artistic links, and of course the “Inspiring Minds Want to Know” interviews.

Please introduce yourself and your art a little bit.

Thank you so much Jeniffer! I’m honored to be your first interviewee!! I’ve always been passionate about encouraging and inspiring people and a few years ago, I picked up a paint brush and realized that art was a natural way for me to connect with others. It’s been a whirlwind and so exciting to go from drooling over magazines like Artful Blogging and Somerset Studios, to being featured in them.

Where can people find you and your work?

The easiest way to find and connect with me is through my website, www.carmentorbus.com or by taking one of my workshops. There are links to all of my social networks, my etsy shop, my workshops, my gallery and a “contact” page where you can email me.

web: http://www.carmentorbus.com
etsy shop: http://torbusco.etsy.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/carmentorbus
facebook: http://facebook.com/carmentorbus
facebook fan page: http://tinyurl.com/fbfanct

Finish this thought: For me art is…

an awesome way to communicate, connect and allow myself to be me.

What are you working on right now?

So much! I’m pursing creativity full time now, so I’m constantly working on ideas and ways I can turn my passion into a successful career. I’m putting together some new workshops, both online and locally. I’m writing my first book. And I’m also dreaming up something really big and working with someone that I admire and respect deeply to make my dream a reality… I can’t wait to be able to shout it from the rooftops!

You have mentioned an upcoming book. How exciting! Can you tell us a bit of what to expect and about your process with it?

Yes! It’s a book about finding your personal style as an artist. It’s called The Artist Unique: Discovering Your Creative Signature Through Inspiration and Techniques and it is full of techniques from contributing artists with a distinct style and exercises & worksheets to get your creative juices flowing! I went to Cincinnati for the photoshoot in April and it was amazing to be able to see bits and pieces of the book coming together. I love the idea of equipping people with tools to find their way. There are no projects in the book where the reader will follow instructions to create something that looks just like what is in the book. Instead, there are techniques to try and suggested ways to try them. It’s really about exploring the possibilities and getting excited about what makes your creative heart sing!

You have described yourself as a cheerleader. What does that mean to you?

It’s who I am. It’s what I do. I love cheering for people. I love encouraging people to follow their dreams, their bliss, their heart’s desires. I think people, especially women, need a support squad full of people that believe in them. I believe in the creative process. I believe in dreaming really, crazy big dreams. And when that all comes together, I can’t help but bust out with encouraging banter and cheer for them! There is nothing I love more than to hear someone say, “I’m so inspired right now!” and if there is anything I can do to help make that happen, I’m all over it!

I love that you are committed to helping inspire and support others! Who has inspired you?

People who are inspired and are following their dreams & speaking candidly about it fire me up and touch my heart. Different people have inspired me over the years. My high school band teacher, Suellyn Stenger, took a group of us to a leadership workshop where there was a motivational speaker. I left that day wanting to be a motivational speaker myself. It’s funny because there is a group on Facebook called, “Suellyn Stenger Inspired Me”, so I know I’m not the only one she had that effect on!

There are so many artists that inspire me over and over again. There is no way I could name them all, but I will say that several of them are contributing to my book and I’m so honored to be working with them! And books… I love books, especially audio books. Before I escaped the corporate world, my commute was 2 hours a day and I often spent that time listening to books. A few of my favorites are The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Those three are must reads!

Being an artist often means having to create your own path. What helps give you the motivation and strength to follow through with your creative ideas?

I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t motivated to do so. I don’t think creativity needs to be a struggle. If it is, try something different. I love having paint on my fingers and a messy desk full of paint bottles, papers and canvas, with brushes and markers and pencils everywhere. I get excited just sitting there looking at it, just like I get excited walking into a craft store or book store. I love it.

Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?

Just begin. I wrote a blog post a few years ago when I was struggling a bit. I almost didn’t post it, but I’m glad I did. It was published in Artful Blogging last November and I’ve received so many emails from people that read it and connected with it. I’d like to share it here. I think it answers this question well: http://www.carmentorbus.com/blog/2008/12/3/feeling-tender-and-vulnerable.html.

Awesome!!! Carmen, thank you for the great tips and for sharing with us. What a perfect way to get this interview series started!

“Inspiring Artists!” will be an ongoing series. It will run as long as there are inspiring artists out there wanting to share their stories. If you are an artist and would like to participate please contact me at jhutchins@joyfulartsstudio.com. I would love to hear from you!!


  1. Barbara Hutchins
    May 31, 2010

    Great interview! Thoughtful questions and honest, inspiring answers. I know I am going to love this blog & look forward to Monday for new inspiration! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. Laura Tetreault
    May 31, 2010

    I love this interview! I’m definitely going to check out her website, and the book when it comes out. The whole interview inspired me, but this is my favorite part: “I don’t think creativity needs to be a struggle. If it is, try something different.” I think that the most important thing is being excited about the work you are doing!

  3. Judy T
    May 31, 2010

    Nice start to a great new series. Really love the interview, makes me want to go out and start a new project. I’ll be checking Carmen’s website for some ideas and will be looking for her new book. Thanks for doing this and can’t wait to see what’s coming up.

  4. Nancy Lefko
    June 1, 2010

    wonderful interview…Carmen’s work is beautiful, and yes, inspiring and it is always great fun to learn more about what makes an artist ‘tick.’

  5. Judi Combs
    June 1, 2010

    Your work is Fabulous! I love the collages; design & color! If you ever get to sunny Arizona, I would love to have you consider exhibiting at our EXPO – I would like to see more of your work.

    Kind Regards,

    Judi, Founder & CEO of:

  6. Cheryl
    June 7, 2010

    Great job. Reading all this stuff makes me want to get all messy and start painting. Maybe I’ll paint Abby’s room with all kinds of colors and designs. She’ll like that.


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