sobota, 20 sierpnia 2011


The Maestro and his Muse

A doorway. The Miraculous Gate. 
The Imaginarium.
The Circus of Consciousness.
More than a sophisticated Digital Wonderland.. or the Artbook of living the Imagination.
Two time travellers, wisemen, dream catchers.  
Powerful  charisma, mental ballet of artistic self expression

All images are the property of Duirwaigh Studios

© Angi Sullins & Silas Toball

There are magic places on Earth, the power points, where an eternal spirit lives in in the healing air, unique people or in the Art. 
Imagine. Breathe in the sun beams, feel the wind of hope, spread your wings, exhale joyfully the good vibrations. 

Focus. Wish for the future. Jump. 
Enjoy what you can imagine. Imagine to endure when you must. Believe. Contemplate. Radiate.

What if you were a mage - what would you wish for to happen? Go for it.

Angi Sullins & Silas Toball did it togehter, their magic Guild shines with an inner beauty.
Meet the Maestro and his Muse :)  

SILAS TOBALL, interview for KEIT 

Your life motto?

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death”. (from the movie “Auntie Mame”)

Tell us about You, your philosophy and experience in Visual arts

Angi and I are the creative master-minds behind Duirwaigh Studios. We create many projects synergistically as a duo like books, greeting cards, calendars and more. Aside from that Angi has turned her years as a muse into a thriving public speaking and writing career.

Recently our new book “Digital Art Wonderland” has been published. 
It showcases our work and is full of hands-on tutorials that explain step by step how the pieces of artwork were created. More about the book can be found here:

“The art of husband-and-wife team Angi Sullins and Silas Toball has been featured in several publications including Somerset Studio, Somerset Digital and Smashing Magazine. Angi and Silas are veterans in the digital art movement and their website ( and blogs have won numerous awards including Smashing Magazine’s Top Fifty Blog Designs, Pixelatic’s Top Stunning Websites, Blogosphere’s Top 45 Most Creative Blog Designs and Inspiredology’s Top Flourish Designs.”

Angi’s first book Doorways and Dreamfields: A True Fairy Tale has been published, and her inspirational articles and essays can be found on her blog on

Please, check also the new project: SPA FOR THE SOUL
Spa for the Soul is a sacred circle of creativity initiated and hosted by Angi Sullins. Our spa offers an online, ongoing, indulge-at-your-own-pace sanctuary for soul. Inspiration awaits you, and is available to you on your own schedule in the form of weekly videos, creativity prompts, thought-provoking discussions and all manner of muse-related resources. While Angi’s workshops and e-courses are intensives, offering the rocket fuel for a soul blast-off, the spa is a place for rejuvenation, offering the day-to-day sustenance to keep our souls aloft, orbiting our everyday lives.
more information and introduction video is here:

the most enchanting style  

for the most charming stories to tell

Duirwaigh - the name of Studio in New Mexico, created by Angi&Silas means a "doorway". 
Duirwaigh specializes in the three E's: enchantment, enlightenment, entertainment.

The Mage and his Muse

Both magically creative minded 

The high Quality of life in artistic style - husband-and-wife team Angi Sullins and Silas Toball

Indeed, both artists are the shining spirits in  darkness. 
Like the torches that light up a human mind. 

For how long have you been working professionally?

My first commercial projects started in 1989.

What creative mediums do you prefer the most and why?

I enjoy the technique of digital collage a lot. It gives me a lot of flexibility. With Angi I wrote a book on techniques about digital collaging in Photoshop: “Digital Art Wonderland”.

In the other interview for Imagekind Silas says about using manual collages created by Angi, which he scans and modify in Photoshop. He enjoys layering a lot and one of the most important ingredients is complex texturing.
"Having more than 100 layers in one photoshop file is pretty typical for me." - Silas says.

Your greatest inspirations come from…?

My greatest inspiration comes from dreams, the incredible gift of imagination and the knowing that we are as eternal as we are infinite beings and thus on a continuous journey of wonder. 
In this eternity we never get things “wrong” because we never get them “done”.
This is both inspiration for new endeavors and relief when things don’t always turn out the way it was wished for.

It is also most beneficial in my case to be married to a real muse.

The beautiful comments on your site must be a perfect picture describing Angi:
"Once upon a time, somewhere north of the 1960’s and south of the Mason-Dixon, The Muse decided to reincarnate itself into the life of Angi Sullins. Angi is without doubt the modern incarnation of the Muse. 
And I’m not talking about a muse, I’m talking about The Muse...if you’re willing to burn in the pure fires of inspiration, then at all costs, listen with every fiber of your heart and soul to this message from The Muse."
Tim Campbell, publisher, Amber Lotus Publishing, Portland, Oregon


Telling yourself it's too late
Waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love
Telling yourself "it's just my ego" whenever you yearn for a more creative life
Insisting that creativity is a luxury 
Arguing for your limitations
Trying to improve yourself or "fix" something in you that's broken
Procrastinating your dreams
Listening to self doubt


Harnessing your present power
Living your Once Upon a Time, here and now
Replacing longing with belonging
Embodying your creativity energy
Declaring & actualizing your possibilities
Allowing your dreams to take flight
Celebrating who you are & what you love
Listening to your authentic self

The message from the Muse at Angi's blog presented above, has a lot in common with the quality management philosophy. These are some universal rights, life qualities emerging from behind the chaos. Self development towards conscious mind and creative soul might be the key.

How would you describe the visual quality of our surroundings?

The visual quality of my surroundings? If you mean this literally then I would have to say that here in Taos, New Mexico I have an extremely beautiful view of the mountains and spectacular skies with dazzling light and colors. The house/studio in which I live is also very colorful and is certainly another artistic reflection. 

Angi recently made it on the cover of the print magazine “Where Women Create” because of the studio space we have that is so fun to be in.

Surfing through the colorful interiors of Duirwaigh, I imagine a powerful bohemian Guild lived by the good Energy :) A hideout any artist dreams of. 
Filled with the eternal spirit of joyful, conscious creativity. 
I wonder for how long have you been collecting all these stuff...

Duirwaigh Studios -
Dreamy, psychedelic, powerfully inspirational spaces - the artistic Eden for a gypsy soul  
From Commedia dell'arte to a freak show - a fascinating combination that draws you in, the more you explore.                 
Your art world is…

My art world is… my world – period. That’s simple. I do not distinguish between life and art. I think every life is a form of art. Anyone’s life and their story is an individual expression. A piece of art is just that in a condensed form.

When I am not designing or illustrating I am devoting my time to symphonic music composition.
Music is also absolutely essential for my inspiration as it speaks from a realm that can not otherwise be expressed in words or visuals. So I regularly take trips through symphonies into the depths of the soul.

"Most art that inspires me is roughly from the time around the romantic and art nouveau phase. There are many influential artists from around that time. I cannot fit all their names here, but a few are Alphons Mucha, Hermann Vogel, Gustav Klimt, Arnold Böcklin, Hans Markart, Caspar David Friedrich, Willy Pogany, Kay Nielsen, John Bauer and Felicien Rops. There are also many unknown artists that delight us with their sometimes romantic, sometimes quirky imaginations of the time.
Contemporary artists whose works impress me are Anne BachelierGil BruvelDaniel MerriamRoger Dean and Dave McKean, just to name a few from to top of my head.
Of course being a composer as well, music is at least of equal importance to me and in this realm I need to give heartfelt thanks to Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Josef Suk, Joseph Marx, Schubert, Bruckner, Wagner and so many others of the romantic/post romantic era for their tremendous inspiration."

What means the visual quality, the visual genius to you?

Visual quality and genius depends on the discernment of the observer. In a world of unlimited expression and variety, there is room for anyone and anything. It comes down to the subjective choice of what we prefer in our experience or what we don’t. Judge for yourself and build your own eclectic construct of preferences, it is fun, but know that whatever is not part of what you choose to like may well have a place in someone else’s world of preferred experience.

To me personally it is vital to find and honor genius in select works of others as it enables me to lay out my own path towards higher excellence and be inspired to always push my own envelope.

How did you gain so much knowledge in this area?

Knowledge in my experience comes on the heel of passion. When you are passionate about something you want to know anything and everything that may propel this passion a bit further.

Where do you see the market of Visual arts is going?

The market is just getting more global. More niches will be found and filled.

But rather than looking at the market and something that we at large cannot control, let’s rather ask ourselves the question: 
Where would I like to be? Next year, in five years…?

A Freelancer today- what is the greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge as a freelancer I think is to be able to really believe in yourself and as often as possible remember who you are. It is what makes you feel empowered and makes your work strong and has more to do with your success than you might think.

Internet – light and dark side of being a digital wizard?

The Internet is a door opener in many ways, an incredible way to connect to the world. The challenge here would only be what you do with it or how you feel about it. I realize that it is tempting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of offerings and potential “competition”. 
But as I stated above, if you can believe in yourself and into your work, then you know that there is room for everyone and these potential fears don’t need to arise.

What are you doing to stay on the top of  these changes and how you keep your work  universal?

One has to decide what your core professions are. Stick with a few and do them well instead of juggling too many balls at once. Different mediums and tools are always tempting but one would burn out fast and not be able to keep up in too many areas at once. Things become more complex. I for example had to slim down my creative techniques in order to gain sophistication in them. It just boils down to a matter of focus.

Handmade art market – May it be a renaissance of our self development through art?

I think there is always a place for handmade art and there will always be a demand for it. Just with everything else, arts and styles and mediums are just getting more and more fragmented as there are more and more differentiated interests and likes. No more big waves of fashion will ultimately dictate the art market, but individual preferences. Therefore it is all about finding your niche that you can fill. Your own voice, if you can hear it, it is enough.

Do you benefit from being on social networks?

Of course, social networks help very well to communicate your work to the world and to build an audience.
Nowadays people rather click on someone’s facebook page than on their web site.

With who would You like to make a visual collaboration/work together?

Of course I collaborate with Angi a lot. Besides that it would depend on the chemistry, it is all about the energy when trying to decide if a collaboration would be desirable.

Tell us abort your favourite artistic memory, a project you are very proud of

That’s a difficult one. I remember a few milestones learning to draw when I was young. I would never practice. I never sketched. I looked at things for a long time, like in meditation, then i drew it and it was complete and done. Some of those moments when I mastered a new challenge that way would give me a feeling of satisfaction.

Other than that I enjoy the process of most projects. 
Maybe I sound weird now, but the most proud I am of those things that have not manifested yet. Things I have in my head that have not been executed yet.

In this sense I am looking forward to a classical symphony that I am working on. It may take a lot of time. But it does not keep me from being in a joyful state of anticipation about it.
The brain cannot distinguish between “reality” and imagination. You can conjure any emotion by the active imagination of whatever would trigger the emotion.
I believe this is how the creative process works anyway. 
You have to be able to imagine, to dream it, to feel it, before something takes form. Mankind did not learn to build airplanes if it wasn’t for the believe in the impossible that preceded it.


See related interviews 

10 Marvelous Mixed-Media Works by Duirwaigh on Imagekind


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