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Washington Voices


Sat., Feb. 6, 2010

Deanna Camp believes that being an artist, in whatever form, is just another aspect of humanity.

“Humans have an innate need to express themselves to other humans in some way. Some have the gift of telling stories of what’s around them,” she said, “Others are visual and express their surroundings through color or fiber or clay or recycling objects. Whatever the means, it’s all about communication and sharing views in unexpected ways.”

Born in Seattle, Camp was what she called a “Boeing brat,” as her family moved often to follow the jobs, but while the scenes changed, one thing remained constant: Camp’s mother was always painting. “She taught me and she inspired me,” Camp said, adding that moving a lot did have its benefits, “I learned to become a bit of a chameleon, to fit in. I think that’s reflected in my body of work as I do a bit of this and a bit of that.”

Camp’s style ranges greatly, from her series of “social landscapes” that are unique figurative representations in lines and bold colors, to her traditional landscapes that include fields, rivers, and sleepy neighborhoods with tree-lined streets done in oil, or her series of “affirmations” that are dreamy “mindscapes” containing hidden messages. “I try to find what resonates with others,” she said.

Using tuition scholarships for fine art, Camp attended the University of North Dakota and the Burnley School of Professional Art (now known as the Seattle Art Institute) and went into advertising and graphic design.

Five years ago, Camp, 51, moved to Spokane from Seattle when her husband, also in advertising, found work in the area. Locally, Camp is involved in the Art at Work program through the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, and she has been working hard at finding a niche for herself doing graphic design projects around town and creating a new company called Hybrid Arts that features a line of trout illustrations for licensing and publishing to sell to the national market.

Working out of a room in her home in the Five Mile area, Camp, a mother to two teenagers, uses her knowledge of advertising to market herself and her creative endeavors. “For me, I’ve found that multiple streams of income seem to be one way to fill the monthly holes,” she said. “Also, I get out and meet people face to face, shake hands and truly enjoy the sales aspect of being an artist. I’ve found that my audience really wants to see what I have to show them and feedback is almost always positive. I’m busy and engaged in many aspects of my artistic community and able to provide for and spend quality time with my family, which is what my goal is.”

Camp said creativity is in her nature and she finds inspiration everywhere. “As an artist, I feel blessed to have various means for expression, for making someone smile or wonder. Having a positive impact on others is what makes me get up in the morning. What can be better than that?”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue by e-mail

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