Ian M. Koller of FISHMAS
Friday, February 13, 2009
7:30p - 9:00p
The LGBT Center of St. Louis
Ian Koller is the oldest of four children, hailing from southern Illinois. Imagination and creativity guided him through most of his early life and followed through to adulthood. He enjoys dabbling in many artistic mediums, but his favorite is polymer clays. Ian is a self-taught, self-representing artist and prefers whimsical over realistic creations. He has mastered his craft in polymer clays over the last 12 years.
The FISHMAS phenomenon began as a happy accident. FISHMAS are vibrantly colored beautiful creations where fish characters are created from ornaments. Since sculpting the first fish ornament, Ian has created hundreds more for family, friends, and coworkers. FISHMAS are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. And Ian certainly loves to make people smile.
Ian lives with his partner in Belleville, Illinois.
FUN FACT about Ian!
FUN FACT about Ian!
Name: Ian M. Koller of FISHMAS
What part of the St. Louis metro are you from? Belleville, IL
Specialty: FISHMAS ornaments
Links (Blog, website, Etsy shop, Facebook, Twitter, etc.):
If you sell your art, where is it available? http://FISHMAS.etsy.com
How would you describe yourself?
Creative, intelligent, and funny. I'm very passionate about my art, and I love to write.
What are 5 random fun facts about you?
- Work as sex health educator.
- I've performed in a couple student films, both times as a woman.
- Ice cream is my weakness.
- After all these years, I still find the Simpsons highly entertaining.
- Have a cream-colored Shiba Inu named Bailey.
What makes your art different or unique?
FISHMAS: A glass ornament with a "fish" sculpted around it. Big lips and lots of color. The idea of making a traditional ornament into something as fun and obscure as a fish character is unique...or so I've been told. Not everyone has a need for these collectibles, until they see one in person.
When do you feel your most creative?
I feel most creative when I'm inspired. Another person's curiosity in my abilities can be very inspiring. When someone compliments me on my work, be it in general, or on a specific piece, I feel the creativity coursing through my veins. Certain holidays are also inspiring...like Valentine's Day or Halloween. Holidays allow me to create FISHMAS I wouldn't typically throughout the rest of the year.
When did you first discover you were a creative spirit?
I've been creative in one aspect or another for as long as I can remember. The medium wasn't always about glass bulbs and clay. At an early age, I tinkered with Lego building blocks, building intricate villages or realistic (as real as can be with the jagged edges of Legos) life-size sculptures. In the fourth grade, I entered a Young Author's Contest for my creative writing. Since then, I've dabbled in just about everything artistic.
What colors make you happy?
Blue happens to be my favorite color. Not just any blue, though. A deep "cobalt" blue is beautifully attention-getting. I love to wear the color as it compliments my eyes. If I have the option of colors for certain merchandise, from toothbrushes to apparel, I always go for the blue. Blue is beautiful.
Do you have any favorite places to shop for supplies for in the area?
For my FISHMAS collection, my favorite haunts are the department stores just after Christmas. Deep discounts on ornaments are offered all over and I totally take advantage of the markdowns. I also love yard sale season, as it allows me to find inexpensive curiosities I can dismantle and mold into my own creations.
For more information, contact:
Blue, Executive Director
The Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender
Community Center of Metropolitan St. Louis
625 North Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108