Q & A with Janice Wright Cheney  March 28, 2010

1. When and where were you born?

I was born in Montreal in 1961.

2. Do you have any brothers and sisters?

Yes, I have one sister, she is five years younger than me.

3. Did you like them when you were growing up?

No I didn’t really like her! I thought she was a nuisance.  But now we are very close and she is my best friend.

4. What was your favorite thing to do when you were a child? 

My dad built me a tree house in the woods at our camp. My favourite thing to do was to spend an afternoon in my  tree house with a peanut butter sandwich and a book.

5. Did you have any jobs you had to do for your parents?

Yes, I did lots of chores, like washing dishes and mowing the lawn.

6. What were your favourite classes at school?

Art class of course.

7. Did you have a favourite game or sport?

I played lots of sports; my favourites were basketball and field hockey.

8. Did you have a favourite book?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favourites, I loved it when I was a young girl and I still love it.

9. Did you draw or paint as a child?

Yes

10. Did you know any artists when you were a child?

My aunt was an artist and she was very helpful to me.

11. Did people think you would grow up to be an artist?

Yes, some people.

12. How old were you when you decided to be an artist?

When I was young I always dreamed of being an artist. When I was 17, I decided to study art at university.

13. Why did you decide to become an artist?

I love art! I love making art, I love looking at art, I love talking about art and learning about art.

14. Did you go to art school?

Yes I studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University .

15. Who is your favorite artist?

That is a very hard question to answer. I have a long list of favourite artists and it grows longer all the time. One artist I really admire is Joana Vasconcelos; she is a Portuguese artist who makes really crazy large sculptures.

16. What is the best thing about being an artist?

The great feeling I have when I have just made something that I am pleased with.

17. What is the worst thing about being an artist? 

Being misunderstood. A lot of people don’t understand how much hard work goes into being an artist; they think it is just fun all the time.

18. If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?

I wish I could be the lead singer in a great rock band but that will never happen because I am a dreadful singer.