about the artist

Hey, y’all! I’m Janet, whose current iteration is a digital artist in the Carolina Appalachian foothills – complete with dogs, wild spaces and a slightly limited attention span.

A former newspaper journalist, I moved from reporting to editing to design during my 30-year career. Dan Conover and I founded xarktopia, LLC  in 2011 and took on a variety of media-related projects. My experience includes being art director for Turks & Caicos magazine, which was a casualty of the global Covid pandemic in 2021.  Xarktopia has done all manner of work, from marketing a USL soccer team to building websites to publishing books. Dan’s latest series is showcased – and our web skillz – at dcmcelroy.com.

Throughout it all, I have continued my own exploration of art, primarily digital with the Adobe Suite, but also hands-on experimentation with a variety of media, acrylics, oils, jewelry. Oh and I once painted a couch. Fear of commitment makes pixel projects my favorite media.

A sense of disconnection from the cycles of the universe that we are born of and into has led me to a fascination with natural rhythms, the turn of the wheel and the discomfort so many seem to feel when we are separate from that. My work has focused on restoring that in myself and anyone else who is interesting in being “rewilded,” to find our roots in the world from which we are inseparable.

A wise friend once told me that if we do not value our own work, we can’t expect others to.  A few years ago, I lost most of my work – hundreds of photographs and illustrations – when an external drive became “electronic dust” in the words of the recovery pro told. It was a harsh lesson that led me to create this site, to exorcise the self-inflicted judgments that plague so many creatives and prevent us from sharing our work. Whatever you are good at, that is beauty. Celebrate it in yourself.

Thank you for stopping by and for supporting the value of making things.

© Copyright 2024 Janet Edens/xarktopia, LLC
Any and all incorporated images not originally created by the artist are in the public domain, are propery licenced, or are used with permission.