Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Continuous Creator

I am an every day creator. I think most artists probably are. The things I create each day aren't the most stunning, thought provoking works out there, in fact, they can be downright mundane. No matter how mundane or how stunning, they all have one thing in common: they exist where before there was nothing. The topic of  creativity came up for February's Etsymetal blog carnival* and the following questions were posed:  What other media do you work and play with? How often do you get to create? Does it relate to or inspire your metalworking?

The most common thing I create are lists. Not very artistic I know, but without them I would lose control of most every creative idea I have. Managing time is a huge hurdle for me. I consider myself a somewhat prolific artist and as such my lists often contain quick sketches, reminders to research different techniques, supply orders, and fabrication steps for new pieces, scattered among the bills that need paying, groceries needed for dinner, or the yard work that needs attention. I guess I've come to regard my lists more as stream of consciousness writings than tasks that need to be crossed off. The act in itself serves to organize my thoughts and move me in the right direction.

Sketching is probably the next most common mode of creativity that I engage in. I sketch almost daily, sometimes several times a day. Usually I work on new jewelry designs or refining old designs, but occasionally I create characters or just doodle. Many times the doodles are most productive as far as pulling forms for metal work. I find that in metal, just as in photography, abstraction is my passion.

 My home also provides great creative outlet. I try to spend as much time as possible in the garden when it's not raining. It's in the garden that I move away from geometric forms, line, simplification, abstraction and repetition, and toward a writhing canvas of colors and textures that seem to be barely contained within their borders. It is in the garden, with dirt under my fingernails, sweat trickling down my face, and scratches from the roses and brambles that I find it easiest to relinquish control, find beauty and meaning in the chaos and order of nature, to relax, and be humbled by the strength and persistence of the earth.

On a less regular basis I create for events. Birthdays, holidays, parties... I would much rather create something than purchase it. When my best friend had her first child I went crazy with knitting and sewing. During the winter holidays I often go overboard with gift wrap, sometimes my husband and I go as far as carving our own stamps for tags and paper. And paper ornaments and handmade treats are often our gifts of choice.

Creativity is everywhere in my life, even in the most every day aspects. It's part of the way I relate to and process the world around me. It's how I find meaning.

Find out what creative endeavors other Etsymetal artists are involved in:

*What is Etsymetal and the Etsymetal Blog Carnival? Etsymetal is a group of metal artists from around the world who have come together to support each other as artists and sellers on Etsy.  Each month a new topic is posted that members of the group blog about, providing several unique perspectives and allowing a little bit of insight into the person behind the work. Each blogger then posts links to the other blogs allowing readers to cycle through them all. Have fun!


  1. You know I think list making is very creative!!

  2. I would love to peek in your sketchbook sometime! I'm a big list maker, too.

  3. how inspiring! I remember making our own stamps and wrapping paper when I was little w/ my mom. So fun. I have a friend that designs and makes 'designer' wrapping paper now - so I just use his! haha!

  4. I have loads of lists, too! I don't often cross things off my lists, though. Lovely sketches and photography.

  5. I have loads of lists too. I don't often cross things off of them though. Lovely sketches and photos!

  6. what is it with lists? I have at least a bizillion lists in my sketchbooks. I love lists!

  7. You are UBER creative! Great blog, very interesting.