I spent my childhood living in a few different areas of the country. From Connecticut to Texas and on to Georgia, I developed a special kind of closeness with my tight-knit family because of the constant moving. Texas, specifically Houston, is where I spent the majority of my childhood, though I’ve always had a passion for the landscapes and character of the Northeast. Moving around quite a bit during my formative years definitely had its challenges, but it taught me the value of being adaptable.
One of my first memories of creating something is of a four-year-old me drawing a picture of my Great Grandma, Shirley. She was a woman with her fair share of sunspots and a few moles on her face. Much to the amusement of my family, I didn’t leave any of those out of my Crayola masterpiece.
“For some, the best space is organized chaos; for others, things need to be tidy and organized in order to focus. Know what your needs are and go from there.”
I think that as a creative person, I tend to be pretty open and take in a lot from the world around me. This has many advantages, but I think it’s also what makes me, and many other creative people I know, so extremely sensitive which can be really challenging. Nothing, however, has ever given me the same feeling as creating something; there’s not really anything else I can compare it to. Creating has always been the thing that makes me feel safe and brings me to a place I can’t seem to access doing anything else.
I have grown and developed my style over time through the multiple processes of creating. Inspiration comes to me in all shapes and forms—from textures to colors and shapes and to the people that surround me. Even in my felting work, much of my creativity comes directly from the animals themselves.
Our community plays a crucial role in my craft and the ability to have a creative business. With the fortunate opportunity to be based in an area that’s teeming with artistic entrepreneurs, I have found the support offered to each other is a huge asset. I’ve met the majority of the creatives in my circle through the participation in art shows and craft fairs. Over the years, these artistic friends have turned into a family for me; we push and support each other to keep growing in skill and pursuing that which we love.
Even with support, however, it can be difficult to push through when things feel like they aren’t moving forward or progressing. This is my biggest challenge, but when it happens, I use both my passion to create and the desire to own my own business as a steady motivation to keep going each day. So far, my perseverance has proven true and has regularly paid off. If you’re someone that simply wants to be more creative in your daily life, just go for it! I am a firm believer that anyone can benefit from making his or her own things.
My studio is still very much a work-in-process. Along with my partner, Andrew, we purchased an old carriage house about two years ago, and we both are still in the throes of renovation. On a tight budget, we have completed most of the work ourselves. The majority of my current workspace is made up of temporary fixes. Along with some shelving and a second worktable, constructed by Andrew, I do feel a little bit more organized in my studio. I look forward to growing within the space and seeing how it evolves over time. As much as it’s come along, there’s still quite a bit of work to go before we complete my vision for it!
I do firmly believe that you need to create a space where you actually want to spend your time. It needs to be a place that makes you feel at peace, inspired and comfortable.
“If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
– John Irving
Whatever you need to implement in order for it to work, you’re then way more likely to get in there and create. I personally feel more mindful in a tidy, clutter-free space. It allows me to be present in whatever I’m doing at the moment. I can intuitively grab supplies or materials from their proper place without having to drop whatever I’m doing and spend an hour hunting around and getting distracted.
GETTING CREATIVELY UNSTUCK!
At least once a year, I find myself becoming burnt out. This usually happens right after the few months leading up to the holiday season. While, self-admittedly, I don’t follow any advice for getting unstuck myself, I will offer a few tips that we all should try:
1. Get out of the studio and clear your mind!
2. Fill your ‘creative well’ with different inspiration and new concepts.
3. Spread your work out more evenly throughout the year.
4. Do not let self-doubt get in the way of creating. As an (unfortunate) expert in self-doubt, I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t mix well with creativity! I work daily to keep my own inner voice at bay. Self-doubt had at one time prevented me from creating anything at all, and now, my biggest accomplishment is having started my own business where I can make things all day long!