Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspirations from Working Artists
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How DO they do it?
If you could ask your favorite artist or crafter only one question, chances are you'd ask about creativity: Where do your ideas come from? How did you get started? What are your tricks for overcoming blocks?
In Living the Creative Life, author Ricë Freeman-Zachery has compiled answers to these questions and more from 15 successful artists in a variety of mediums—from assemblage to fiber arts, beading to mixed-media collage. Creativity is different for everyone, and these artists share their insights on the muse (if you believe in her), keeping a sketchbook (or not), and prioritizing your art, whether you aspire to create solely for your own pleasure or to become a full-time artist.
• Try your hand at creative jumpstarts straight from the pros.
• Glimpse the artists' innermost thoughts and works in progress as you peruse pages from their journals and notebooks.
• Share textile artist Sas Colby's triumph over creative block during an exotic art retreat.
• Learn how internationally acclaimed artist James Michael Starr uses experience from his former "day job" to fuel his creation today.
• Explore the work of Michael deMeng, Claudine Hellmuth, Melissa Zink and the other artists right alongside their insights.
No crafter or artist should live the creative life without Living the Creative Life! The inspiration is contagious.
to—and many told about tiny makeshit spaces they've had in the past. Kelly remembers, “My first studio was the dining room table. Each day my current project would have to be put away at mealtime. Supplies were stacked in a closet. In our next house, I had a [small] antique cherry table in a room where I could leave projects on the table and strewn on the floor. Supplies were still stored in a closet. This was my studio scenario for eighteen years.” Linda still works out of a closet in her
the process is almost entirely internal. Some artists haven't yet taken the plunge into collaboration but not for lack of interest; they're just waiting for the right opportunity. Sas says, “Collaborations are stimulating, although I don't have much experience that way. Recently I worked with two printmakers and enjoyed the exchange of ideas. We ‘sparked’ each other, and I would like to do more of this.” Bean frequently works with her husband on projects like this You installation, which they
disappointed? Some artists choose not to go there. Other artists are more ambivalent. Some accept that commissions are a way to make money, and that no matter what people think about the lofty ideals of creativity, you've got to be able to pay the bills. Susan is one of them. “Oh, commissions are hard, as you are forever dragged out of the intuitive state,” she says. “But you get money for it.” James Michael is equally honest. “I have rarely done this, and when I have, the results were less than
do so, and I think will most often respond positively to the meaning implicit in the presence of the handwriting itself, even beyond what the words say. “The simplest way I can sum up my feelings is to say that I want my site to be as organic as possible, that I want to make ‘the hand of the artist’ rather than ‘the hand of the HTML code writer’ the most evident presence. “All this is not to defend myself or convince anyone to change their opinion. I'm saying it because I'd like us to stop and
necessarily be in a tangible form. Sometimes the art is in writing, sometimes in actual art, sometimes it comes in teaching, and sometimes it is a combination of all these things. I think being published in national magazines has been a bigger help because more people learned about me and my art that way. I do worry about money in the sense that I never know what to charge for a piece. I have no method for pricing other than picking a number that sounds good. So far, that has worked for me. Like