Here is a peek into my creative process. Recently, I was asked to come up with an idea for artwork for a boutique in a new hospital I am a doing a major installation in. That installation is almost 70 feet long and is an urban landscape built from all recycled business signs. This new commission would be a 3 feet by 4 feet piece for a mother/child boutique on the same floor. It would be on canvas or paper. I am told to create something that draws people in and if it has a blue bird in the design somewhere, great.
I let this idea swirl in my head for a few days. I think about it each day and I read books that inspire me each night before I go to sleep. I start sketching out ideas. Then I head out and get supplies. I get bits of colored paper, special markers and large sheets of fine white paper that I can sew on. I find out the exact color of the wall where the artwork will hang and then paint mat boards that same color so I can present my ideas and realistically show how my art will look in the space.
Next stop is the grocery store. I stock my studio fridge with fresh cherries, blueberries, strawberries and cheeses. I buy chilled green tea, coffee and Fiji water. Of course I buy chocolate.
Now back at my studio, I play Suzanne Vega, light a few candles and start to play with the materials before me. I bring out sketches I have done. Then I just start “making”. And waiting. Waiting for my inner muse to show herself and take over my hands that are drawing, painting, ripping layering and sewing.
I trust this process. I push through self-doubt and second guesses. If I design something I do not like, I rip it up. Then I look at all the ripped pieces in front of me and turn them into something new. I always like these “pieces” best, because they are a special part of how I design. I love to reuse. It is my willingness to push through the parts that I do not like that brings me to the pieces that I love. My inner muse is present and busy. I am not really thinking at all; I am just playing.
This process goes on for a few days…until I create the piece that is perfect for this space. I paint a tree and begin to sew and tie paper, cloth, beads and found objects into the artwork. It is whimsical but also true to my "repurposed" way of making art. Now I stop “making”. I feel calm and lighter. I expected my creative muse to show up. She did. She always does. And I am always grateful. And inspired.
A few days later I present my ideas for this space to Lin Swensson. She calls the next day. Out of the four ideas I put together, the piece I knew was "the one" was unanimously selected. Now the true fun of creating begins.