" Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties"
- Erich Fromm
Creative inspiration can come from many places....but a certainty that anything that I create will actually sell isn't my first thought. Don't get me wrong. There are those things that I manufacture for stores that have been known to sell over and over again, that originally came from an inspired place, but have now become production line items that take me a lot of meticulous time to reproduce, but I don't really have to put a lot of creative thought into. The delight that I feel for these pieces is in the knowledge that there will be a pay check at the end of the process that will enable me to continue creating the things that I'm really turned inside out about. I never know what will sell. If I listen too closely to too many people's advice about what I should be creating, I'm usually lead down paths that have me spending valuable time and resources that I regret wasting.....and it usually turns out that they know about as much about what will sell as I do. I'm always hopeful that if I create things that I am passionate about, with enough work, I will also find the people who will enable me to continue on this path by purchasing a piece or two. I encourage people's criticisms, and advice, but I've learned to weigh everything carefully. Over time I've developed a pretty thick skin.....but I contemplate everything.
Sometimes a piece will pretty drastically evolve, based on circumstance or criticism. An example of which is one of my encaustic collages entitled " Alice is Late"...a piece loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Shortly after the original work was completed, I was invited to create an Alice in Wonderland window installation at Mindful Nest, in Burbank, CA, which was to showcase my work. This invitation lead to the creation of the more literal interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, containing more easily recognizable elements from the stories...circumstance. Alice's face in the original " Alice in Wonderland" piece, was the same face as in the " Alice is Late" collage until it was suggested to me that it was an " off putting expression" and the I should switch it out with a more pleasant face....criticism. I weighed the revision and the change lead to the sale of a few prints. But more importantly, the encouragement of those sales lead to the inspiration to print it onto muslin and to creation of my " Alice in Wonderland" fantasy coat....my first published piece.
Thank you to all of you, who have encouraged me with your advice and criticisms over the years. The creative path is a mostly uncharted one and it is nice to know that you are all there to offer directions and hold up signs when I need them...but knowing my nature, I'll most likely head off bumping through the pot holes first!