Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What Fuels Your Passion?

Can you define what fuels your passion? What makes you want to do the things you do? I don't mean going to work every day (unless, of course, your work is your passion - in which case you're very lucky!). I mean the passion that makes you want to create. The passion that makes you want to explore new places, sample new foods, learn new techniques for your art, even to look at old things in a new way.

I've always considered myself very lucky in that I see inspiration in almost everything, and I believe I inherited my passion for creativity from my wonderful Mom, who was an incredible artist and seamstress. She took the time to teach me what she knew and encouraged me every step of the way when I attempted to make things of my own -- at one time she spent hours with me soaking newspaper strips so I could make a papier mache scale model of the Louvre for my French class (and because I didn't think much about the scale when I started my project, she wound up loading the piece into the back of our pickup truck to transport it to school for me).

Over the course of my life I've tried all sorts of ways to exercise my creativity, and although I've liked some of them more than others, it's been the sheer act of creating that's been my passion. Taking a strand of yarn and knitting or crocheting it into something new, picking up a pen (or lots of pens) and drawing on a blank piece of paper, and most recently, taking beads and weaving them together in a multitude of color and shape combinations is my passion.

What fuels others' passion? Since one of my current passions is beads, I posed the question "What fuels your passion?" to some of my friends. The results are as varied as one would expect, but they all convey a passion for creativity.

Andrea Winkler, lampwork artist, said:

Other people's creativity ... seeing a new technique and wanting to try it MY way, Most of all, a sense of disciplined PLAY and exploration -- knowing how something works, and being curious about "What happens if I .... ?"

The picture at the left shows what Andrea did with Prismacolour patina and a cold-connections workshop.

Visit Andrea at her blog or her 1000Markets shop.

Anne Pomeroy Dixon, jewelry maker, said:

Color. Asking "what if" and pushing the shape and dimension of the beads.

The picture to the left is Anne's chatelaine, completed in 2008 for entry into Ann Benson's 5th anniversary challenge. It has a pocket for scissors, a tape measure, a folder for sewing needles and a little scoop for beads.

Visit Anne at her blog or her Etsy shop.

Jean Hutter, beadweaver and painter, said:

Right now for me would be learning and trying new techniques. Getting out of the old comfort zone and pushing the boundries. I get bored easily and that can lead to a creative slump - so trying something new - whether it be a new stitch, technique, color combo - you name gets me going again.

The cuff pictured to the left is one of Jean's newest pieces, part of her venture into bead embroidery.

See more of Jean's work on her blog or in her Etsy shop.

Gerlinde Linz, beadweaver, said:

For me, it's usually the question whether I can construct a new shape or structure from beads. It started out with the Platonic polyhedra, then came new types of weaves with certain wanted properties, currently it's mostly 3-d Peyote. Exploring new territory is fuel for me.

The diamond sphere pictured to the left is one of my favorite of Gerlinde's creations, although I'm in awe of some of her structural pieces.

See more of Gerlinde's incredible work in her flickr photostream.

Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten, bead and glass artist, said:

There are so many things that inspire me! First is the rich and incredibly long history of beads as they have been used by the human species, going back at least 30,000 years. Amazing. Secondly is the incredible variation in beads and self-adornment - every human culture around the world has used beads in some form for currency and self-adornment. Many of the reasons for self-adornment were to communicate societal status, marital status, or some other important aspect of the person wearing the beads. Third is the idea of re-inventing the past through re-creating the jewelry and self-adornments with modern materials and techniques. So if you want it on a very academic level, anthropology and cultural history are what drive me.

The necklace pictured here is one of my favorites of Jennifer's creations. It has a tribal look but is still completely modern looking.

See more of Jennifer's work in her Etsy shop, and check out her articles in Beadwork on about.com

Mona Peepers Ahleman, beadweaver and designer, said:

Need drives my passion and so does color. I've never really analyzed why I create except that I need to because it helps keep me balanced. Some people write, some people run or climb mountains, I create. If I don't have my beads, I make patterns, if I can't make patterns, I play with glass and make mosaics, I sew or just punch shapes out of paper, I have an endless supply of stuff to create with. When I was a kid and would get a punishment for doing something wrong, it usually involved taking away my crayons, markers, and paper.... I like bead weaving pictures the best because it amazes people that you can draw something and then bead it... making a work of art with just beads and string and your gut leading the way.

One of Mona's newest creations is pictured to the left, her original design called Citrus Twist.

See more of her work on her blog or in her Artfire shop.

Heather Kelly Marston, jewelry maker, said:

Many things drive my inspiration. Right now I have a project I am working on based on a color combination I saw this past fall while raking leaves. I took a picture and have that picture stored with the beads and wire I found to create the necklace I see in my head. I will try to post a picture of the photo along with a picture of the materials I am using.

The piece to the left, called Stop, is one of my favorites of Heather's creations.

See more of Heather's work in her Etsy shop.

Carol Dean Sharpe, beadweaver and designer, said:

Based on my recent patterns, we won't discuss what fuels my passion because I think someone put some sugar in my tank.

Carol Dean, despite her statement, is one of the most passionate beadweavers I know. She spends countless hours designing gorgeous peyote patterns and weaving cuffs from her designs, and it's obvious to anyone who looks at her work that she finds inspiration just about everywhere. Her statement above is based on her newest designs, created as part of her Iconographs series of peyote cuffs. I don't know about you, but I think these are a hoot!

See more of Carol Dean's work on her blog or her Etsy shop.

Kim Shaver, beadweaver, said:

My inspiration and passion come from many things. I find it changes from day to day and hour to hour. Some days it is a colour scheme I see around me in nature or someone's outfit, others it's a completely different type of art, such as in "Friendship" (pictured at left).

A huge part of what drives my beadwork is my need to both keep my restless hands busy and to express myself creatively. I find if I don't, or it's even been a little while it makes a big difference!

See more of Kim's work in her Etsy shop.

I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my question, "What fuels your passion?" I enjoy reading about others' inspiration and passion and hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I have.

Do you have a passion? What fuels YOUR passion?


Kim said...

thank you for including my little bit ;) (and my piece). awesome post!

AuntieAnnie said...

Thank you, also, for including my comments. Wonderful post.

Jean Hutter said...

MaryLou what a great post - so interesting what drives people to create. Thanks for including me.

Lyn Foley said...

Loved your post and the artist's replies. Got me to thinking - hmmm? I'm not sure, I just know I am compelled to create. If I can't make beads I draw. If I can't draw, I crochet. The desire to create, to express myself with color, ah, that's it - color fuels my passion.

Jen V. said...

What a fantastic post! It is wonderful to hear all those different perspectives from such varied artists...I think today will be a great day for exploring my own passion for creating.
I think I'm most like Mona. I just like creating things. For instance, there's a basket of fiber and wire sitting next to my couch in case the urge strikes me to wrap some beads. And, my dining room table is strewn with paper flowers that are just waiting to be notecards. Oh, and there's the photobooth in the kitchen where I'm practicing the more technical side of selling...creating good pics of my pieces.
haaaaaa It's not just a blog carnival, it's a Velasquez house creative carnival! I may need my own passion post...haaaaaaaaaa
Take care!

TesoriTrovati said...

What a great, visually inspiring post! You have many talented friends! I think that inspiration is everywhere and I am open to it when it strikes. I have always had a need to be creative, and only in the last few years allowed that creativity to blossom in me. My passion is in finding personal adornment. I take it very seriously that there is a style for every person and you are unique. I love telling each person's story. Thank you for fueling my passion today! Enjoy the day! Erin

Michelle Mach said...

What a wonderful post! It's always fascinating to hear different viewpoints and seeing such a variety of beaded art was a treat. (And I also enjoyed your story about your French class project. Smaller--younger--people don't necessarily have small ideas.)