Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

Creativity and Spirituality

by heatherkp

This post might be a bit controversial for some readers but I hope not. For me the process of creating can be deeply spiritual experience, if I allow it to be.  Going within myself and allowing a creative expression to flow from within me, ideas that my conscious mind may not have thought of.  The process of creating, being an artist or living a creative life also requires a certain discipline that I liken to a spiritual discipline.  You learn to be intuitive about your creative process, you let it flow from you and not try to control it.  This can be such a difficult lesson to learn.
Many artists and appreciators of art have recognized this connection between spirituality and creativity.   Rothko’s chapel is one such example where the artist was commissioned to create a spiritual and meditative space through the installation of his art.  I find his paintings to be deeply meditative as well as the work of Yves Klein’s Blue series.   Each of us is capable of having a strong spiritual or emotional reaction to art, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.  This reaction may not be related to the artists spiritual or emotional experience of creating the art, sometimes it is obvious the message the artist is sharing and sometimes not. 

I often got through dry spells but my creative friends remind me that this is part of the process.  You must recognize the necessity of this still period and allow it to happen, let the ideas gather, build and eventually they will flow again.  There are certain actions we can take as artists to nurture this creative process.  Reading things that may be completely foreign and letting ideas about new topics create sparks of energy.  In my last posts I spoke about play and collaboration as other ways to invoke the creative process.   A natural sense of curiosity can spark many new creative fires.  When we are anxious and our minds are busy processing the many lessons of life we may feel emotionally drained and this is like a big wet blanket putting out the fires of our creativity.  The biggest challenge I face as an artist is to recognize that being an artist is a process, creating art is a process.  It is not about the outcome, the recognition or the completed piece of “art” it is about the need to create something that is an expression of yourself.  Personal and unique and only something you could create, this is yours alone.

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August 27, 2010

Invoking the Spirit of Play

by heatherkp

Cats, dogs play and children usually play on a daily basis…why don’t we make the time to play more as adults?  Some of us play sports, some of us play board games, some of us play musical instruments. 
When I get particularly stressed my automatic response is the opposite of play.  I think of all the things I need to do or that I should be doing.  What I should actually do is make some play time, give my brain a little time off and free myself of all that is causing me stress.  Last year for the holidays I broke down and got my husband a PSP player and I’ve found myself playing video games now and then.  I don’t “Play” any musical instruments but love to hear my husband play guitar.  Sometimes play for me means sitting down and creating jewelry, knitting, making something with my hands or taking a walk with my camera and not taking the end product too seriously.  

During one of the blizzard we had last winter we lost power for about 12 hours.  One of the most fun parts of that blizzard is bundling up with blankets and candles and playing monopoly on our bed and Humm… my husband still owes me the completion that game!

How do you invoke the spirit of play?

August 24, 2010

Modern Women in Design

by heatherkp

One of the most inspiring things I have seen this summer (and there have been quite a few!) is the current exhibit at the Textile Museum.  It is all about mid century modern women in design and boy are there some fabulous and fun textiles on show!    I tend to be a rule breaker (in some areas of my life only) and when it comes to taking photo’s in museums…I often break the rules.  I do it so I can share snippets with others who I know may not be able to experience the same thing in person.  So enjoy the photo’s I risked my visit to take, luckily that day the security guard seemed more interested in talking on the phone than observing the museum goers.


The show is called “Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain” and it ends on September 12, so if you get a chance you may want to make a trip to see it.  The show features a majority of designs by British designer Lucienne Day and two of  her contemporaries: Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler.  The work above and below is from Lucienne Day.  Aren’t they just incredibly fresh and fun and honest?  That is what I love about this era of work.  The designs are not pretentious, over thought or trend driven.  They are little pieces of honest and good design (in my  humble opinion).  This is the type of work I aspire to share because it’s lovely and different and fun and the love that the designer put into the work shines through.  
Lucienne Day’s husband (Robin) was also a furniture designer.  I’m certain this contributed to her overall sensibility about good design for home interiors.  Below are some great tea towels she designed.Her are a few shots of the overall show.  All these ladies were fabulous designers which shows since their designs have stood the test of time.  I especially enjoyed the work of Lucienne Day and was so glad to get to see this show in person.  Hope you enjoyed this sneak peak and let me know if you got to make it to the show.  

August 17, 2010

Collaboration

by heatherkp

Moving directly from my last entry I would like to explore the idea of collaboration.  My last project was a collaboration between myself, another artist and the client.  Each and every custom design is just that, at least that’s the way I view it.  My job on any custom project is to help fulfill someone else’s vision.  As an artist and designer I am find myself getting stuck on certain projects or pieces from time to time and usually if I can find a way to collaborate then I can break free of those limitations.  Over the last several years I have been involved in quite a few collaborative projects.  I’ve both been invited to collaborate and organized collaborative projects.  You can view some images of my last project “Collaborative Visions” over HEREAbove is a mosaic of several in progress pieces from a previous art project and there are more images over HERE.  These projects never fail to inspire me to look at my process differently.  I love seeing how other’s react to things I create intuitively and vice versa.  We don’t take these projects too seriously, we  have fun with them.  That’s the whole point, to liberate ourselves beyond our own creative process.

I can promise you will be seeing a lot of collaborative work here at HKPowerstudio.  It is something I want to explore in more depth on both a professional level and in a more personal creative way.  How and why do you collaborate?

August 13, 2010

Custom Design

by heatherkp

I thought it might be interesting to show the process of how a custom design project evolves with a recent project I worked on.  This was a really fun job because my clients; Normans Farm Market; are energetic, young, entrepreneurs who run several farm stands supplying the area with fresh produce from many small farms within about a 100 mile radius of DC.  They had a long time friend of theirs, Anne, create the conceptual sketch for their new season re-usable shopping bags and tee shirts.  When I heard they were going to hire a graphic designer to convert Anne’s art I told them I could do it for them!  Here is what we started with, Anne came over and we spent a couple hours together as she was curious to see how a pencil drawing becomes a screen print design.  Next I worked on “cleaning up” this original piece of art.  I work in Photoshop and an industry program called Texcelle for all my work.  I really want to learn Illustrator, that’s next on my list.  So after I got this basically into a two tone image with the right high resolution and file formats (this will differ based upon your output type and end product) I presented it to the client and it looked something like this.  From here I went back and forth with the Normans several more times to revise text, placement and other elements within the design.  The final design is below and it turned out great, they were happy and that’s the most important aspect of working with a client on a custom design.  I have to say that working on custom design is one of my favorite ways to work.  I love working with people to take a creative idea and make it a real product.  The final product is always a little thrilling to see once completed!  It’s is especially great when you get to work on a project that incorporates something your passionate about, in this case Local Food and it’s even better when your clients are such fun to work with.  Thanks John, Eris and Jeff!

August 11, 2010

Goals

by heatherkp

I’ve got goals on the mind lately.  Do you set goals for yourself?  I find myself floundering without them.  So, lately I’ve been on a mission to more clearly define what my goals are and make them achievable.  I’m doing this by breaking the larger goals down in to smaller chunks and mini bites.  Without breaking it down further the whole can become so overwhelming you don’t know where to begin.  I’ve begun by setting goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis (and further ahead for larger goals).  Do you set goals to keep yourself on track?  What tricks keep you motivated?  How do you get back on track if you “missed” a goal?


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August 6, 2010

Metamorphosis

by heatherkp

metamorphosis= transformation or rebirth

I started this blog back in January after many years of fantasizing of starting my own studio. I put blogging aside and even though I have thought over the last 6-7 months about posting here I remained hesitant as I’ve undergone many changes in my life over this period.

At the end of January I lost my job of over 7 years as a senior designer working on custom rug and carpet design. I was shocked, devastated, afraid, excited, angry, hopeful, relieved, worried just to name some of the emotions I have experienced over the last 6 months. It is pretty ironic reading back to my early January 1st entry here. I will still be exploring this process here but will no longer be doing so anonymously.

I realized pretty quickly that this loss was also a wonderful opportunity to make my own dreams a reality. Dreams are funny though because sometimes when you come face to face with them you flounder and don’t know where to begin. I began my metamorphosis by doing a lot of introspection, reading, researching, talking with supportive friends and family and giving myself time to revel in this chance to enjoy my life and recreate it.

As much as I loved moments of my corporate career it had become terribly unsatisfying over the last 2 years as I became bored, unchallenged and lost creative enthusiasm. In hindsight perhaps these were the exact reasons that I lost my job but I also worked very hard and was a loyal employee; something that is becoming more of a novelty in today’s corporate environment.

I decided pretty early on after my job loss that I didn’t want to pursue the same type of career path. I contemplated going into Non-Profit arts, beginning a Non-Profit (which I still aim to do one day), working in a Museum environment or working on a farm. After these ideas of radical change subsided I slowly realized the value in the many years I’ve invested in the world of textile and carpet design. I love so many aspects of design, I love working with clients to create something that evolves from a collaborative vision into a reality.

The process of collaboration is one that I love and am fascinated by. It is something I have explored over the past years as I’ve participated in and organized many collaborative art projects with fellow artist friends. I will be launching a design studio (virtual) with the dream of providing designs that come from a diverse group of designers and artists. These designs will not be trend driven, they will be created by individuals for the sheer joy of the process of creating. There will be designs that stand alone, photography, design collections, designs that are by anonymous individuals and designs that are collaborations between more than one designer. This is an aspect that I am so excited to explore. Please join me here until I launch my website (www.hkpowerstudio.com). For news, sneak peaks, inspiration and bits of knowledge I will share about this process of launching my dream business.


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