Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Know Thyself

This past weekend in a certification class, I saw another reason why it is so important to know yourself, your creative likes, and be conscious of what skills you bring to the table when you attend a workshop. When we take classes (I take them just as you might), there are so many decisions we have to make, an element of stress that we have to contend with, teacher instructions that we have to pay attention to, and a myriad of other considerations that we have to be mindful of - that we don't need to be thinking of our personal design aesthetic at the same time. That should just come in our tool kits along with our pliers and rollers and visors. If you're taking time to try this texture and that cutter, while also learning a new set of skills and techniques, you're doing yourself a disfavor. Know thyself, in creative identity as well as all other aspects of your life.

For some people this might seem like a natural progression, but for others accumulating a 'go-to' set of designs and themes is not as easy. But we are all born with our likes and dislikes already ingrained in our personalities. Sometimes we just need a little direction to bring them forth from our subconscious mind.

In my home, I see my aesthetic everywhere. In the furniture I buy, the clothes I wear, even the dishes I feed my kitties with. Before my move from Los Angeles to Richmond, Virginia last summer I did a lot of purging. And in a dark corner of a cabinet I found a little ceramic container that I had made at camp during my elementary school years. And what was decorating it? What texture did I incise into the clay? Why, scrolls and curlicues of course! The same go-to design I use when demonstrating various things in metal clay classes. Whether I'm making a scratch foam texture, or drawing with syringe - I always make S curves. That shape is in my genes I guess.

Table, Candlestick, Headboard (folding screen), Dresser. All with scrolls.
Take a look around your home, ask your mother to show you drawings you did as a child (you know she still has them), think of the work you admire in the museums that you frequent (I go to the Getty Villa to see Roman and Illuminated Manuscript art as often as I can - or did before I moved to the East coast). Your personal aesthetic is a badge you wear every moment of your life. Honor it. Bring it to life. To your conscious life. To your classes and workshops. To your creations. To your jewels. Know thyself, and then introduce yourself to the world.

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

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