“In making art I am reflecting on what it means to be alive in this world, for myself and for others. If I’m honest, I hope that gets people thinking. That’s the transformative power of art as I see it.” — Rachel Perry
For the past year I’ve been wearing two hats, because I love both and despite knowing that it’s often best to focus on one thing in life and do it really well…well, there’s just too much I love doing.
So, I’ve been designing book covers, working with a local startup publisher, Curran Press, who is helping authors to self publish. It’s rewarding to work with entrepreneurs, whose projects are also their personal vision–there is passion, a unique product and an openness to doing things in new ways. From a children’s book about a local Italian festival dating back almost 100 years, to a lawyer’s first novel (and now an award winning Indie film) to a woman’s personal journey through loss and the power of of love to transcend it...it’s been a pleasure. How can I call that “work?”
And then there is teaching. After exploring the world of web design and many solitary hours coding (not sure how a printmaking major ends up fluent in PHP!) I felt the old familiar urge to be part of a collaboration again. I was hired as Director of Programming at Art Haven, a local non-profit art center in Gloucester Massachusetts, whose mission is to make art education accessible for all. Walk into their studio and you feel it–it’s democratic, fun, creative, bordering on controlled chaos at time and peacefully contemplative at other moments. It’s a place where kid, teens and adult as well as families come to create. We connect through an art mindset. Art becomes community.
And that is my whole point. Art and design are a mind-set. We feel the pull of the activity which invites us to be more “turned on” individuals, to observe, respond, make connections and express ourselves through mark making and building, sometimes digital, sometimes in 1000 year old materials. We “do” with intention. We play and get excited to see what happens. Creative Expression is about connecting to ourselves, which is so critical in a time when we can often feel disconnected from our bodies, the land and each other. Art can bring us together too. I am so pleased to be working with other artists and community members, where we create a space for kids to come and engage in this creative process. Make more art everyone! Think like a designer! Get turned on!
Inspiration For The Design Mind
I recently saw a presentation by artist, Rachel Perry, whose wonderful work (see the inset photo above) teaches us to be more aware and to see what happens when we follow our ideas… To learn more check out these links. Hope they inspire you too!