As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm participating in a really great project that was inspired by The Artist Unique by Carmen Torbus. Though we had no set deadline to finish the project, I feel incredibly guilty about how long it's taken me to finish it. My polymer clay project is underway, and you'll see it later this week. Right now, I wanted to share a little interview I was able to do with Carmen. I hope you enjoy it. I find her incredibly inspiring.
When did you first realize you wanted to inspire and support your fellow artists?
I’ve always been a cheerleader - the burning desire to support those I believe in, offering encouragement and inspiration has always been there. It is just part of who I am. That said, prior to one random day at a bookstore in early 2008, I didn’t really know any artists.
The moment I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging from that bookstore shelf, I knew that I had to explore mixed media art myself and I knew I had to reach out to the specific artists in the magazine that I was drawn to. I could not wait to get to a computer so I could get to their blogs and tell them how amazing they are! They inspired me so much, I had to learn more about them. Absolutely had to, and I'm so glad I did.
They have inspired me over and over and I hope I’ve been able to return the favor to them and to others who are seeking encouragement and inspiration on their creative journeys. A few of the artists from that issue have become dear friends and I’m incredibly honored to be able to say they’re contributors to my new book.
There are so many wonderful artists out there, how do you keep from comparing yourself to others? How do you stay focused on your own path?
The truth is I often fail miserably at this. Thank goodness I have a few wonderful friends I can reach out to when I need support and encouragement. I’ve found it be incredibly helpful to keep moving, continue creating and give myself permission to go with my instincts. Over and over.
What does it mean to you to have a book - a real, hold-in-your-hands, buy-at-the-bookstore book?
It’s totally surreal. More than anything, it’s proof to myself that I can put a dream out into the world, take steps towards it, ask for support, collaboration and help, then watch it take shape and become reality. It is tangible, hold in my hands, proof. It's motivation for me to continue dreaming, embracing vulnerability and taking risks.
What is the one message you want to send to the art community?
It is completely ok to be who you are creatively and even more ok to shout it from the rooftops. It’s also ok to ask for what you need - support, encouragement, advise, help or guidance. It’s ok to share what you know - there is enough to go around.
What five words of advice would you give to someone who is battling a creative rut?
Grab a brush & paint something.
Thank you again Carmen, for producing such a great book, for being such an inspiration, and for all of the support you've given me throughout the years.