Joining me on the show today is a professor of ceramics at American River College in Sacramento, a founding member of The E Street Gallery and Studios, and one of my favorite art teachers, Linda Gelfman.
She has recently been exploring soft-sculpture as well as her ceramic work. She used her textile pieces in a recent show at The Kaneko Gallery at American River College, titled “Cognitive Dissonance.” The show examined the multilayers of life. “Linda’s Lollies¨ the name she’s given her anthropomorphic soft sculptures, have a mixture of cuteness and the bizarre. Her work has focused on finding beauty in the imperfections that working with clay can provide.
Some of her earliest art-related memories include playing in her friend’s wet sandbox. Her love of creativity led her through college, where she was surprised and elated she was able to major in art and could share that love with others. She continued to build an incredible career teaching, installing her work in galleries and continued her education at Sacramento State in graduate school.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to chat with Linda. Our conversation is full of passion for the creative process and the love she has for teaching others. If you need the inspiration to get back into the flow of creativity, listen to this episode, and make sure to check out the ways to connect further with Linda.
More in this episode:
● Linda believes everyone has creativity within themselves.
● Linda found working with clay using the Wabi Sabi method in her early 20s Which helped her gain a deeper appreciation of finding beauty in the imperfect.
● She shares how students can feel empowered in their creativity and sense of expression.
● Linda shares her methods for creating dynamic pieces that go against the traditional “rules.”
● She enjoys using upcycled materials to integrate new textures and elements into her work and recent gallery installations.
● Linda believes that following your passion is the best way to help and serve humanity.
● She was able to make art and make a living for years.
● Linda believes it’s vital for artists to get back to the fluidity of their process to ignite their creative spark and to go “outside the lines of perfectionism.”
● She feels art is important and encourages everyone to take an art class “because it will change your life.”
● It’s OK to be different because that makes us unique and marvelous.
● She shares her thought on what to do if you’re feeling disconnected from life.
Find Linda at The E Street Gallery
Linda Gelfman on Facebook: Gelfman Art
Become one of her students at American River College
Snow After Fire Art Piece
Article on Fire Retardant planes from McClelland
Link to map of fire situation in California this year
Fort McMurray, Alberta fire
Art is not just for the artist! My guest today, Jen Cushman, is an artist, a crafter, and a teacher who embraces that mentality wholeheartedly. Jen works best in multimedia. Any time she tries to stick to one medium, it never ends up well! From scrapbooking to mixed media collage to jewelry and so much more, Jen wants us all to push outside of our comfort zones and try something new and spectacular.
Today, Jen is going to share her amazing journeys in creativity. Along the way, she will share some of her brightest inspirations, favorite ways to create, and what it is like to develop a product. We will also get an inside look into her Deconstructed Reconstructed Retreats, which are fabulous and invaluable for someone interested in mixed media. Jen will also share with us why she loves working with power tools and blowtorches, and how jewelry making was opened up to her once she learned those skills.
Above all else, Jen makes art for anyone to enjoy that is also accessible to anyone. Because she loves teaching classes and writing books, Jen is ensuring that someone who might not consider themselves an artist in the strictest sense can still create something wonderful. Creativity is for everyone, and Jen and I are so excited to celebrate that with you today!
More in this episode:
- Jen shares all of her current projects and passions.
- Jen travels around the world to teach others how to do mixed media art.
- Teaching women how to use power tools was an accidental but powerful movement for Jen.
- Why Jen started crafting and expressing her creativity.
- Jen actually got her start in journalism!
- How Jen got kicked out of a Creative Memories crop but then got into teaching scrapbooking.
- The creative process involved with developing a project to sell.
- What it’s like to teach and develop a class.
- Advice for choosing a retreat.
- Why Jen is hosting her next retreat at home.
- Jen’s best thoughts on creativity.
Making Metal Jewelry
American Woman’s Hospital Service
Where do you get YOUR creative approach? For many, it comes from the people in our lives or the places we travel. My guest today draws from both of those for her inspired digital scrapbooking designs. I’m a big fan of hers and I love using her designs for digital pages. I know you’ll enjoy hearing her story and learning about her creative approach.
Lynn Grieveson is a scrapbook storyteller, a digital designer, and a memory keeper. She designs digital scrapbooking kits and unique photo books for documenting and preserving precious memories and stories. Although she has lived in many places around the world, she currently makes her home in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the world. Don’t miss my conversation with Lynn!
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Lynn’s scrapbooking history and the inspiration for her designs
- How Lynn taught herself digital scrapbooking and has never looked back!
- How she creates her designs with kits, brushes, colors, and themes
- The benefits of Adobe Photoshop
- Lynn’s inspiration for scrapbooking, beginning with her older daughter many years ago
- The transition to digital scrapbooking: how it happened when she was “playing around”
- Lynn’s background in art history and photojournalism
- The biggest challenges as a designer? “The time it takes to create”
- How traveling and living in different places inspires Lynn
- The value of photo books in telling our stories
- England, New Zealand, Australia, and more!
- How she met her husband and learned to juggle work and motherhood
- The circumstances and major influences for creativity in Lynn’s life
- What it means to “think like a photojournalist”
- Lynn’s thoughts on creativity: “It’s important for everyone because you are making something. Keep at it and it will become automatic and satisfying.”
Get It Scrapped
To enter the drawing for a free copy of The War Bride’s Scrapbook, by Carolyn Preston: visit the contact page on my website (A Creative Approach Podcast) or be or become a member of the ACA Facebook group. Leave a comment at either site with a valid email address before March 31, 2018. I’ll draw from those responses for a winner of the book!
Have you ever thought of doing something creative that has never been done before? My guest today, author and archivist Caroline Preston, is the creator of a whole new genre of literature. Her books and stories are exciting and revealing, combining her passions of writing and storytelling in a new and creative way. Ironically, Caroline’s mother kept scrapbooks and made collages, which were a significant part of Caroline’s past. She went on to work as an archivist at a museum in Salem, Massachusetts, before embarking on her writing career.
Her latest book is the second of her “scrapbook novels.” Following the Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, The War Bride’s Scrapbook is “a World War II love story, narrated through a new bride’s dazzling array of vintage postcards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and more.” In this novel, “Caroline Preston has once again pulled from her own extraordinary collection of vintage memorabilia, transporting us back to the lively, tumultuous 1940’s and introducing us to an unforgettable, ambitious heroine who must learn to reconcile a wartime marriage with a newfound self-confidence.” I hope you enjoy this conversation with a truly inspirational creative, Caroline Preston.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Caroline’s roundabout path to being an author
- How scrapbooks tell the story of World War II
- The uncertainty of people’s lives during the WWII era
- How women accepted their rules but were early codebreakers in emergent feminism, which is a theme in the book
- The advertising messages for women during the era
- The main character in the book, and what she leaves behind
- Understanding what people’s lives were in history and how they influenced those that came after them
- Why people didn’t think their stories were even important
- Piecing together clippings, headlines, manuals, and flyers to tell the story
- Caroline’s new approach: scrapbook novels with real material and artifacts
- What “transformative use” means regarding permissions
- How the “scrapbook novel” idea came to Caroline
- Caroline’s archival work in Salem, MA
- How women’s lives are told in history through letters
- Putting it all together to tell a story
- With new technology, will our stories even be findable and retrievable in the future?
- Making everyday lives seem tangible
- How scrapbooks record momentous events and answer the When? And Why?
- The detachment of today’s society from military life—unlike the WWII era
- Caroline’s thoughts on creativity: “I thought I would just try to do this. I knew if it’s interesting to me, then it will be interesting to others also.”
The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh by Linda Colley
The War Bride’s Scrapbook
Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
Lucy Crocker 2.0
Jackie by Josie
The natural world is filled with so much creative inspiration. Artists and designers often look to nature when deciding the shape and form of their creative works, but have you stopped to consider how we might mimic how the natural world functions? Biomimicry is the study of how nature is already solving some of the toughest problems facing mankind. These scientists, designers, and engineers are using creativity in a truly fascinating and innovative way. I know you are going to enjoy learning about this vast topic with my guest, Mark Dorfman.
Mark Dorfman is a Chemist working for Biomimicry 3.8, a consulting firm focused on making the planet more sustainable through innovative design and creative problem-solving. Mark understand that there is so much humans have to learn from the natural processes going on around us. We can then mimic the processes and methods nature employs to innovate and imagine a cleaner, more efficient, and definitely more beautiful world.
Today, we are talking about why innovation can be daunting, but why it is such an opportunity for humanity to grow. We will be pushing the limits, solving the world’s problems, and seeing why failure can actually be fun! All of this and much more will be waiting for you in today’s episode. I know you are really going to enjoy Mark’s unique perspective on creativity!
More in this episode:
- How Biomimicry 3.8 is trying to shape the world through creative innovations.
- Using chemistry to solve pollution problems.
- Understanding color by studying some of the most beautiful organisms on the earth!
- We can look to the ecosystems to turn waste into byproducts that can be repurposed.
- Mark dreams of factories that improve the environment, rather than degrade them.
- Hear how the wings of a butterfly might change the way we make glitter!
- How Biomimicry 3.8 tackles the tough problems.
- Mark shares some of his favorite forms to study in nature.
- Why Mark first became interested in Biomimicry.
- We have the power to change the markets if we demand life-friendly substances.
- Hear all of Mark’s thoughts on creative problem-solving.
- It is so fun to create!
Creativity is allowed to grow and flourish in a community. We see it in just about every art or craft. Thanks to the internet, we are more connected to fellow crafters than ever before, and the results are stunning. Together, we can share stories, draw inspiration, and give perspective. The more connections we make, the deeper our wellspring of creativity seems to run. My guest today, Jill Sprott, knows that all too well. She is using her creativity to celebrate the diverse collection of artists that have joined together over scrapbooking and storytelling. Today, she is going to show us how the two go hand-in-hand.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Jill was encouraged by her mother and teachers to stretch her creative muscles. For a long time, Jill only expressed her creativity through writing. She found poetry and journaling to be the best medium to share her stories, but many times she found herself drawn to visual images as the best means of communication. After becoming an English teacher, Jill was introduced to Scrapbooking. Though at first she only thought of it as “pictures and stickers,” Jill realized that a scrapbook might be an excellent storytelling device.
Just like poetry can give form to our most personal stories, scrapbooks offer the same kind of form and structure. It is a blank canvas and a chance to make your mark. For Jill, taking part of the online scrapbooking community opened the door to the rest of the world. Now, she is giving back by teaching online classes and sharing her creative inspiration through writing. I know you will enjoy hearing how Jill has married writing and scrapbooking. She has made some incredible pieces, and I can’t wait for you to hear all about it. The creative community is a wonderful place to be, and I am so happy you are here with me.
More in this episode:
- Jill tells us all about the many things she is interested in.
- Learn where you can find Jill’s scrapbooking endeavors.
- The online scrapbooking community is somewhat of a lifeline.
- Creativity is a kind of sanctuary from fear.
- Writing and visual art can go hand-in-hand.
- Jill was more reluctant to start scrapbooking, but she quickly found her niche.
- We want to celebrate the diversity in the community.
- Jill shares what it is like to grow up in Hawaii.
- Mothers and teachers can be the most inspiring cultivators of creativity.
- The various challenges of online v. in-person classes.
Links and Resources
Jill’s blog: Word Play Word Work
Get It Scrapped: Debbie Hodge