You wear a couple of different artistic hats, as sculptor/jeweler/costume designer. How has your career unfolded?
These days since my artistic outlets range quite a bit, I am trying to come to terms with the idea that I can be more than just one thing—more than just a costume designer, more than just a window designer, and more than just a jewelry designer—but an artist who does many things. The through-line that ties my work together is the association with the body (as in jewelry or costume) and the love for unusual materials.
This is the toughest question of the group, somehow. I think most of my interests are intertwined with each other and with my creativity, so it’s hard to think of any as “outside.” Interests that feed me creatively are:
-eating good food either at restaurants or at home
-going to museums
-going to theatrical events
-riding the subway and seeing all of the different kinds of styles in NY (this is not so much an interest, more of a necessity, but it definitely feeds me creatively)
I am always inspired by raw materials. Whenever I see one thing repeated, I begin to think about what it could be turned into. When I was in high school and college, I really enjoyed going to 99 cent stores. I ended up with a lot of q-tips and toothbrushes and big plans that never happened. When I see a product or a material is a big quantity, I start to see it in its very basic visual form—as shape, color and texture. I had a teacher at MICA (undergrad) named, Annet Cowenberg (fiber artist) who taught a class in which she told us that any material can be either a line or a plane and from that you can make anything else. For an assignment, we had to make a list as long as we could of materials that fell into the category of a line or a plane—for example a piece of spaghetti can be a line, and a piece of paper can be a plane. It is very freeing when you can let your imagination and your creative eye tell you what to do.
My studio is in between my bedroom and the rest of my apartment. So just the act of getting out of bed gets me into my studio. I get ready in the morning, make tea, while the tea steeps, I get dressed and then sit down at my computer. I answer my e-mails, and then figure out the plan for the day. I am a big believer in lists, so if I am confused about where to begin, I either consult an existing list or begin a new one. Just writing everything down in my sketchbook gets it out of my brain and leaves room for other thoughts.
I often collect images that are inspirational to me and I put them in my sketchbook. Sometimes those images are from ads, or catalogues, or given to me by friends and family. It’s usually looking back on these images and through the pages of my sketchbook that I realize how I was inspired by them, or following a common thread of design.
I am currently working on developing a body of Zipper Jewelry to be shown through the Snyderman Works Gallery at a big event called Sculptural Objects Functional Art (SOFA). This is an expo held in NYC around late April/early June and in Chicago in October/November.
Most projects present dilemmas or problems throughout the process of creation. I usually have to give it some time and in that time I often talk to my friends who are artists and to my parents. (They are also artists.) Whether or not the solutions they offer are useful, just the act of explaining whatever the problem may be plus the added creative mind usually solves the problem.
There are a few catch phrases that I live by: