Creativity Talks: Jodi Paloni, Collaging Art and Life

I was connected with Jodi Paloni when I was searching for editorial expertise on a memoir I was writing. “You’ll love working with Jodi,” said our connection. “She is into the natural world, and relationships, and loss like you are.”

The more I worked with and learned about Jodi, the more I did, indeed, love working with her. She is a poet, a writer of a lauded book of fiction, a coach and a yoga practitioner. And, I discovered, a terrific collage artist.

I wanted to know how she came to making collages. Was the experience of writing similar to the experience of making a collage? Did she see a difference in the kinds of stories she writes and the kinds of stories her collages tell? And so much more…

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Jodi Paloni, Collaging Art and Life”

Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range

D763EA48-0A0D-4FCF-AA9B-62ED8F7E4B69_1_201_aI met Annie Hosefros—now Annie Thomas—in the‘90s when we both worked at a small software firm in Northern California. Annie was in Marketing and wore cowboy boots. She was a buoyant, fun and funny colleague, adept at making lovely handmade books for friends, and hand-drawn cards for her friends.

She went to Montana to experience life and work on a friend of a friend’s ranch in the Boulder River valley for a summer, liked it, quit her software job in California, and moved the Montana in the summer of 1999 

Long story, short: Annie now lives outside McLeod, Montana with her husband, Tom. She has lived in Montana for over 20 years now–a feat for anyone moving to rural Montana from big cities with all their diversions and cultural activities.

I wanted to talk to her about the art of making a home–especially in the wilds where the nearest store in 30 minutes away, and about her many creative pursuits and how she keeps them going… Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range”

Creativity Talks: Bowled Over, with Marty Carroll

B94E6E4F-3349-4DAA-B2D4-3AEE2D358B84Sometimes creativity “just happens.” A random spark igniting a flurry of experimentation and invention. Marty Carroll, full-time nurse and sometimes seamstress, talks about the inspiration and process of creating fabric bowls.

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Bowled Over, with Marty Carroll”

Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand

shellican-58-resized.When I first met Shelli Martinez she was
knitting a pair of sweat pants.
Knitting them.
I was incredulous. “Is there actually
a pattern for knit sweatpants?”
Well, no, it turned out, unless I was talking about the pattern she made on graph paper after taking apart a pair of her favorite jeans to see how they were constructed.
I remember thinking,
“I have so much to learn
from this fearlessly creative woman.”

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand”

Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
Continue reading “Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow”

Communion; The Art of Observation

A recent experience attending an exhibit of “Outliers,” self-taught artists, reminded me how the act of observation, of really seeing, is a form of communion. Communion, meaning: the “sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Like the Christian religious ritual, really seeing is a profound, deeply meaningful experience. Continue reading “Communion; The Art of Observation”

Hand-written: You, from the Heart.

I’ve been writing about the therapeutic benefits of making things by hand, but I’d neglected one thing we do–or, used to do–by hand: writing. Writing by hand, like other hand-done activities, confers both emotional and creative benefits. We should take a moment to appreciate hand writing and what it does for us. Continue reading “Hand-written: You, from the Heart.”

5 (Lame) Reasons to Hold Back from Creating Things

You could be Vincent Van Gogh, or Adel, or Steven Speilberg–or you could be me, or you could be you–but I’ll bet any one of these “you’s” has been stopped cold by that voice inside your head that tears you down when you try to express yourself. Continue reading “5 (Lame) Reasons to Hold Back from Creating Things”

Why Make Things When You Could Buy Them?

In this “Digital Age” where we have no patience for things that take time, and where we can easily find whatever we might want on a computer, it may seem Amish, quaint, and/or silly to be encouraged to make something with your own two hands. Why should we make things? Continue reading “Why Make Things When You Could Buy Them?”

Owning Your Creative Self

I don’t know about how you react to compliments, but I reject them outright. They make me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. Which is odd, because I would love to believe someone liked something I did.

So whenever anyone compliments me on “being so creative,” I wince. I’m not creative. Continue reading “Owning Your Creative Self”