Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting Over a Creative Slump

It's important to have a pile of junk next to your work space. It doesn't have to be huge, just little bits of this and that. They can be related to your primary artistic goal or not.

When the creative slump comes, dip your hands deep into the pile of junk and just start putting things together all willy-nilly. Work for minutes, or hours, or days—however long it takes. It's a little like hitting a reset button.

After a while, your mind and body will find a rhythm again. Then you can decide whether or not to go back to your original project or continue with the junk masterpieces that you've been creating. Either way, you win.

I bought it, now I'm too scared to waste it

Sometimes I buy expensive materials that I'm then afraid to use. Here's what I've learned about that. Let that little piece of expensive or "precious" something-or-other sit for a while. Let it gather a little dust. If you wait long enough you'll realize that you wasted your money on it. At that point it's only right to use it with abandon. That's when the magic happens.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Being a Better Person

I love this very short audio story about Julio Diaz and about his experience getting mugged. I wish I could think fast enough to change somebody's life, which I'm quite positive he did.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

December Commission #1

I have a two-part commission going on in the studio. A young woman named Sarah has asked me to make two hand-sculpted berets for her to give as gifts.

In talking to people about work they'd like commissioned I find that it's more helpful if they talk loosely about what they want rather than give me specifics. The first allows me to be the creative person that I am, and therefore a more inspired hat is created. The second is more like production work and doesn't require much thought on my part.

Sarah came to me and gave me a style to work with—she liked something I had, but it wasn't exactly what she wanted. The good thing is that she's not a very visual person, so she had to talk about the likes of her mother and her aunt using lots of words, describing their personalities and their wardrobes. So we had a kind of conversation about it all that left me feeling good.

I'm plugging away at them in the studio. They're destined for not-so-distant and really-distant places. One will go to New Jersey and the other to Korea. I'm off to the studio to work on them some more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Wish My Studio Were More Like a Boutique

But it's not. My studio is bare knuckles. I keep chiding myself for it not being more elegant, but then I start thinking about trying to make it better and the thought of the work involved makes me itch.

This evening I had a revelation while working late. The studio is my workplace—it's a tool that I use to get my art done. In the end, the most important thing to me is the making of a hat, and that's it. Prettying up the place would only keep me from doing what it is that I really want to be doing, and that's making stuff to put on peoples' heads.

So, if you visit me in the studio, focus on the hats. And if the studio suddenly takes on a new and improved look, I either hired someone or hit a creative slump. Let's hope it keeps looking the same.

Where do they wear these things?

It's a question that I get asked often, especially when people are looking at the more interesting hats in my collection. I've decided to post answers to that question as they arise. If you are a Denishé Hat owner and have a story for me, let me know and I'll post it.

This is Linsey. She wanted this hat last year and was glad to see that I still had it. As a budding artist, she's into creating a look for herself. She's going to be wearing this little top hat to her prom. She promised me photos. Linsey, don't forget!

Man, I wish I knew me when I went to the prom. I would have looked so much cooler!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Paradise is Paradise

This weekend is Paradise City Marlborough. It has been a great show so far. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I'm in a prime spot just opposite the visitor entrance. Still, I had a similar location a few years ago and I can't say that I did as well.

The crowds seem to be interested in opening their wallets. I get a sense that it's an attempt, in these tough economic times, for people to really keep their money local and to buy things that mean a lot to them.

I've been having a lot of fun. I consider part of what I do to be a service—to entertain people with the idea of hats, to make them see themselves in a whole new way, and to squash the idea of "I just don't look good in hats". Selling to a person who would have never considered themselves a hat wearer is something I take great joy in.

I find it particularly rewarding when people reach beyond ordinary, pick up one of my "more challenging hats", and join me in the land of possibilities. One such person today was Barbara. Barbara never met a hat that didn't like her, and my edgy hats just ate her up. Isn't she amazing in this Component Hat? She was such a delight, and I'm sure we'll meet again.