Halloween Calls for Fun

rich-webberI love Halloween. So much of it is about imagination and creativity in how we celebrate it. I also like that there is a day we recognize what scares us and face the darker things in life because the shadows in our world are what makes us see the bright times for the blessings that they are. And Halloween is just so darn fun!

So is this guy: Rich Webber. I need to thank Anke Humpert for bringing his work to my attention. I am not sure most or any of his work is created in polymer clay but it really doesn’t matter. It’s the artist’s imagination and humor that makes the colorful clay come alive. Enjoy this collection of his playful and sometimes morbid creatures but do jump over to his Instagram page or watch some Shaun the Sheep TV shows or the movies to see his directorial work or DC’s Worlds Funnest episodes for which he was the creator.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Go enjoy the holiday. Do something fun and silly and enjoy your child side!

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Creatures from the Deep

AHumpert deep-sea-creatures-10As artists, we think of our imagination as a major muscle, if not the primary one used when we’re creating. But how much do you stretch that muscle?

In craft art, because we also have to create steps, a process, and consider function and durability, our minds spend a lot of time in the purely logical, problems solving sections of our brain. Not that the imagination and problem solving are not connected; they absolutely are. But pure imagination is something we don’t always practice. So, here is a little something to push you to do so.

These fun bracelets are the work of the ever creative Anke Humpert. Using translucent clay in a unique design and decorating it with sea creatures she made up is just the start here.

As she explained to me, “The bracelets have a design that glows in black light! That is why they are called deep-sea creature bracelets. You would not normally notice the night side of them, only if you go to a night club or something similar. They also have a special hinge. Most of it is made with polymer only very little metal involved.”

These bracelets, as it turns out, are the centerpiece for one of the three classes she will be teaching at the Cabin Fever Clay Arts Fest next month. In describing the class for prospective students, she says, “Since we do not know much about the deep seas, we will have fun and let our imagination run wild creating plants (or even animals?) as we imagine them.” And that freedom and use of the imagination is what inspired me to share this today and create a bit of a different challenge for those following along.

By the way, I do have a Flickr page for sharing the results of the challenges I’ve been posting, only I haven’t had time to snap pics of what I’ve done, so there’s nothing on it yet really. But if any of you want to get on while I catch up over here, I would love to see what you’ve been up to. Go here to join in!

Does Anke’s class intrigue you? She is also teaching her Big Beads and fun hand tool texturing techniques. She’s joined by a slew of amazing talent including Lisa Pavelka, Maureen Carlson, Dayle Doroshow, Lindly Haunani, Doreen Kassel, Jana Lehmann, Ann and Karen Mitchell, Nan Roche, Lynne Anne Schwarzenberg, and more. There is still room in almost every class, so, if you are interested, jump in while you have your pick of classes still. You can find the classes on this PDF and registration on their webpage.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Let your imagination run wild and recreate an image, motif, shape, or a faux effect you might otherwise recreate as it is seen in nature or as we expect it to be, making your own version. A rose with black petals, a plaid cat, turquoise in pink, purple leather, a square pendant with a chunk missing in the corner, or a peace symbol with Mickey Mouse ears. Just change it up and make it your own.

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Don’t Worry about Trying Something New

Trying a technique, pushing your work in a new direction or starting a new business can all give you reasons to worry. The problem is, worrying doesn’t do you a bit of good. It will keep you from doing things you want to try but it will never help you accomplish a thing.

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If you worry a lot, you probably have quite the imagination as worrying requires all kinds of creative forethought to imagine all the possible and dreadful outcomes you might have to face. But do yourself a big favor … as you face this new year, use that creative mind to imagine all the wonderful things you can accomplish. There is a good chance you won’t do everything you imagine while other things will simply not come out the way you planned but some things will succeed and then there is all the wonderful discoveries along the way.

Let’s jump into this New Year with exciting ideas and new directions and see what we come up with!

 

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Odd Pods

Okay … we’ll take one more look at the many form possibilities of pods. A pod doesn’t have to directly translate to something out in nature. It can be more about the idea of a pod, something carrying or transporting, and the shape may be more about the promise of what’s inside than about the form itself.

Wiwat Kamolpornwijit works quite a bit with modified pod forms and forms that reveal what might be within. This pod necklace is a sample of the pod as a concept rather than literal interpretation.

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The inside of a pod could look like anything, especially when it’s an exotic pod of your own creation. This mystery allows you to create whatever your imagination might come up with, the way Wiwat has done here. His vision is of some beautiful visual textures with a few seeds peeking out from between the slices, arrayed to define the volume of the pod. These are not like any pods I’ve ever seen, but that is the very beauty of them.

Having Fun

If you read this past week’s newsletter, you know I was traveling and spent a bit of time with the ever-entertaining and intelligent Christi Friesen. We got into some pretty deep conversations (regularly punctuated with laughter), but one of the more important ones was about not taking your clay too seriously. I may be guilty of that at times, but it is best kept in perspective. Because, as Einstein put it …

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So don’t forget that what you are doing should be fun. Allow yourself to play as well as push through to meet those deadlines. There will be more on this (including a test to figure out what your goal should be with your claying) in the Winter 2013 issue of The Polymer Arts, due out late November.

If you like the fun drawing done with the quote above, a fellow artist, (ceramic) clayer, and Etsy seller Charity Hofert penciled the quote we see here and has this and other colorful prints in her Etsy shop.

And, in case you are not aware, twice a month we send out a newsletter with the latest updates on the magazine, community news and events, and at least one great tip for working and creating with polymer. If you haven’t signed up for it (and no, we do not access our newsletter list for anything but sending the newsletter and never, ever share it) you can do so on the left hand side of The Polymer Arts home page here.

Moving Beyond Imagination

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In other words, imagination is the source of creativity, but creativity doesn’t exist until you act upon the fruit of your imagination. We’ve looked at color ideas for the coming season this week; did they get you thinking? Did they bring up any ideas for new pieces to include in upcoming shows and in your online shop, or maybe gifts to make for friends and family? If they did, great. But now it’s time to make those ideas a reality. Create, bring more beauty into the world, and make yourself a happier person for having done so.

 

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