Friday, December 2, 2011

The Creative Beast Interview - Gwynnie B Designs

Hello dear blog readers! It's been awhile since I've posted any interviews, though I've had a few simmering on my creative back burners! So you can imagine how excited I am to share today's interview with Gwynnie of Gwynnie B Designs...

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Interview with Gwynnie of Gwynnie B Designs

I met Gwynnie at my very first Artful Journey Retreat during one of the meals on the first day of classes. I spoke to her about my project that I had submitted to a gallery for exhibit, "Currency of Strength" and she wanted to see it. She was so enthusiastic about the concept that I knew I had met a fellow feminist and artist, not to mention an awesome Scorpio Soul Sistah! I consider myself lucky to be able to say I know this awesome chick!

She creates wonderful and whimsical jewelry and gifts that you can find on her website and she is currently beginning to explore a new passion for painting. Gwynnie is one creative beast and I'm so glad she agreed to be interviewed. Thank you for being here today Gwynnie - let's begin!

Gwynnie with her fabulous purple-streaked hair!

Who first introduced you to creating? Was it a family member - a teacher? How did that person influence you?

My great grandmas and my paternal grandma were seamstresses and my mom was pretty handy with a sewing machine and a glue gun, and my maternal grandpa was a musician, so I'm sure watching them as a kid encouraged me to be creative. There were always outfits being made for my Barbies, Halloween costumes for my sister and I and music filling the house, so without knowing it at the time, these creative moments were influencing my creative talent. 

Even though "art" wasn't encouraged in my home, the women in my life were hard workers, so I learned early on that if you want to get something done, or something sewed, have a talented woman do it!  This in itself was a huge influence on me and a starting point for my own creative endeavors.

LOL! I hear you on having a talented woman get things done Gwynnie! Huzzah to that! ;)

What were your first creative actions that you remember?

I remember lying on the living room floor at about 5 years old, with pigtails tangling, drawing horses and cats on scrap paper.  I was in a trance and very happy! I also did some finger painting about this age, and of course, some sewing.  I think I made an outfit by the time I was in junior high. I don't think it held up very well but I made it! 

One of Gwynnie's mixed media treasure boxes available at her website...

Do you have a favorite medium to create in? If so, what is it?

Right now it's acrylic paint.  I can't have enough paint and watercolor paper!  Prior to this new obsession it was fine silver metal clay (precious metal clay or PMC) and designing and creating a line of jewelry.  And I love glue, glitter, rhinestones, paper, vintage findings, and did I mention glitter and rhinestones?

How do you feel when you are creating in your chosen medium?

Like the luckiest chick on the planet! I go into this zone and don't want to come out of it.  Sometimes I forget to eat and my husband has to remind me to stop and get some nourishment.  Creating truly is magic for me.

Gosh! I thought I was the only artsy gal who forgets to eat when being creative!! Creating sure does make time fly and in the nicest way...

What is the greatest joy you derive from creating? Accomplishment? The process? Sharing it with others? Please explain…

The greatest joy for me is that I have the choice to create.  My grandmas and my mom never had the opportunities I have, or the choices, so for me to be able to do what I love is the greatest feeling ever. I'm grateful every single day that I get to do what I've always dreamed of doing! 

I feel the same way Gwynnie, especially when I see so many others make a choice to NOT use their creativity and it really IS a CHOICE we can all make in every moment. I think "To choose" is perhaps the biggest creative action we take every day...

Lovely little bowls from Gwynnie's website...

Do you think a creative life comes from ideas, doing or being?

All of the above!  We're all creative beings, and I truly believe we are all artists in some way. Whether it's making traditional art or putting together a menu to feed your family, it's the doing and the being and the ideas that spark the creative process.  I don't think you can have one without the other when living a creative life. And life is about creating!

How do you express your creative life? Is it integrated in your daily life or is it a separate part of your life?

I am a woman who makes art and an artist who happens to be a woman.  There is no separation in my life.  All aspects of my life, from clothing to decorating, is a reflection of my artful self with no line of demarcation.

Can you think of a time when someone else’s creativity fed you? What was that like? 

Oh, this happens everyday!  I'm fed very well with all of the inspiration around me, from fellow artists, nature, the Internet, and just plain ol' life.

What is the most significant creative event in your life to date? Was it a defining moment? Was it a milestone or a lifetime goal?

The most significant creative event in my life was the decision to pursue my art.  I'll never forget the day I was completely honest with myself and decided I needed a huge change.  I was commuting to grad school and was very unhappy with the direction my life was going. I pulled over on the highway, called my husband to tell him I was quitting grad school, and then turned the car around to face an uncertain future as an unemployed artist! This decision, to finally listen to my heart, was the most creative and defining moment in my life as an artist, and as a free woman.

I sure am glad you made that choice Gwynnie - otherwise I would be interviewing someone else today!! ;) Seriously, it can be hard to make the decision to become a full time artist so I heartily applaud you!

Create your own Fairy Tale and honor your Story with this charming book!

What is it like to be a self-sustaining artist? 

Wonderful, hard, challenging, fabulous!  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Is your life different from the time when you worked for others?

Very different! There's a different code, a different way of doing things because you're answering to others and following other people's ideas.  I loved working for other people but I always felt that something was missing.  Now I follow my ideas, my code and my way of doing things.  Plus, my dogs and cats get to go to work with me!  And I don't have to wear a bra if I don't want to.


LOL!! yes, pets and no bra are some great perks to working for yourself, even if it is a challenge! Working for oneself might be hard but you get to honor yourself in a way that many employers don't and you know that honoring yourself is important!! 

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Many thanks to Gwynnie B for taking the time to be interviewed! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it! Be sure to check out Gwynnie's beautiful jewelry and her new passion for painting as her journey continues to unfold:


Kathryn Hansen said...

OMG...i had to laugh at that last comment...being around animals and not wearing a bra would definitely be heaven!!

Gwynnie B said...

What a fabulous interview, Monica! Thank you for asking me and giving such a great interview.

You are a woman of many many talents and we are all so lucky to have your bad ass creative self in our lives!


SueAnn said...

Loved this interview!! Love to her of another woman artist's journey and process! Her work is fabulous!!
Thanks hun!!