THE LUCKY 13!
What is something new you have learned about creativity by observing children?
Watching my niece in particular, I remember what it’s like to create with abandon; to be so unfettered by fear, expectation, and doubt. My niece doesn’t judge her self-worth by how well she has executed a particular piece of art – she just creates, and happily gives away whatever she creates. She shares without hesitation, and I find it incredibly inspiring and encouraging.
*In Mad Hatter terms* In a time when you lost your "much-iness,” what did you do to get your much muchier back?
I lose my much-iness all the time. I’m absent-minded that way. Time in nature always gives me the grounding and re-centering I need to find it and get it back. I adore spending time outdoors watching things; on any given day, it isn’t unusual to find me lying face-down in the grass with a magnifying glass. Or crouching amongst the brambles with binoculars, staring up into the tree tops.
How does a regular creative practice infuse other parts of your life?
A regular creative practice keeps me from tearing everything apart, and ensures that I can actually sleep at night. It happens sometimes, you know, that my day is so full of “other things” that I neglect to find the time to create, and I find I become easily distracted, short-tempered, and my thoughts just chase themselves around with no real coherence. Being creative, even in very small ways, keeps me sane(r) and able to focus. Kind of like coffee.
Do you practice any moon rituals? If so, please share.
I don’t have a regular practice, but I keep track of the moon cycles and always make time to observe her beauty whenever I’m outside at night.
What truth do you whisper to yourself just before you go to sleep?
Tomorrow is a new day; today, you did your best, and now we move on.
What do you consider to be home and how do you get there?
‘Home’ means so many things to me; I feel at home when I’m with my mom; I feel at home when I’m surrounded by books; I feel at home in my tent in the deep woods. Home is a state of mind, and I can invoke it and savor it by paying attention to those moments when I feel most at ease.
Is there a ritual you use to invoke your creative Muse?
Oh, I don’t know about ritual, really – I tend to just sort of follow along when she’s in the mood to play. I don’t think it’s really a matter of invocation, because she seems to do as she pleases regardless. When I’m really feeling like I need to buckle down, I close the French doors to my library, light some incense, and sit down on the floor with some supplies. My work table is an old, low, funky painted coffee table – just the right height for sitting on a cushion on the floor. I’ve found that I seem to have a better connection to my Muse when I’m sitting on the floor.
Name an artist that is currently inspiring you and share why.
Well, at the risk of sounding gushy, I’m totally digging what Mandy is doing these days. The Magic School really took my breath away, and all the wonderful things she’s doing as an art teacher really continues to inspire me. She has a unique way of seeing the world that continually has me tilting my head and thinking, “Oh, well, I never looked at it THAT WAY...” Also, I just picked up Keri Smith’s The Wander Society, and although I already admired her work, this one is really hitting home for me. She gets it.
Tell us about something beautiful you saw this week.
Wow, so many things. A whole bunch of goldfinches visiting my birdbath. My nephew laughing hysterically during a card game. My mom, patiently doing my grandmother’s laundry, even though my grandmother no longer recognizes her. An enormous variety of insects and bugs living in an old mulch pile in my backyard.
Write us the opening lines to your next week.
The first light of the day was beginning to show through the curtains, and as she stumbled out of bed at the start of a new week, she felt grateful for the gift of another day. Already she felt as though the day held so many possibilities. In the hallway, she could hear her cats meowing and calling for breakfast. In the kitchen, the coffee things rested on the counter, patiently awaiting commencement of the morning ritual. She took a deep breath, exhaling slowly, and silently vowed that she would embrace a multitude of adventures in the coming days.
What color means something to you currently and why?
Right now, GREEN is the color I’m digging, and it’s probably no surprise. Spring is finally here, and I’m savoring all the life blooming all around me. Green has always felt like the color of rebirth, resurgence, renewal – and I love it so.
Do you collect anything?
Oh yes! Books, mainly. But I also collect all sorts of curiosities. I like to pick up stuff I find on my camping and hiking trips, and interesting things I find around my yard. You know, stones, leaves, shells, bugs, bones, stuff like that. I like to consider myself an amateur naturalist. I’m insatiably curious, so I’ll pick up almost anything.
What’s the last great book you read?
This is such a difficult question. I read a lot! I think maybe the most recent was Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into The American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston.
Lisa Lowe talks to her cats more than she talks to people. She’s free spirited and a little wild, and lets the grass grow long in spring to encourage the bees. She shares her home with spiders and ants, and sometimes forgets to water her houseplants. Her socks never match, and she worries about very little. She’s not much of a social networker, but she likes Instagram, so follow her there @gatogirl5.
Thanks for reading this artist interview! These interview questions were written collectively by the 2016 Centerfold Artists. The Secret Message Society Centerfold Artist featured here also designed the centerfold pages for the current zine. The centerfold pages are one sheet of full colour, tear out guerilla art. You can cut them up and leave the individual secret messages around your community for others to find.