Roundtable: Quality

Back to a somewhat contentious topic: Quality. What is quality? What part does quality play in artwork? And since it’s handmade artwork, should quality even be relevant? This is a fairly complex topic and it corresponds to our Discovery Challenge #5. Enjoy these very different conversations about Quality and what it means for us as creatives. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful commentary!

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Convo with Ana Belchí

Ana Belchí is a Spanish polymer clay artist and teacher who is known for her clear, colorful designs, attention to detail, and enthusiastic rapid-fire delivery. You’re in for a treat with this wonderful interview.

Ana shares her thoughts about the design process, about making quality work, about seeing your work in a new light. It’s a fascinating conversation that you don’t want to miss.

I had trouble sharing during the video, but here are photos of Ana’s work. Enjoy! Many of these projects are available as a free tutorial on YouTube or as a paid tutorial on Etsy. Either way, I strongly recommend Ana’s tutorials. She’s a master of detail and you will learn so much more than you expect. Thank you, Ana, for sharing time with us. You’ve made our world a better place!

Convo with Lyne Tilt on Self-Care

Our very first guest convo in Insiders was with Lyne Tilt where she spoke to us about the idea of being mindful with your creative process. She’s back again this month to continue the conversation. Lyne is both an artist and a teacher and her former work in pastoral care has positioned her well to speak about this month’s topic of Self-Care. This was a fantastic talk!

Lyne is from Brisbane, Australia, and runs Studio on Brunswick in Fortitude Valley (Brisbane).

Links and Resources

The books mentioned in the video are:

Which part of Lyne’s talk resonated with you? Was there any point that jumped out at you and made you think twice? Share your thoughts on self-care below, and let’s continue the conversation here…

Roundtable: Self-Care

The month of December is always hard for creatives. There are so many expectations (meals, gatherings, gift-buying) and we have to join so many events (company parties, family do’s). And you know how it goes. The minute things get crazy in our lives, our creative time is the first thing to go. Plus, many of us feel obligated to make gifts for our most beloved people, which adds to the stress. So I thought the topic of self-care would be quite welcome this month.

Here are our talks on self-care. If this topic interests you, please also consider watching the talk that Lyne Tilt shared with us as well. In addition, Jennifer Summers has a column in the Community called “Create Well with Jen” that speaks about Self-Care as well. There are many more resources shared in both of those places.

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Convo with Melissa Terlizzi

Our special guest in November was Melissa Terlizzi, who is known for her detailed, whimsical sculptures of reptiles. Melissa makes adorable frogs, chameleons, turtles, and various other “creepy critters” that manage to be both realistic and friendly. Enjoy getting to know her in this great conversation.

You can find Melissa online here:

Roundtable: Selling, Pros vs Cons

NOTE: The videos are up!

The eternal question. Should you sell your work? Or not?

The decision to start a business to sell your artwork is a HUGE one. We talked about the decision process, both why some of us have done it and why some of us have not. We covered both sides of this and shared our experiences and thoughts on this juicy and complex topic.

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Roundtable: Taste

You know those thoughtful philosophical discussions that you have around the campfire with friends? Imagine having them with your artist friends, about the deep, juicy topics that all artists juggle? That’s what our Roundtable discussions are. We “chew on” a juicy topic and see where it goes. Our varied perspectives and opinions, shared in a constructive way, help us see things from a whole new perspective. These are always fascinating discussions!

This month, we tackled the concept of TASTE. What is good taste? Bad taste? How is taste determined? Do artists need to know about it? Does it matter?

Unlike previous Roundtables, I think most of you were in pretty close agreement on this one. Enjoy the recordings of the two sessions below. But first, give a little watch to Charlie Tuna, trying to show us what he things good taste is.

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This was a lively discussion with a lot of input. Enjoy!

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Oops! I forgot to send out the reminder email. Thanks to these brave souls who put it in their calendar and showed up! It was still a good conversation. Thanks for humoring me!

More about Taste

As these things often go, the next day after the meetings, I was reminded of this video by music theory buff Adam Neely. While this has nothing whatsoever to do with polymer clay, it does give a very well-explained example of how a cultural norm from 1725 is shaping what is “good taste” is on a Tik Tok short. Sadly, bullying happened as a result of people not realizing this connection. This video is full of music geekery, but even if you don’t understand that part, you’ll understand what Adam is saying here.

The wonderful song “As the World Caves In” is the focus of this rich discussion. The overall topic is relevant to our topic, but I’m linking it here because it’s appealing to my geekiness. Enjoy!

Convo with Marko Lovrenski

For our October guest interview, we met Serbian/Italian sculptor Marko Lovrenski. Marko is known for his innovative techniques and surface effects with Papa’s Clay (but they’ll work with all brands). You can see Marko on Instagram here.

A couple of the people that Marko mentioned in his talk were Simon Lee (@spiderzero) and Mia Miha (@mihart_)

Many thanks to Marko and to everyone who shared their generous questions and feedback!

Convo with Christi Friesen

Christi Friesen is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met, and that’s exactly the topic that she’s sharing with us in this intense conversation. Learn the secret to why Christi never gets creative block, why people are frustrated with their own creativity, and why traveling so much helped her use her studio materials more freely. This is a great conversation that you won’t want to miss.

Some of the special links mentioned in the video include:

Christi’s Website

Christi’s Facebook

Nudge Cards

Spooky Silly Weekend

Roundtable: Skill vs. Talent

We’ve discussed Voice, Story, and the huge topic of Art vs. Craft. Are you ready for another juicy topic? We’re tackling the world of Skill vs. Talent. What’s the difference? Do we need both? Can someone without talent become skilled? What about a talented person without skill? How do we navigate this for ourselves, and more importantly…does it even matter?

Wow…these conversations were deep and thought-provoking! We had a lot of fascinating input and heard a lot of perspectives from all angles of this chewy topic. Here are the recordings from both of our Roundtable Discussion sessions. Enjoy!

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