we are spending a little time with Clarissa….
I love to teach because: I love the energy of being in a room full of people creating it is infectious. I also love to see what 15 different people will do with the same technique and materials. The variety and ingenuity is incredible.
Attending an Art Retreat is like: like hot yoga. Intense, invigorating and stretches you in ways you didn’t think were possible. For me it is also like a really good dinner made with love. It feeds my creative hunger and wets my appetite for more and more.
When I attended my first Art Retreat, I felt like I had came home. There were people that “spoke” the same language as me. People that loved creepy baby dolls and art made from everything and the kitchen sink.
Who do you creatively relate with? I am in love with folk artists and outsider artists especially those that create entire environments. Such as Leonard Knight that created Salvation Mtn, a crazy monument to love in the middle of a wasteland. Isaiah Zagar covering 50,000 sq feet of Philadelphia. I relate to their resilience and tenacity to create no matter what and to create out of what materials are at hand.
The best part of living a creative life is: losing myself into a peaceful timeless zone where nothing exists besides the fire of creation.
What is the worst part of living a creative life? Having to pay the mortgage. In making a living as an artist sometime you have to make the work that sells as appose to the work that is currently making you heart sing.
What advice would you like to share? If you want to be an artist you must make art! That may seem obvious, but to get good you have to return to the studio daily and make and FINISH art pieces. Then get that art out there in the world whether it is for sale or gifts or donations. Move the art along so there is room physically and emotionally to make more
The best advice I have ever received is : Don’t give up and don’t listen to other people’s opinion about you or your arts worth.
‘Being creative’ means : being authentic and making decisions with gusto and passion.
Which Artist inspires you the most & why? This is always changing and evolving right now I am really inspired by Judy Pfaff because she creates big beautiful chaos in fancy galleries.
What are your favorite tools, instruments, materials to use and why? My gesso and my crème brulee torch, I can make anything look ancient in a few moments.
What would you love to try next, creatively? Welding large found object sculptures and making concrete sculpture to mosaic both for my art house and garden of the future.
Where do you find your muse/inspiration? Everywhere: Museums, Pintrest! Art Retreats, Burning Man
Do you sell your work? If so, where can your fans seek you out? I vend at the conferences where I teach. I do art festival in the Pacific Northwest, and I do have an etsy site .
Name one of your favorite food, song, poem, book and/or movie of all time? Mary Oliver’s poem Summer Day and in particular the line “Tell Me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Jody Foster quote “Normal is not something to aspire to, it is something to get away from.” Favorite movie.. Frida for so many reasons!
What was your scariest creative adventure? I think each new one I embark on is at that time the scariest. I have been really pushing myself to work bigger. So my most recent “scary” was a 20ft x 8ft installation that I had two weeks to prepare for and then two days to install at Burning Man.
The thing I love most about my life is : freedom
What makes your heart swell with joy? People bravely speaking, creating, or writing about their passion whatever that may be.
Three words to describe my work are: Strange, surreal, and wonderful
What creative tool can you not live without (so-to-speak)? Walnut Ink
My favorite ‘pretend’ curse word is : I have to admit it if I can’t say the real ones then I don’t say them at all.
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I love this interview. So many points resonate with and my creative journey. Thank you.
Great interview responses, Clarissa – very inspiring!