Is there a particular rhythm you have around your creative work time? If so, what does it look like?
Rhythm with creative work time depends on the kind of creative work I’m doing. In general I have flow periods where I’m in it, in it, in it, and then others wehre I’m more ruminating, collecting information, “refilling the well” as Julia Cameron called it in The Artists’ Way.
How many work spaces do you have and how/why do they work for you?
I’m blessed with a studio space in my house that I’ve set up into “zones.” One is for jewelry making, another is a long table in the center of the room which will have various different projects going at once. Resin drying, book binding projects, collage layouts, an empty space for photographing my food, etc. I love having this “room of my own” because when I’m finished working, I can shut the door on the mess and not worry about it.
Do you do any "cross training" (activities that may enhance or spark your creativity)?
Everything I do in the course of day-to-day life has the potential to become part of my work. As an example, my partner and I watched a documentary about this crazy (and I mean legit crazy) BMX biker (loved it, ps). A few weeks later while in a writing session, one of the characters’ backstory begun drawing from this gnarly adrenaline junky dude we were introduced to through the movie.
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
For me, experience is the lifeblood of art. No matter what I do, there’s something that has the potential to inspire me. Reading an incredible poem, walking, running scales on the piano, free writing, cooking, all of it!
Generally, how long are your work periods?
This’ll depend on how much consistency I put into certain kinds of work. Writing is the hardest and always takes the longest (unless I’m in rough draft mode). My current work is creative, so I aim for a 50/50 split between creation/content production and connection/hustle. A balance is key.
When do you know that you need to "take a break" or stop working (for the moment)?
An intuitive ending comes about. I can feel it’s time to stop. Of course, if I haven’t given as much time to something that is hungry for more, I can lose track of time and go, go, go without water or food or bathroom. That’s usually a red flag for me to deliberately carve out more time for whatever kind of art sucked me in.
Do you suffer from perfectionism and if so, what techniques do you use to manage this?
The word suffer is interesting here. I’ve made my peace with my perfectionism and use specific tools to manage it; ie, created ways to effectively reduce its negative effects on work. Mantras in the studio space help remind me.
If you don't, what experiences do you feel are responsible for taking you off the hook here?
Again, neutralizing my perfectionism is active work. I also see that it has a positive role in my work sometimes. Keeps me on my toes and critical in a good way of what I’m producing.
Do you have a creative support system? How important is this to your process?
My partner and I are rich creative collaborators with different strengths. Our work with each other on various projects helps keep me feeling supported, engaged, and soothed when self-doubt thunders in. He’ll go through the same periods of questioning that I do, and so we can really understand and empathize with each other around this. It helps in a huge way.
Ariyele Ressler's many passions have manifested in art across diverse mediums. She is a writer, poet, musician, comedian, bookmaker, and jewelry designer. Her current project is a marriage of many passions as the hostess and creator of an online cooking show called In The Kitchen, Keepin’ It Real, where she posts weekly episodes of recipes that are simple to prepare and nutritious. For every episode there's also a blog post to provide her viewers with hardcopy recipe, instructions, and stories, (and to keep her writing muscles in shape). You can find pretty pictures of her food on both her blog and Pinterest.
To see her latest episode, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIGE13gNj4w