Welcome to Wednesdays where Create Everyday interviews a creative soul about their creative process. Today, I am happy to introduce Maria Apostolou.
Is there a particular rhythm you have around your creative work time? If so, what does it look like?
I often think that creativity is like a wave and when I'm on it everything seems perfect. Between managing orders and doing production work for my jewelry line, it can often be a struggle to find time to create something new. But the reason why I got into the jewelry making in the first place was to be able to create and express my ideas; this is why the time to play and be creative is something that I hold sacred.
The "solution" that I found for this issue is to get involved in various day-to-day projects that keep me on track. It started back in 2010 with the Ring-a-Day project and it continued with the Ring-a-Week and the TrueAddicts of Daily Art next year. This year I'm doing the Brooch-a-Day along with other creatives, jewelers and friends over on Flickr.
I'm also keeping a botanical journal, which I plan to fill with one sketch each day for the whole 2013. The general idea is to try and be creative on a daily basis, so that eventually it becomes a habit.
How many work spaces do you have and how/why do they work for you?
I have a small studio, which is home based. This is where I spend most of the time, sitting on my jewelry bench, doing all the fabrication necessary for each piece: cutting the metal, filing, soldering, cleaning and finishing. Then, I might need a change of scenery and I move to the living room, or even on the balcony when it's warmer, to do stuff like beading, knotting, adding cords, making crochet parts etc. I also prefer to go outside or in a well ventilated area, when I work with resins.
Do you do any "cross training" (activities that may enhance or spark your creativity)?
I like the term cross training! Now that I think about it, I tend to do that a lot. I like watercolor painting, I 've taught myself to knit and crochet to the point of becoming obsessed with it over long periods of time. I also do a lot of embroidery and all sorts of crafting.
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
For me there's nothing better than a long ride with my bike outside the city, when I will eventually stop and look around, collect bits that grab my attention, photograph or sketch just for the pure joy of it. I don't actively seek inspiration, it just happens when my mind is relaxed and thus more receptive to outside stimulus. And the natural world is always an endless source of inspiration for me.
I also find a lot of inspiration from books and magazines, not necessarily related to jewelry. I read a lot of magazines related to architecture, decorating, fashion and crafting, cooking and many more.
Generally, how long are your work periods?
That is really hard to tell. Besides the actual making process, there are always many other things that need to be done, like photographing, editing, updating my website and blog, answering to e-mails, making invoices, packaging and shipping. So I've stopped counting hours long time ago!
When do you know that you need to "take a break" or stop working (for the moment)?
It's easy when you're doing something that you really love to get carried away, loose track of time and become overworked. Making jewelry is fun but it's also hard work. I make a conscious effort to listen to my body and stop before it's too late. I'm not always very successful but I try. I believe in taking regular breaks that fuel your creativity and keep you happy with what you do.
Do you suffer from perfectionism and if so, what techniques do you use to manage this?
If you don't, what experiences do you feel are responsible for taking you off the hook here?
Over the years, I actually find myself more attracted to the beauty of imperfection. For instance, distressed, worn surfaces are much more interesting than clean and shiny ones, don't you think? But the perfectionist in me is always there when it comes to the quality of the craftsmanship, this has to be of the highest standards.
Do you have a creative support system? How important is this to your process?
I have a wonderful boyfriend, whose support is essential in every step of the way. He helps just by being there, especially when things get crazy. He also has a great eye for design so his opinion is very important for me. I also receive a lot of support from my family and friends. From the very beginning, they believed in what I was doing and encouraged me to continue.