Thursday, June 23, 2011


Ok, I'm just going to quote here, because maybe I'll remember it more if I write it:

"In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative... ...there's a process that generates creativity--and you can learn it. And you can make it habitual. There's a paradox in the notion that creativity should be a habit. We think of creativity as a way of keeping everything fresh and new, while habit implies routine and repetition. That paradox intrigues me because it occupies the place where creativity and skill rub up against each other.
Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this?... The ritual erases the question of whether or not I like it. It's also a friendly reminder that I'm doing the right thing, (I've done it before. It was good. I'll do it again.)"

I just started reading this book again, well, actually I never finished reading it before, hmmm guess I didn't get into the ritual of reading it!! It seems pretty good though. 

I know it's easy to make a habit of anything. I could easily get in the habit of eating potato chips every night, but it's just as easy to get into the habit of doing something healthy or beneficial. I used to go to bed and read. One night, I had an apple while I was reading, and started having an apple each night I would read. After about a week, I couldn't start reading unless I had an apple with me. I started to crave apples in bed while reading. 

So I guess the idea is to create some ritual that becomes a habit and keeps you moving and working. Sometimes I freeze up... I don't know what I want to work on, I can't decide which is more important, I can't think of anything... So if I can create that ritual which leads to habit, I will go in and work on anything, it doesn't matter what it is, as long as I'm working on something. It doesn't have to be the most creative thing I've ever done. It doesn't have to be the Nobel prize winning piece. Actually, most of the nice pieces that I've done, came from an ordinary idea that I just kept working on and developed. It's hard for me to remember that.

TADA is a ritual as is RAW

Do you have any rituals that get you into the studio to work?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Letters of Adornment: a progress report

Hello everyone! This is Maria Apostolou and today I thought I'd share what I've done so far with my letters.

As soon as Evelyn assigned the letters, I got very excited and started researching various words starting with J and K. Then I decided to narrow it down and search for plants starting with these letters. I thought that this way, I could also incorporate the finished pieces in my botanical series.

As it turns out there are not many plants starting with J and there 're even fewer options starting with K. In the end, I decided to go with Jasmine for J and Kalanchoe for K.

I like jasmine because it's so delicate and fragrant. I also have so many childhood memories of summer nights, where the smell of the jasmine vine was an integral part of the scene.

Kalanchoe is a whole other story. It's a sturdy flowering succulent plant, it doesn't need much care or attention and it does very well on its own. The leaves are thick, shiny and they have these nice scalloped edges.

First, I made a few drawings for a neckpiece, reminiscent of the jasmine vine. I also plan to make a ring, inspired by the kalanchoe. For the actual flower, I will try a form that I haven't done before and hope that it will work out.

The jasmine neckpiece came together fast and it's almost finished. I have a bit more sanding to do and I'm also making a hook clasp and end tubes to secure the red silk cord.

For the kalanchoe ring, I will experiment with polymer clay and make a few samples, before I fabricate it in silver.

I'd love to hear what you think so far and also read how you plan to work with your letters! So exciting!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A is for...

Letters of Adornment : 
An Online Exhibit of Artful Adornments 

from the Flickr TADA365 Art Jewelry Group

Ok, it's on! 12 people from the TADA group are participating in a
 metal/jewelry abcedarium:

From Wikipedia: An abecedarium (or abecedary) is an inscription consisting of the letters of the an alphabet, almost always listed in order. Typically, abecdaria (or abecedaries) are practice exercises. 

Some abecedaria found in the Athenian Agora appear to be deliberately incomplete, consisting of only the first three to six letters of the Greek alphabet, and these may have had a magical or ritual significance. A deliberately incomplete abecedarium found at Hymettos in Attica may have been a votive offering.

We have divided up the alphabet and we are ready to see where the letters will take us. 

They will be done by September 5 and Mary Lu is creating a website for the show. 

The exhibit page will have one thumbnail of each piece. The thumbnail will link to a page with the two photos enlarged and the artist name, etc. 

There will also be a comments or guestbook section.

Please check the blog for progress reports

, thoughts, & experiments, 

on how the project is going.

TADA #133 5/15/11 1. Evelyn (Markasky) N Q

the elves2 2. Kest {(Vagabond Jewelry (Kest)} 

What a Ship Is...Pendant 123/365 3. Mary Lu (Mary Lu Wason) 

marigold 4. Pallavi(Pallavi Gandhi) 

Turquoise bracelet 5. Maria (Maria Apostolou) 


photo   6. Kevin (a blackbird) C T

RAW52 kinetic "Draw-a-Face" &TADA365 7. Sandra (micicart) 

The Leaf Princess (face) 8. Marian (Ms Place)
 F G

Strata veneer on hollow bead 9. Lee Ann {(mustardseedcreations (Lee Ann)} 

TADA365 10. Ponsawon (polymerclaybeads) 

9/5/11 The T-Fold Opened - the back TADA365 No:239 11. Helen Derici 

RAD 356/365 12. Lesley Tinnaro 
I O D 

And some info for the players:
Photos No more than 2 jpegs for each letter.
Method of fabrication:
Artist Statement (about this piece):

Artist Name:
Artist Info (like a bio, but super short - one paragraph):
Artist website/contact info:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Almost Halfway Through the Year!

Ok, I'm exaggerating slightly, but we are close to being half-way through the year.

Recent Photos from the TADA group
See where everyone is at. These are some photos from the last few pages in the TADA group. 1 from each person that is still participating (except me - I could only get 11 on the Big Huge Lab mosaic maker - you know where you can find me) Looks like we are down to 11 regular contributers. (Please let me know if I missed anyone.)

So how is everyone feeling?!!!

I'm feeling tired and burned out.

But what I love about these year long challenges is that it keeps me going, even when I'm burned out.

I probably have about 10-20 REALLY good ideas every day. I get really excited thinking about them. I may even attempt to do a few of them. Then a lot of the time they don't seem like REALLY good ideas anymore and I move on to the next new one! The ideas are fun, bringing them into reality is usually work and a lot of the time - tedious, boring work, not fun like the ideas.

But when you can get through the tedious part, you usually have something very interesting from it. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you've accomplished something. It takes you on a journey. Sometimes you deviate from the original idea and it takes you someplace you may never have thought about. In retrospect, I love where the tedious boring work takes me!

How do I get through the tedious boring work?

I check in with my Flickr groups everyday. Even when I haven't done anything. Even when I can't take or post or describe another picture, I come and see what everyone else is doing. It usually makes me smile. Everyday I get to know the group a little better. I hear your struggles too. I feel less crazy, because I find that I'm not the only one who feels 'that way.' I have learned tons from everyone here and my thinking has grown so much in my art. I can't wait to see what the 2nd half of the year will bring!!

Leave a comment and let us know how you are feeling.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Interview as Art

1. What was your first work of art and how old were you?
 As far as I can remember I always had something in my hand to draw with.... I clearly remember being aware of my drawings being just scribblings until one day those lines accidentally seemed to resemble a granny profile and oh was I ecstatic for finally "learning" to draw "properly"... I was small.... probably 3 yrs old. 

2. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
 Being silly and rebellious... trying this and that... skipping classes with friends if the sun was smiling...
3. What and when was your first job?
 In Toronto during my 10th grade... during weekends in "Cultures" in a mall.... selling salads and so....

4. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
 I can't really remember because I am still very pleased with some of my work when I was only 7. I wrote poems and designed fashion garments on a regular basis.

5. Who was the first artist to influence you?
 My mom. I used to sit in her office and watch her draw with rapidographs harbours and many other plans for construction sites and I would imitate her drawings. I was mostly fascinated by little circles of different sizes representing stones. Later I continued using rapidographs in my graphic drawings.

6. Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?
 Oh I grew up on western movies and my favorite was Clint Eastwood :)) Later it was Jerry Lewis, Fred Astair with Ginger, Charlie Chaplin....  mostly comedians and dancers

7. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
 Muppet show

8. Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?
 Definitely, considering that my first sales 20 years ago were almost giveaways... my friends were either laughing or criticizing me for devaluing my own work with such low prices. 


9. Where do you get your ideas?
 Mostly from my love for life

10. Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?
 Anyone who is satisfied and happy with his/her own work of art and lives from it
11. Do you think that there are any art movements now?
 I don't think that society can be surprised any more as it had been in the past while many new techniques were being developed, discovered and introduced... I think now-days many are trying to RE-develop, RE-discover, RE-introduce old and forgotten techniques and combine with new.... In that context there are many movements...

12. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?
 Yes, if it is coordinated
13. Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?

14. Do you ever think about politics?
 One can think about politics in many ways. I do not get involved, for me it is all a big fat global lie to hold "the sheep" under control, only in such manner do I think about it. Do not like to wear pink glasses.
15. What is your favorite color?
 Turquoise blues and greens, but I actually love ALL colors!

16. Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?
 I do my own work but sometimes I dream of having someone by my side to work with.... would love that someone to be any or both of my kids

17. Do you have an interest in films or video?
 Only animated.

18. What kind of toys do you have?
 None, but I used to have lots of teddies of different sorts and sizes until my kids got hold of them :)

19. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?
 Procrastination and wanting to do everything by myself (call it mission impossible).... I should probably stop wanting for a day to have 48h and start organizing my time accordingly

20. What do you do when you’re not working?
 Spending time with my kids, exploring the truth, from now-on I'll also be in my new garden planting

21. Do you play any games?
 Used to love to play cards, mostly Remi, also love Yamb, now my kids love to play among other games Mikado. Any decent game works for me as long as the players don't take it too seriously.

22. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?
 Don't have one yet, and probably won't have it at all.

23. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.)
 I am an early bird and no matter how late I go to bed I get up before 9.... mostly between 7 and 8.... sometimes even earlier.

24. How much time do you spend on the computer?
 More then I want to, which I am efficiently changing these days.

25. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)
 Yes I do, and mostly cooking shows. Love Kitchen Nightmares, Bizarre Food, Ultimate Survival with Bear Grylls, NCIS, anything on nature and discoveries.... Not too keen on soaps.

26. What do you eat?
 Oh in my case the question should go like this : What should you eat and what would you like to eat? I have an issue with my health and need to be on a strict diet which I have to admit am not really following these days, but I was and will again. Favorite I love and can eat are SPAGHETTIIIIII!!! or any pasta, grapefruit, cabbage, carrots..... Favorite I love and shouldn't eat are CHOCOLATE and pizza.

27. Do you believe in flying saucers?
 In ones that are made by US military, yes. In aliens' - NO.

28. Do you believe in magic?
 Magic is present, but do I believe if it is good - NO.

29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
 Lee Harvey Oswald is a name for those who need a name to put a blame upon. Those who wish to find the reason why Kennedy was shot will find another answer.

30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up?
 My real mirror when I wake up is my heart and I seriously wake up every morning with thoughts of how not to repeat the same mistakes from previous days....
I find myself not being able to follow that each day, but I do try.... The other mirror has its practical purpose.
31. Do you think the world can be saved?
 If by "world" you mean planet Earth then I think there is nothing humans can do to destroy it in order to have to save it. It has been around much longer than any being and gone through plenty. I believe in God as its creator and protector of all the beauty we see. We all can only reap what we sow.

32. Do you think there should be censorship?
If everyone would grow conscience then there would be no need for censorship. Conscience is the best censorship. Do those who put censorship on others have conscience??