Making art as part of a collaborative community is an ever-changing, unpredictable, and always inspiring process. In this series, we celebrate the unexpected outcomes of studio cross-pollination, collaboration, mishaps and coincidences.
Today, Marika is sharing her experience of what it’s like to be a part of an artist’s community, and how it’s helped her grow and develop creatively.
I’ve been working in glass for less than a year, so learning and experimenting are my main goals, as well as staying very open to what might happen each time I’m in the studio. I’m discovering that there are a lot of different techniques to making glass art. It’s a completely new medium to me and there’s so much to learn: cutting the glass, figuring out the reactions of the colors and the materials, working out measurements…
Then, once I’ve made a piece, I’m getting used to putting it in the kiln and leaving it for 12 hours. Often I wake up in the morning and wonder what happened to whatever I last put in the kiln! You have to surrender, and that’s the key.
How being part of a community helps artists grow
I love the collective feeling at Creative Gateways. The sharing of the art, the opinions, the diversity. I don’t see a lot of that going on elsewhere – a lot of artists have their medium, do their own thing, have their own ideas, but they’re essentially working solo.
Our environment is more of a melting pot – here we are free to take something from one medium and apply it to another. Not necessarily the material or the technique but the concepts, ideas, methods, or whatever it is that sparks inspiration. For me, it’s very encouraging to speak with the other artists about their work, or ask for their input on mine. It’s also interesting to learn about their muses, processes, and what they do to make their finished pieces.
I love to think about possible future collaborations. I would love to have a woodworker or a metal worker join us. I’ve been thinking of a collaboration piece between a sculptor and the glass artists; and what that might look like. The inspiration is endless, and it feels like there are so many possibilities for doing things that haven’t been tried before.
What a collective is like in practice
How can I describe what it’s like to work here? It’s so different from anything I’ve experienced before! It’s a very free, sharing atmosphere. If the other artists are here, it’s understood that it is totally OK to go talk to them at any time. People work when they need to, or when they feel inspired; sometimes we work late, other times things need to dry or be fired before we’re ready to get back to them.
There’s a real openness to it. If an artist is holed up in their home studio: they only have their eyes, their imagination, their ideas. So you can imagine the difference the collective makes: all of a sudden you have 3 brains and 6 eyes on your work. It’s likely someone will see something entirely differently, and that starts a whole new train of inspiration.
If you’d like to experience the collective for yourself, and meet Marika and the other artists in the studio to find out what they’re currently working on, we’d love to welcome you! We really enjoy showing people around our space and talking about the art we’re creating. Click here to find us.