This week I asked EtsyChai members: “How do you stay creative? What inspires you?” I got so many responses, this will have to be a 3-part series, at least! I find inspiration everywhere, and love to see what other creative folks think. Read on and enjoy!
-Tammy, aka tamdoll
“My plates are designed to make people smile and laugh. Nothing serious. Even the Breast Cancer Plate has fun quotes on it. My inspiration comes from my family, friends and customers. Anybody that has something not so fun going on their life, this is something to just make them smile.
I love when my customers tell me who they are buying it for and why. Like these: On Mother's Day, there was a gift for a girlfriend who was a single mother with twins trying to make ends meet -- I did a mix of mothers, twins, love, girlfriends; For the girl’s boyfriend who was in Iraq and missed Cleveland so much; Or the mother who gave a personalized one to her daughter and her daughter said that it will now be a family Heirloom; And when I was at a show recently, a man with his daughter saw the Breast Cancer Plate and looked at her with tears in his eyes and said "We have to get that for mom"..she is 46 and just finished her treatment.
I love when people come up to my table all serious, start reading the Yiddish one, which is my most popular plate, and just start laughing. I love getting to know my customers and if my plates can just make people smile for a minute, I feel like I have made a difference.”
“I know it sounds a bit crazy, but a LOT of my inspirations come to me in the half-sleep state while I am just going to sleep, or just waking up. I am not awake, but not totally asleep and I see these pictures of designs... (eerie twilight zone music plays...)”
“I get most of my ideas in the shower! I am inspired by techniques that I want try..and ideas that I need to communicate in a different way. I am inspired by the works of other artists...especially the Fauvists, Impressionists and Expressionists. I always look at their work for inspiration :). Although, my family will tell you, that even pieces of junk mail/ recycled garbage..especially parts from my old kitchen have inspired me :).
“Upcoming holidays (US and Jewish) inspire many of my designs, including my new line of birthstone jewelry.
I also get inspiration from my clients, who ask if I have a specific item. For example, I sold a pair of matzah earrings to a woman who asked if I had a Jewish holiday necklace. Then, the idea of a chain necklace with Judaica charms came to me and I made it, emailed her to say she inspired the design, and she purchased it!
My first out of state customer who ordered a kippah asked for a comb to be included. I never did that before and now all my kippot include a comb.”
Come back soon, add us to your blog reader, or just sign up for our EtsyChai updates by email and catch the next installment of this series to read how more members find their creative inspiration!