Isn’t it wonderful to have a block of uninterrupted time to look forward to, knowing it will be spent on your art? Sometimes I block an hour or two for myself on Friday nights (I guess you can tell I’m not 21 anymore) to focus on a creative project. I’ll fiercely protect that time all week, refusing to let grocery shopping, social media, TV-watching, or anything else steal the time before it arrives.
I protect my labors of love, and make my artistic expressions a priority. I let my soul shine, and so does Thomas Ashman.
Thomas is a mixed-media artist who was featured in the January/February 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors for his metal art journals, art dolls, jewelry, and sculptures. Because the Cloth Paper Scissors shop is holding a “Labor of Love” 50% off sale, I thought I’d offer some inspiration today, so you too can be inspired to create.
|Artwork by Thomas Ashman, blacksheepartist.com|
CPS: What’s your favorite part of being an artist?
Thomas: Standing back at the completion of a piece and the feeling of accomplishment I get. I also love to just sit and wonder at the magic of taking an idea from my imagination and turning it into a tangible object.
CPS: If you could go back in time five years, what would you tell yourself about your art?
Thomas: I would just say, “Go for it! Don’t hold anything back. Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.” Not everyone will like your work, some might even hate it, but some people will really love what you do. If you feel it, your audience will, too, and to really reach a viewer on an emotional level is the most rewarding thing an artist can ever do!
CPS: What is the hardest part of making art?
Thomas: The hardest thing is letting the art itself be the purpose of the art, not making it for a class, for a show, for a gift, etc. Making a piece only so it will exist and inspire is the hardest thing for me to do.
CPS: What’s your favorite technique?
Thomas: I always love to see what pyro-magical things my torch can do to a piece.
CPS: What do you do when you don’t feel like making art?
Thomas: I would rather be working than doing pretty much anything else. If I’m not making art, I would most likely be viewing it in one form or another, reading about it and the people who make it, or out somewhere looking for stuff to make art with.
CPS: What do you wish they taught kids in school about art?
Thomas: I wish kids today were being taught to value the benefits of the hard work it takes to perfect their skills, whatever they may be, and that we humans are much happier when we are creating than when we are destroying.
I felt so inspired after reading Thomas’s interview, and I hope you do, too. If you’re in the United States, you’ll likely be celebrating Labor Day weekend, and I hope you’ll be able to push other things aside and devote at least an hour or two to your art. If you ask me, it’s just as important as anything else on your calendar.