Monday, September 22, 2008

An Inspiring Interview with Michelle of Cicada Home

Michelle from Cicadahome.etsy shares the inspiration behind her "Berries and String" pillow.

What inspired this piece?
A number of things, really. I conceived it in early winter... the days were getting shorter and the colors less vivid. When I think of the cool gray of winter, I'm always struck by the sight of bold, bright red- either the cardinals or bows on a tree at Christmastime or holly berries. I also got big into pillow-making at the time, so I knew what I was designing would be for this project- that helps things take shape quicker for me, when there is an end plan.

Can you detail how you translated your inspiration into your work of art?
Color is always a motivator for me. The image of red on gray triggered the twigs print. For this I wanted something abstract, yet somewhat recognizable. I actually did 2 previous versions that were just not right, but then all at once I looked at it and knew exactly what it should be. I love lucid moments like that... makes it soooo much simpler! Because of the way I make my pillows, I needed an accent pattern as well. It would have to be in the same color story, but I wanted to contrast the more literal print with a more undefinable one. I also wanted it to be a contrast to the rigid gray sticks... as I toyed with the idea and doodled with motifs for a look, I came up with a big swirly string set on a quirky offset geometric. The two married each other very well, I think.

Where do you tend to find inspiration for your art pieces?
Nature primarily. The organic, perfect, yet not perfect shape of things. Also, color, balance and contrast. These three elements are key to me. I always strive for something that will appeal (to me) on all these levels at once. Another of my sources of inspiration is books and the internet. I constantly troll for images and ideas here and there- could be anything really. I just keep my eyes and mind open to all visual things. I am greatly impressed by the talents of others, too. I often wish I had skills that someone else may possess. I just love it when people are good at what they do- that is true inspiration.

Any advice for someone feeling uninspired?
I rarely encounter a dry creative spell- if anything, I suffer from the opposite of having too many ideas and not enough focus, which can be equally paralyzing. When this happens to me, I attempt to think things through... try to understand what's most important to me at this moment. So, my advice is to take pause, and give yourself some time to listen to your thoughts. Keep a notebook, doodle little things, make a list of all the creative things you'd like to do- not worrying about whether they are practical or not. Revisit these notes often and see if you can't find one that bubbles to the top of the priority list... or seems the most effortless. Just getting into the groove is the best medicine and as much as I like to dive into projects head first, my advice is to take baby steps- this way, you'll know each step of the way if it feels right or not. I find too often, I plow through a plan only to realize, this is not necessarily what I had hoped it would be. I need to take my own advice!

See more of Michelle's work, including her fabulous fabric here:
my blog
my original shop
my new home shop


Athena's Armoury said...

Fantastic interview. It was so personalized and really gave a good glimpse into an impressive artist.

Eileen said...

love the interview...beautiful fabrics, clean and crisp...

Heather Moore said...

Fantastic to read about Michelle's process. I really admire her work and her drive too!

High Desert Diva said...

Nice interview. Michelle has a great talent!

pomme designs said...

you've always been an inspiration to me, michelle!


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