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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 062617 Kelly Clemons

Today in the #sparkchamber, the dance of life and art is demonstrated by wife, mother, and installation artist Kelly Clemons. Kelly works predominantly with porcelain because she loves a challenge and needs to be daily reminded that control is really just a figment of her imagination. She learns every day what it means to be a parent, and she loves that her daughter Ellah is her guide. She walks through life with a husband that mellows her out and reminds her that life doesn’t always have to be so complicated. Follow her on Instagram @kellydclemons.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

I don’t know that I can really pinpoint where ideas come from for me. I think they really just come from my curiosities about how things are made or how an idea might look visually. Sometimes I see things that intrigue me, and I think about how my perception of them might change if I chose to cover a wall in multiples of them. I like to think of things as meaning holders and how their meaning might be different if they became part of a group or if they changed in one way or another. Sometimes I have no idea how I got to a particular idea and that is usually an idea that comes after a long period of “zoning out” from the world around me. So, I guess I also get ideas from those places in our brains that don’t get used much, because we are too busy doing life.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

I am motivated by the need to get creativity out of me, and also to influence others with that creativity. I realize that if I don’t live and work creatively then I am just a pent-up ball of anguish. I spent a good portion of my life believing that I was creative but that I wasn’t necessarily an artist; therefore, I didn’t identify with what was really going on inside of me. I didn’t even let myself think like an artist, which meant that those thoughts and understandings about visual expression were just stuck in me. It was almost like living a dual personality. I knew that I was this one thing, but I didn’t at the same time, because I couldn’t find a space to let that side of me exhale into. So, now that I am able to fully identify as an artist, I have an understanding where I can release all those thoughts and ideas, and then I can walk them out in my work. I also am motivated by influence. I really don’t like that about myself, but I have learned to embrace it. I used to think being motivated by my desire to influence others was a vanity issue, but I now realize that I am just really passionate about sharing my ideas with people. I don’t need to sway you with my ideas, but I do need to share them with you. My art is a way for me to share without words, and coming from a pretty extreme extrovert, that is so nice to have in my life. Sometimes I just want to share my insides with you without having to say a word. That sounds really sexual, huh… Sorry about that! :-)

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

I am most definitely a night owl and a tortoise at the same time. I feel like there should be a mythical creature that is a mixture of those two animals so that I could have a mascot! I have skylights in my studio that most days allow for me to work by natural light, but I sometimes wonder if I would get more done if I went on the roof and covered them with black cloth! I think time slows down at night and I love that about it. I don’t want to be rushed when I work. I like to be methodical and something about the daytime feels rushed to me. However, the reality of my life is that I have an 8-year old daughter that I drop off at school before I go to the studio, and I need to get most of my work done during that time in order to meet deadlines and be productive, so I am learning to embrace the sun!

4.] How do you know when you are done?

Well, this is a good question. I have to say that I never feel fully finished with my work most of the time. I am very meticulous (notice I didn’t use the word perfectionistic) with many things in my life and my art is no exception. So, sometimes I just have to walk away because the work has to be hung, and I just have to learn to be at peace with whatever “unfinished” qualities my mind sees. Usually, once the work is fully installed in its new home, most of those qualities melt away. It’s almost like the work just needs to be settled so that it can exude a completeness that I can’t see in my studio.