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

#sparkchamber 082817 Maren Nymo 

Welcome to #sparkchamber, Maren Nymo! Maren is an illustrator, writer, painter, fashion designer, mother, and marathon runner. She’s a former Art Director, current American Sign Language instructor who’s dedicated to building bridges and making connections through expressions in art, writing, and communication. She’s a dreamer that sees the world through strands of violet- or rose-colored hair from time to time. She supports the World Wildlife Fund  and loves the Mutter Museum. Her other faves include: fog, painting, chocolate, puppies and running in the rain. Here’s a link to her illustration gallery, and one to her son’s movie.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Good question. I suppose it depends on what I am working on. If it is a painting then I have the luxury of allowing the idea to come to me in any form from a dream to a lyric to a leaf stain on the sidewalk. But things with deadlines and most of work in general doesn’t permit that, so instead I actively search for inspiration, which means exposing myself to art and new perspectives. Anything from flipping through old magazines and art books to actually going to a museum to watching or reading a documentary about someone fascinating. Or just simply laying upside down and watching the shadows change while the blood runs to my head.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

Sometimes pragmatically, it is for the pay. But clearly there are other jobs that pay more and require less creativity. I have been drawing and writing all my life so it feels so instinctive it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly pushes me to create. I guess ultimately it is a form of expression that hopefully engenders connection.

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

Again, it really depends. I think my best work comes when I have ruminated for a while but not focused. Then I will get some sort of insight or glimmer of a concept when I am not entirely thinking about it, say during a run or drifting off to sleep. When I am pressed for time I tend to generate ideas that are less creative and more direct.

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

When it is on the web or in print? When someone is walking down the street wearing it? Hanging on the wall? Actually never. Because I tend to feel like there is always something I can change or some aspect that could have been articulated in a different way. There are only a handful projects that I would not alter in some way. And most of those began as doodles without a specific intent.