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

#sparkchamber 102918 — April Thomas

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The #sparkchamber is decked out with jack o’lanterns today as we welcome jack-of-all-trades April Thomas. Here’s her story:

“Who am I? Ha! I am a Gemini, a rebel and a traditionalist. I love to break the rules ... after researching the heck out of them. I am fickle, I am proud, I am a Woman, and a mom. I am a creative thinker, problem solver, an artist and a sculptor. I am a jack-of-all-trades. I went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, worked as an advertising art director in Los Angeles, raised three children, and now I’m working down the street as part of the art team at Trader Joe’s. I also freelance as an artist and sculptor on the side. I am inspired by light and shadow, nature and architecture, emotion and truth.”

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Thought and Truth. The birth of an idea is so illusive. For me, a good idea is, at its core, truth. Ideas can be fanciful and/or problem solving. I would have to say that my ideas start out as thought. Quiet. Meditative. Fanciful. Stream-of-consciousness. I write everything down, from the stupid and mundane to the crazy and impossible. Good ideas tend to grow. Good ideas are memorable, sometimes cool, always truthful, and have a point of view. Truth is the anchor of the concept. How to come up with ideas? Be aware of your surroundings, be a student of your subject [whether a person, place or thing] and feed your brain with experiences.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

What drives someone to create? That’s really quite profound. What makes someone breathe? What makes someone rise after sleep? It is something I have always done. With or without pay. It is joy. It is need. It is frustration. It is love. It is challenge. It stretches me into areas yet undiscovered. It fills my soul. It doesn't matter if it’s creating an idea for a television commercial, illustrations for a pediatric dentist, or a job at a grocery store. I love to problem solve, create, and fill a need, even if it is only about “how to sell a pumpkin.” :)

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

How I work ... If I don’t have deadlines, it’s deadly. I am a procrastinator especially if what I am doing is difficult. I do a lot of thinking and internal work. I will do laundry, dishes, and clean the house first. But once I am in, I can't put it down. I tend to be a night owl. [Is it all the dishes?] I am also guessing that I might be the hare, because although I spend a lot of time thinking, and preparing once I go, I am quick. 

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

Never. It is never done. Either the deadline is up, or someone is pulling from my clenched fingers.