Several years ago, as I was working on developing my scientific career, I was presented with the Myers-Briggs test. Myers-Briggs test is a widely accepted assessment of one’s own personality. It is meant to provide information to begin understanding your own qualities. This includes identifying your strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to take the best advantage of applying them in our daily and professional life. While I completely agreed with 3 out of 4 characteristics, one came as a surprise. I was told that I rely more on intuition than on my senses and understanding. As a scientist, I would have thought the opposite – that I process information primarily through observations, which in turn inform my decisions. When I work on my art, there is an internal battle of these two sides.
This week, Darcy and I began discussing what drives our work. I feel like no matter how deep I get into the creative process, my scientist hat never comes off. I do my best to stay true to the scientific form and it takes a lot of will power for me to venture into something a bit more abstract.
In my sketch notebook, I first come up with a “protocol” for the project. This consists of a very general sketch that just captures the main idea; followed by several mini-sketches, in which I brainstorm the way to convert it into a 3D structure. How can I thread the wire to make the structure stable? It is almost akin to a quick blueprint.
Over the last several months, I have listened to a number of podcasts, where artists talk about their process. In a lot of interviews, artists talk about putting down the key aspects of an idea and then letting the art guide the process. They like to see where it takes them if they let go of all reservations. Sometimes mistakes can lead to the greatest discoveries (this applies to both art and science).
However, if a painter dislikes something about their work, they can cover it up and restart a section, even if it means temporarily losing an element that worked well. Unfortunately, beadwork is not as forgiving as canvas and paint. This potentially means that there is a much lower chance of “happy mistakes” if you had a certain pattern in mind.
Nevertheless, in a lot of my work I tend to “think on the fly” and create new components based on what would fit well with the existing composition. This was especially true when I was working on “Sunrise”. In a more recent piece, I used a beading technique that is even more difficult to undo. It took a great deal of self-control to let the work flow freely and allow for a certain element of biological stochasticity, rather than striving for geometrical symmetry.
Given Darcy’s interest in the theme of palimpsest, I would love to explore the possibility of adding more (free-formed) layers to my work. Despite being 3D, all of my works have been made as a “single layer” and creating beadwork in several tiers could provide for more richness and complexity. We are beginning to explore how I could create more dimensions in my work by adding network patterns that Darcy would generate.
I invite you to follow me on this journey by checking out my Instagram account. If you would like to see more of my behind the scenes work, please consider contributing to my Patreon page. Unlike some other similar programs, this is not a paid residency and I would be extremely grateful if you could offer your support for the time and materials needed for this project. Thank you so very much!