In this, our second issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, Laura Cater-Woods suggests ways to nurture creative habits and carve space out of whatever environment we have available to us. I’ve learned from so many incredible artists how their dream of studio space and undisturbed creative time will never be a reality, but that’s okay—they’ve flourished despite their constraints. Bernie Berlin runs an animal rescue program out of her home, where at any given time she’s surrounded by up to 20 homeless dogs and cats. Amidst puppies nipping at her feet she not only paints delicate, precious Fabergestyle eggs but has developed a method for layering color for altered book pages that rivals the recipe for the Colonel’s fried chicken. Artist Dale Rollerson (page 14), who travels fairly regularly for her fiber art business, has been known to stitch and knit dresses out of wire, ribbon, and thread in pubs no less. For years while Claudine Hellmuth built her career as a professional collage artist, she worked out of the tiny shell of her bedroom closet. This cramped space was her art studio and think tank. There she created mixed-media pieces that have brought her well-deserved international attention, she developed lesson plans for artist retreats, and she wrote chapter after chapter for her first book on collage that has since become a bestseller in the industry.
Within these limits of time, obligation, and physical space, these artists have created pieces of art and techniques that have quite simply blown people away.
So, what are you waiting for?