Friday, December 21, 2012

Lessons 8, 9, 10- Finding your Creative Path

Lesson 7. Keep learning and give yourself time. Most of us have dolls running around in our heads and our desires are to design them NOW! In his book, “Outliers,” author Malcolm Gladwell referred to research that indicated it takes 10,000 hours to become a master in any field. Personally, I can point nearly to the moment when that happened for me and yes, it was after 10 years of full-time doll making before I could say to a completed doll, “Yes! That’s it!”
The lesson: As much as this is a lesson for you, it is also a reminder to me. Learning leads to becoming the master we desire to be and learning is continuous. Perfection isn’t necessary at first. Allow yourself as much time as it takes and enjoy the journey.
Dragon Story Doll- Being the divine mythical animal, the Dragon can ward off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent and bestow safety to all that hold his emblem. The Chinese Dragon is look upon as the ultimate symbol of Good Fortune. Everything connected with Chinese Dragons is blessed. 2012 is Chinese year of the Dragon.
Dragon Close up
Goldfish Story Girl:  The fish symbolizes a word for plenty, surplus, and enough to spare. It is an essential food. The fish is a homonym for jade. It is also a symbol for happiness, good luck, and abundance. The fish is able to beat all odds because it is able to swim against the current.
Goldfish Close up
2010 Photography Mark Mortensen

Lesson 8. Step out of your comfort zone. Several years ago, I was showing my work at a Santa Fe doll show and beside me was NIADA artist Gail Lackey. I had invested great effort to design and make the best dolls of my career. At the show’s end, Gail asked if I had considered applying to become a NIADA artist. It had occurred to me but my career was doing well and I was comfortable. NIADA artists’ works were so defined that it was a challenge to take it on, but it was time to measure my abilities against the very best. It was a perfect fit! My art would not be where it is today had I not embraced that opportunity to move beyond comfortable.
Every year, as the conference looms, a new project causes me to be uneasy--but the consequence is continuing growth!
Lotus Story Doll: The Lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it come to the surface of the water the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower. The lotus flower stands for purity and beauty.
Lotus Close up
2009 Photo by Robert Batey

Lesson 9. Keep a fresh eye. Understand that lives inevitably change and cause unexpected adjustments. My lesson was to learn that success could be overwhelming. Because I have loved teaching and have gained a wonderful group of students, my schedule has become overloaded with limited time to make the figures trapped in my head.
The lesson is to use a fresh eye to solve issues that simply aren’t working. To be free to design, I must adjust. The 2013 plan calls for time for myself to design and make the creations I have in my heart.
Swan’s hand sculpted stone-clay head is overlaid with silk crepe, a silk crepe body and costuming of silk, tulle decorated with Swarovski crystals and marabou feathers. Jointed knees and arms are useful for multiple poses for the 16” tall figure. She sits atop a handmade wooden stool with a music box that plays “Swan Lake.”
A close-up of Swan’s face shows off exquisitely delicate hand-painted details. The head sits upon a ball-joint that allows changing poses.
Snow’s head is also hand sculpted from stone-clay and overlaid with silk crepe. Costuming of silk with printed “Mirror, mirror on the wall” at skirt hemline. Hand-sculpted apple overlaid in silk velvet. Jointed knees and arms are useful for multiple poses for the 16” tall figure. She sits atop a handmade wooden stool.
Snow Closeup

Snow and Swan- 2011 Photography Mark Mortensen
Handmade Stools- Gary Leitch

Lesson 10. Be grateful and walk in sunshine. Turn adversity around. Be happy and spread sunshine along your journey. We all face knocks in life and some may need more healing time than others. Every time I turn the key to ROotie StudiO, I am grateful for my husband’s, family’s, friends’ and students’ support. 
I so look forward to pushing myself personally as an artist...stay tuned for new things 2013. 
This is my calling and I am one lucky lady!
   Leslie Molen, ROotie StudiO, 1855 S Pearl St, #5, Denver, CO 80210

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