We have wanted to feature interviews with other artists and crafters for a while now. Hillary was lucky enough to be able to swap interviews with Melanie of Melanie Lynn Design.
1. First, give us a brief description of Who you are, what you do and where we can find you.
I am Melanie, founder and artist behind Melanie Lynn Design, I am a student at SUNY New Paltz set to graduate this December with a BFA in Metals. I have been working with metal since I was 16, however I have been making jewelry since I was around 14. I currently work with newer technologies such as laser cutting and 3D CAD to produce works that are easily reproducible yet still maintain a high art feel in terms of their design. I can be found at.... http://melanielynndesign.com, and my work is available through either contacting myself directly or via etsy at http://melanielynndesign.etsy.com . I am also an avid blogger who's writing can be found at http://melanielynndesign.blogspot.com and http://mldshowcase.blogspot.com, a blog where I showcase others talent and new things I feel the jewelry community might find interesting!
2. What are some of the different forms of creating that you enjoy doing?
As of lately all of my creative energy has been going into creating files for laser cutting in Rhinoceros 4, an amazing design program. I also do a lot of beading and in general I just really enjoy creating, my mom and I also frequently find uses for restoring old furniture and things of that nature.
3. How did you get started in arts?
My parents have always been incredibly supportive of my creativity and my mother always did art projects with me when I was a child and enrolled me in a lot of local art classes, so I guess you could say it started right away and never stopped building. When I was 16 I took a class at Snow Farm, The New England Craft Program, and enrolled in metalsmithing and flameworking, both of which opened up my eyes to a lot of new things and cemented my desire to major in art.
4. What are you studying in college? Metalsmithing
5. How has your art changed since you started your studies?
Well, to be entirely honest I know it's changed but I don't necessarily know if it was the art, or the way I go about making it. I find academics to be somewhat crippling to the creative process sometimes as it forces students to twist their ideas to meet the expectations set forth by project parameters. This past semester I had no real studio classes [bliss.] and produced more work that received praise from my teachers and others than I had in three previous years. I do not consider that a coincidence at all.
6. What creator (artist, crafter, musician, writer, architect, etc.) do you admire the most and why?
Well, I think it is important to not just admire the person's work but also who they are as a person. A lot of the really great artists and crafters I have met in my life were terribly unpleasant people. On the other hand, the studio tech [and studio dad] of our metals department John Cogswell is someone I really look up to. His work has made him very well known in the fields of silversmithing and fine jewelry and he is one of the most kind, knowledgeable people I have ever met in my life. His advice has gotten me through a lot of things and he literally built himself up from nothing based on the skills he was able to exhibit.
7. In all forms of creation and art, I have noticed the theme of being or wanting to be in another world, and have talked about it on my blogs. So, tell me about your ideal world. What is it like?
Well, in your post you say you would like to live purely for art. To be entirely honest, I do not feel that way. I am pretty content with my life as it is, and once in a while, while you cannot put creativity on hold, I do need a break from creating things, lest they become forced and I start making for the sake of doing something rather than because I am excited for the outcome. In terms of the world as a whole, I would really like people to be less wasteful, start taking care of one another more, and being less judgmental. More support for artists and creativity in general would be great, it would be really nice to live in a world where the majority of parents didn't tell their children not to major in art. I was incredibly fortunate in always being supported in my creativity and I wish that others could be offered the same.
8. Do you have frustrations or problems due to the differences between the real world and your ideal world?
9. How do you overcome those frustrations and what do you do to bring that world into reality or bring yourself to that world?
10.How has this journey changed you?
I'm going to answer all of these together. I tend to focus on what I am capable of doing to change things. I think sometimes worrying about the smaller picture is the best way to take care of the larger picture, and I always try to help others with their creative quests whenever possible. This is why I recently started my showcase blog to show as many people as possible the work of others, and help artists network with one another.
11. What advice would you give to others starting their journey in creativity and finding their world?
Be yourself and have faith in what you are doing. In the creative arts world a LOT of people are going to try to stomp you down, just be confident in your own style and it will take you as far as you let it. =)
A big thank you goes out to Melanie for sharing her time and thoughts with us.
If you would like to be interviewed as well, post it in comments, find Hillary on twitter or convo us on etsy.