The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Ally Creighton: Ally Creighton, 29, Designer at Nordstrom
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
AC: I find that my hobbies are also my personal work, and the inspiration comes from the desire to learn new things. I am always trying out something new. I can't stay still, my mind is always racing with ideas. I want to learn new techniques that might be fun to try. I like to have fun when I am drawing, painting or sketching. I tend to be inspired by people and things around me. For example, I saw a woman on a bus one day that was dressed a tad strange for her age, she looked like a human ice-cream cone to me. I couldn’t help but write down a description of what she looked like to use later in an illustration. It was unreal!
Lately I have been focusing on turning my studio into a small print shop. I’ve never been particularly good at screen printing but I find my desire to learn inspires me to create new projects. My illustrations may lead to other separate projects and mediums. Sometimes a particular drawing might spark a new object to create or format that I haven’t tried yet. Now with getting a set-up for printing, most of my time illustrating has been geared towards how I could print it myself. Things are looking up!
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
AC: I work at a manageably paced job right now and I find that when I am at work, I tend to focus on the job itself for most of the day. However, there are many moments where I find myself needing to take a break, go on a walk or do some research on a personal project during the day. Thankfully, I can turn work off easily to focus. I have found myself stressing more about how I am going to get 20 necklaces created by the end the month or what kind of paper I should choose for a print. It all sounds totally doable, but I am a procrastinator. Lately, I have been working on not giving up and leaving things to the last minute. That is mainly why I spend a lot of my free time making work instead of watching Regular Show.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
AC: I am most productive in the morning and able to put things out quickly that pile up in my inbox. That frees up the rest of my day and allows me to play around with ideas more. Sometimes food or snacks help inspire my creativity, too.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
AC: A month ago, I opened up an online shop called Tiny Tropics. It’s something that I have dreamed about creating for years now. The name was something that my boyfriend and I came up with randomly one night, and it stuck. We’ve been working very hard these past several months, getting everything lined up for our recent launch. Right now, we offer necklaces and in the very near future prints will become available as well as enamel pins and patches. I want to sell original paintings, and maybe even miniature sculptures of some of my illustrations.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
AC: The reason that necklaces are the first product on Tiny Tropics stems from a long search of not finding any type of affordable jewelry. Pieces that are minimal, a little quirky and eye-catching. I started to experiment with a few pieces using polymer clay and people seemed to respond to them, either asking me if I had made that or where it’s from. It created some momentum. It started to feel like something that I should take more seriously and give them an online presence. Tiny Tropics is the biggest personal project that I have taken on. The inspiration of it all is about everything that I know and love to do. I love creating and I want to share that with the world. The shop will grow over time, just like myself, and I am already learning so much about running a small business. It’s exciting and crazy all at the same time!
TCU: What scares you?
AC: It scares me the most to lose motivation and not finish what I set out to accomplish. Now that I have been consciously working towards a goal I am terrified my interest may drop along the way. I would end up never knowing what I am really passionate about and feel a total loss of self.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
AC: As an artist, I think success is misinterpreted in so many ways. Advertising is all around us, telling what you should make or how you should live. That certain things in your life make you successful. I think success can also be the idea of satisfaction. I find myself thinking about all the products I would love to create someday. If there comes a time where that becomes a reality I think then I would be successful.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
AC: I just want to say that I appreciate you interviewing me on your lovely blog, thank you Meghan! I will also add that I will be a part of the Renegade Craft Fair this December, there will be lots look at and enjoy! More details over at renegadecraft.com :)