Monday, June 25, 2012

Featured Member Interview: Ilona Isaacs

What inspires you to create?
The rush I get from making something - anything really, an event, dinner, a simple greeting card, etc.

When did you decide to pursue art, or did art pursue you?
Art and aesthetics have always been part of my life.  Beautiful things bring me joy. But, I felt I was an "appreciator" and my sister was the talented one. Being in the Guild has given me the courage to begin labeling myself as an artist-in-training and every opportunity I get to do something artistic counts toward my 10,000 hours toward actually being good at it. Most of all, I have always loved the feeling of getting lost in the moment when I am working on an art project. The rest of the time, my brain whirrs around, a dozen trains of thought at a time so this is a welcome respite for me. As I've gotten older, I recognize the value of this focusing more and am encouraging it. Again, the support and inspiration that I find in the Guild is awesome. They do not label anyone and are extremely encouraging and if it takes me a decade to get to the next level ... that will be ok.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
The artist in me comes out in always viewing the world through an artistic lens. I don't think I can look at things any other way.

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
A simple design class in college - 20+ years ago, has stuck with me and I have used the things I learned in that class forever. Working in an antique shop and being an auctioneer helped form one of my core values: old things are of value and need to be appreciated and now, with mixed media - given new life. Being a Girl Scout Leader for a decade really gave me insight into how making things affected me... and a comfort level with imperfection because I always focused on process not product with my girls. Being a mother launched me into scrapbooking and that is one area that I do feel very competent about my skills. And, my family has always appreciated old skills; hard work and making things by hand. These are gifts in today's world. I am very excited about my new job at TechShop since creativity runs rampant in a million different ways at our shop. I am looking at this as a big step in my development as an Artist - Maker, an opportunity for me to learn a lot of new skills that I can use later in my artistic endeavors.

At an art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Paper... always paper. And not just at an art store but EVERYWHERE. Thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls, dumps... maps, books, images, calendars, tickets, spatter scraps... Paper, paper, paper.  I love paper.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so?
I like to learn almost anything but my top three desires that have been with me longest are: drawing, watercolor and calligraphy. My current plans are to keep dabbling in whatever comes my way and over time, my skills will grow and things will coalesce into the next level - I will be an Artist. Also, collage is very, very satisfying and a lovely exercise in composition and color so I  pursue that in whatever spare time I have. It also uses up some of my Paper Hoard since I cannot stop accumulating.

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
This question required a lot of thought. So, after World Peace of course, ;-)  the most gratifying thing I could think of would be to create a public park with spaces for people to nurture their creativity and connection with God: gardens with gazebos, walking paths, outdoor performance areas, easily accessible, encouraging community, multi-use, public art, playgrounds,  outdoor rooms designed and cared for by different people/groups, one running into another, free and open to the public.

Thank you for this opportunity to reflect on my path. - Ilona


Jeanne Rhea said...

Enjoyed the interview, Ilona. I think your path is a good one!

Penny L Arrowood said...

OH, how I love this series! Again, thank you Michelle -- this is an incredible tribute to the many strengths of this organization!

Ilona! My sister PW ;-) I thank YOU for sharing this inside look at your artistic journey. One thing, my friend, no longer should you say "when I become" -- you ARE an artist, and I appreciate all that you share with us! Growing and changing comes with the territory; I look forward to seeing where your path takes you :) Jeanne, I think it is a good one!

Maria said...

thank you Ilona. All you said is what I feel inside. Art is all around and visible in everything. In an art store, I go to paints, paper, brushes, canvas and card stock. I look for new mediums. I don't have the time I would like to devote to this passion, but Grandma Moses was older than me, so I am hoping. :) Thanks for the journey.