What Is the Most Rewarding Aspect of Your Work?

What Is the Most Rewarding Aspect of Your Work?

Published on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. This article appears in the February/March 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Nick Leonoff, glass artist; Karen Gubitz, fiber sculptor; Hannah Ferrara, designer and jeweler; Krista Tippett, host; Eric Serritella, ceramic artist; Christy Klug, jewelry designer

From left to right: Nick Leonoff, glass artist; Karen Gubitz, fiber sculptor; Hannah Ferrara, designer and jeweler; Krista Tippett, host; Eric Serritella, ceramic artist; Christy Klug, jewelry designer

Bringing a new idea to life is the most rewarding aspect of my work. During the creative process, I feel most inspired when I have a new idea and the vision to create it. By working through this process, I design and experiment to refine a particular technique. It is important to maintain an openness and flexibility to listen to the material, which can lead to new discoveries, perpetuating the creative cycle. ~Nick Leonoff, glass artist, Brooklyn

There is a creative voice in all artists. We as artists are often solitary creatures as we work, and the only voice in the room is our own. When we find our own voice and listen, we experience the pure joy of exploration, innovation, and creativity, and are able to share the results with the world. I am rewarded every day when I trust and believe in my inner voice and the world hears me. ~Karen Gubitz, fiber sculptor, Oak Park, IL

It may sound obvious, but I find the sheer fact that I get to work with my hands every day the constant, most rewarding thing. Today in the design world I am finding this is more and more rare, and so I feel thankful that I am able to keep using traditional skills to manipulate materials during my creating process. It is always so satisfying to see a final idea or piece come to completion and interact with the body the way I had envisioned. ~Hannah Ferrara, designer and jeweler, Portland, OR

I’m a person who listens for a living. Of course, as with any job, this thing I love is not front and center of every minute of every working day. But again and again, and at the heart of my working life, I attend to wise voices, wise lives. I get to be present to someone putting words around something important, perhaps for the first time in quite that way. Best of all, I am able, by way of wondrous technology, to invite far-flung others into these intimate, life-giving moments and the surprises they hold. ~Krista Tippett, executive producer/ host, On Being + the Civil Conversations Project, Minneapolis

My biggest reward in creating art comes when someone has a genuine emotional response to my work … be it a tear, a laugh, or a moment of introspection. That’s what keeps me going as an artist. It’s a thrill when someone shares a story after they’ve resonated with a piece. Art serves as a catalyst for a viewer’s recognition, reflection, catharsis, and release. My reward is the connection that is made. ~Eric Serritella, ceramic artist, Chapel Hill, NC

Without question, the most rewarding aspect of my work is the making. The process of moving from idea to fully realized piece is a thrill every time. For me, the challenge is finding a fluidity and ease in the creation of new work: a balance between tenacious problem solving and openness to a new outcome. I’ll often finish a new piece, pin it to my dirty studio clothes, and take my new baby for a spin. ~Christy Klug, jewelry designer, Chicago