Monday, April 26, 2010

Meeting Brigitte

Brigitte is the newest member of the Scribble Group. We had only known her a few short months, when timidly she asked if she was allowed to offer up an idea for the group. Naturally, we happily obliged, and Brigitte presented her idea for the latest group project, The Daffodil Project. Each member was to make a daffodil inspired piece... an actual representation, or a representation of how daffodils made us feel. The projects are now completed and most are already listed in the scribble group shop on etsy. As I mentioned in our previous blog post, the daffodil was chosen as it is the emblem of the Canadian Cancer Society, to which proceeds from this project will be donated.

Brigitte has been a wonderfully enthusiastic addition to the group - breath of fresh air, energetically encouraging our daffodil creations, and promoting the pieces where she can.

Since we are still getting to know Brigitte ourselves, I thought it would be fun to ask Brigitte a few questions, and have her share her thoughts with us, and you, so we could all get to know Brigitte together.

1) What is your creative life composed of?

I can't imagine not living a creative life. I work in a very large theatre company so creative people and creativity constantly surrounds me. My job itself is not creative so I spend a lot of time finding ways express myself creatively outside of work.
I find knitting both challenging and therapeutic. I call knitting my yoga because sometimes all I need is the repetitive motion of my hands working the needles to relax and ground me.
Painting, sculpting, and drawing feel like luxuries to me. They're the artistic mediums I choose when I really want to explore and push my artistic boundaries. They still feel foreign and exotic to me so it's a real experience to spend some time exploring those mediums.
My job has required me to develop my sewing skill further. Although at this point I don't find sewing particularly creatively stimulating I have always been interested in the design element of fashion and I think as my skills improve I'll feel as though I have more creative liberty when I sew.
Music and writing are my less "messy" forms of creative expression. I have to structure my writing time carefully because once I'm engrossed I run the danger of finding myself sitting is a pitch black apartment staring at my computer screen, stomach growling because I've lost track of time. If I have somewhere I need to be, I set an alarm so I can pull myself away.
Lastly the buttons. Never did I ever think I would be linked to buttons and jewelry making. My button creations were born out of the necessity for a new and creative gift that wouldn't cost me the earth to produce. There are only so many knitted items you can give a person and I was at a point where I was searching for a new creative outlet.
I find my button making both creatively stimulating and immensely frustrating. Until it becomes indefinitely boring I'll keep exploring.

2) Have you always been an artist, and since this group is also intended to allow us the creative freedom to explore and expand our artistic boundaries, do you have advice for people who want to explore their creative side?

I've never been a natural artist. I remember the indignity of taking a sculpture course when I was ten and having my six year old younger brother excel at it more than I did. I've always been creative though. I started writing and illustrating stories about my friends and I in the first grade. Recently my Dad uncovered a binder full of my clothing sketches from when I was a little kid at our cottage.
What I'm missing in talent I think I make up with in perseverance and determination. I have the patience to press on through a complicated cable pattern because I know the end result will be worth it. A lot of what I do is self-taught. I'm always eager to try something creatively different and constantly work to build on my current skills and develop new ones.
The greatest leap I've taken in terms of expanding my artistic boundaries is to learn to let go of the pesky perfectionism gene that runs in my family. If you're looking for perfection I'm not your girl. I find perfectionism stifling. The fear of it not being perfect can prevent you from even starting. Instead I'm learning to celebrate imperfections in myself, in art, in the world at large. It's very liberating and can open many creative doors.

3) Was there anything special that made you choose this particular charity?

Cancer touches everyone. The recent death of a wonderful and vibrant woman barely a year older than me, has brought the illness closer to me in recent months. I think about it more than I have in the past. As a child I grew up with the idea that we are born, grow-up to be adults, live long happy lives and die as happy loving grey haired grandparents. As an adult I know better. There are many influential people in my life who have gone too soon from the disease and many survivors who continue to be an inspiration to everyone around them.
When I was a teenage my Dad's close friend was given a difficult diagnosis and a short period to live. Almost 15 years later he's still alive. His battle with cancer isn't over but he's a testament to what can be done in the fight against the disease.
I chose the daffodil element specifically because my Mum loves daffodils and when I was a little kid, she used to canvas for the Cancer Society during their Daffodil Campaign. I consider my Mum one of, if not my absolute best friend. I know many women lose their mothers to cancer every year so I cherish the fact that my Mum is healthy and that we have this time together.

Check out even more of Brigitte's work at bnazar.

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