Creative Process Interview with Kristen Fagan
Today we get to hear from Kristen Fagan from Creative Stash. Kristen creates in a variety of media from graphic design, to painting to making jewelry. She sells some of her work in her etsy shop and also does freelance design. I get the feeling that Kristen is creating all the time so it’s great to hear her thoughts and approaches to all of this making and to finding a balance with so much going on.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your creative pursuits. I’m Kristen, wife to a very supportive husband and mother of two happy and energetic little boys ages 4 and 6. I work from home full-time as a graphic designer and spend the rest of my time at Creative Stash where I freelance small business graphics, design wedding invitations and create as a mixed media artist. I live for time with my family, making art, yoga, can’t catch your breath laughter, road trips with my husband, dancing with my kids and enjoying the natural world. I love to learn and adore anything made by hand.
Tell us a little bit about your work space. I have a few spaces where I create. I design in my bedroom office, I paint in my garage studio and I make jewelry and other crafts throughout my home.
What do you like about it? Office – I have a desk armoire in my bedroom. I love this thing! It is large enough for my computer, printer, scanner, a filing cabinet, a little desk space. If something doesn’t fit I need to file it, archive it or get rid of it (so helpful for me to keep my clutter to a minimum). I love that I can close the doors and walk away without seeing all my work in progress.
Studio – A few years ago, we moved into a home with a 3 car garage and I was ecstatic! I knew I would carve a little space in there to paint where I can leave my easel up and have works in progress without the stress of little ones knocking into it. My garage door has windows to allow sunlight in
which is wonderful. I placed a small desk in there for organizing and extra counter space to create. I am so blessed to have this area; it has definitely helped me create more just having this space available.
What would you change about it if you could? Office – I would love a laptop! I am stuck in one place on my desktop computer and really wish I had the freedom to move around or take my work on the go from time to time.
Studio – I would love a divider of some sort to separate me from the rest of the “garage stuff”. I have a rug, a desk and storage bins that help define my space but, overall it’s very utilitarian. There isn’t much personality to inspire me. The temperature isn’t regulated in the garage and it gets very hot in the summer in Arizona so it isn’t useable a couple of months out of the year.
What motivates you to create? My overall well being is directly related to how often I create. When that desire to make something arises from deep within if I don’t acknowledge and honor it I will explode. Haha, this all sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it?! For real though, I think I will.
What stalls or inhibits your creative process? Energy – Being physically or mentally drained can have a dramatic effect on my creativity. When I’m tired, I doubt myself and the work I am doing. I am learning to allow myself to rest instead of forcing work when my energy level is low.
What or who helps to support your creative work? My husband is a huge support. When I need to creativity explore on a whim, or have a deadline I’m trying to meet he gets stuck making dinner
or getting the boys ready for bed and he does effortlessly. Nights when we have family time until the kids go to bed, my husband sacrifices “our time” so, I can create. I am so very grateful that he gives me the space I need, whenever I need it. Being able to create makes me a happier more peaceful person to be around so, I like to think it’s a win-win.
Can you tell me about a project or something you have made that you really love or find really exciting? Most recently, I made earrings from canvas. I really like that it combines my love for painting and jewelry and I look forward to expanding on this idea and experimenting with canvas in more new ways.
Do you ever have doubts about your creations or creative process? How do you keep them away?
Oh yes, all the time. When I’m overwhelmed I question everything – my life, my process, whether the job is worth it, whether I am a good artist, where I am headed and if it’s the right direction. I can get pretty emotionally worked up when I’m overwhelmed. To keep these thoughts at bay, I need to give myself some space, take a walk or go to yoga and if that’s not an option due to a deadline I try to break the process down into manageable steps and not look to far ahead.
Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for people who want to create more or people who are trying to earn a living from creating? Try not to compare yourself to others, be patient and kind with yourself, find comfort with who you are and what you can do, try all sorts of things, jump at opportunities when they arise and continually work towards realizing your dreams.