Each month The Studio will select a motif to explore. This will play out in various ways throughout the month, but will always begin in our new Monthly E-Newsletter with written pieces from Kathleen and Cass. Here is our first one…CREATIVITY:


From Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau:

FullSizeRender-12I remember the first time I read Jack Kerouac (I think it was Big Sur) and being blown away by gorgeous rambling run-on sentences with no thought to periods or commas.  All of it had a sense of poetry and rhythm and stream of consciousness and I thought…you can do that? As a writer, you can let go of the rules of grammar and punctuation and just let it all rip? And still get published? And read? And make an impact?

This was astonishing to me. It was a seismic shift in how I viewed the creative process…not just related to the arts, but as an approach to life. Suddenly everything seemed wide open and I wondered and wondered how and why I had been so rigid.

The creators I adore the most tend to be the ones breaking the rules…busting through ‘the way things have always been done.’ Some of these people are novelists, filmmakers, songwriters, and poets. But others are those who have crafted unique lives for themselves in terms of their work, work schedules, housing, finances or parenting. And then there are a few glorious souls tackling some of the biggest problems society faces with an outrageously unique approach.

All of this sends shivers down my spine, makes me want to weep a salty combo of regret and joy. Actually, to hell with regret! Give me a pen, a microphone, a camera and let me be wild.

On Wednesday, October 5th, we are relaunching our dear old friend The Great Conversation which we will be holding monthly from that point on. The first topic? Creativity. SIGN UP.


From Cass Hanson:

IMG_4786Creativity. For me, being creative requires less. Where others may need a wide open canvas, and all the tools to create a masterpiece – I find that I can be paralyzed by more options, I get lost. I am a problem solver, and in that I need to see the few realistic options, and then I use my creativity to solve the problem. I practiced sculpture in high school and college, and I now understand that I was drawn to it for these same reasons – in sculpture you have something – it could be trash or found objects, maybe some sweet metal scraps – but only a certain amount. And then you have to make something – something that speaks to someone. Once the creative wheels start turning, you decide a direction, but the material shows the way – I think this is the case with many sculptors, they use what is at hand to express their own intuitions. They build with what they have. It is expensive to be a sculptor – only the very successful ones have an unlimited budget to build, everyone else develops their craft from what can find and access.

I have learned this quality about myself slowly over the years – and where it shows up clearest is in my cooking. Cooking has transformed into a creative outlet for me, and I shine when there is less. Fewer ingredients, less tools, and always intention – those are my best meals, the ones people rave about. If I am going to spend time on something I want it to be delicious – but I become paralyzed in a market full of food – literally crippled by indecision. Instead, I prefer to use the ingredients that I already have to create something special. It requires innovation, a spark, and whim and ballsiness must be present. It feels good to take a risk and to make a meal out of just a few ingredients, always backed with the intention for it to be awesome. I pull out all the stops and use my memory and learned sensory knowledge from the successes and failures of my past as well as the successes and failures of others. And often (not always) viola! It is delicious, and it is different – and people think I am good cook. Sometimes I feel like Im cheating, because I just ‘threw’ it together, but I did so with intention and by taking a risk – and it worked.

I often tell students that creativity doesn’t have to be the sculpture or the painting, but rather that feeling of creating – and creating anything at all. The feeling of doing it yourself – with your idea, your motivation. I understand that not everyone is as paralyzed by indecision as I am, and many, Im sure, thrive in a grocery store with all the options. The key is finding importance in understanding yourself. Understanding what makes you tick, knowing what gets you stuck, and then, designing and creating a path that works for you. That is creativity.

On Wednesday, October 5th, we are relaunching our dear old friend The Great Conversation which we will be holding monthly from that point on. The first topic? Creativity. SIGN UP.