Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Anne Potter

This week's Creative Soul is Artist Anne Potter. Her handmade jewelry and goods are available on Etsy and have an effortlessly chic vibe. not to mention, she is a stay-at-home mother of how she finds time to be creative is an inspiration in itself. :)

Anne Potter. I’m originally from the Chicago area, but I “came for school and stayed” in Champaign, Illinois.

BA in English from the University of Illinois

Tell me about your work in one sentence.
I use secondhand and interesting materials to make whatever I’m excited about at the time.

Describe your normal day.
Wake up, shower, coffee, get the older kids ready for school, drive kids to school, catch up on emails/sales, spend the morning watching my twin toddlers and doing household chores, lunch, work on projects during naptime and package any items to send out, pick kids up from school, go to Post office, reign over after-school snacks and homework, make dinner, hang out with fam, go for a run, put four out of the five kids to bed, work on projects/knit while drinking wine and watching travel shows on TV. Go to Bed! My ideal day would look a lot like this, but there would be some good garage sales in the morning, a bit of uninterrupted creative time at some point, and a fun date in the evening with my husband at a cool bar for cocktails, followed by a good restaurant.

What are your passions?
I love missions. I could give a long list of things I love, but missions transcend my everyday life into something greater than myself.

What are your goals?
Besides raising well-adjusted children, I want to build the most laid-back domestic empire ever, including beautiful DIY books on knitting, quilting, needlepoint, and successfully selling the pieces I make.

Who are your creative influences?
I'm mainly inspired by the art traditions of foreign cultures – Coptic crosses, Thai pagodas, Mexican Milagros, Chinese calligraphy characters, Indian metalwork.

Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do? When I was young, I enjoyed decorating my dollhouse. Around Christmas time one year, I begged my mom to take me to the hobby store and buy me a dollhouse house Christmas tree – you know, the kind that comes in a plastic bag with a cardboard hanger tag stapled on the top. She wouldn’t, and she told me to “make do.” So I made a tree out of green crayoned typing paper, wire and white glue. I wasn’t proud of it and I still wanted the hobby store Christmas tree, but that event began the long journey that led me to where I am today. Today I love to match up humble materials with the ambitious projects I dream up. It is so gratifying to really_create.

Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspiration?
My grandmother was an artistic, resourceful woman that made an enormous amount of beautiful pieces, from Norwegian handknit sweaters to fine cabinets made in her woodshop, and never seemed to think there was anything special about her abilities. (Effortlessly cool!)

What motivates you on a daily basis?
I love to be alone. And in a busy house with lots of kids, this feels like a guilty pleasure! I have a clearer head when I don’t have to be social. I also love to watch BBC’s Pride and Prejudice – cheesy, I know – but it’s just so beautiful!

What's your working style?
Just by necessity, I usually work by grabbing bits of time. But this also suits my scatter-brained style: I usually jump between projects because it keeps my mind sharp by working with different media, with projects at different stages of completion.

What are your websites/social networking links? I currently write a weekly interior decorating article for
50% of all proceeds go towards missions

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