Monday, February 02, 2015

Jenny Gallo, Carrot Top Studio, Owner/Artist: An Interview

When did your creative awakening occur?
My parents recognized my artistic gift and fostered it first with Crayola's then later with more sophisticated art supplies and lessons.  Trips to art museums were always part of my life and I still feel energized the minute I walk into a museum or gallery.  So, the creativity has always been there but as I have aged I have been more receptive to this being part of me.  I was in my 30's before I really felt like I gave myself permission to create from the depths of my soul.
What talents do you have?
Artistically I can paint, sew, quilt, and create through collage (I love handmade papers from around the world).  Teaching is another gift.  I have enjoyed guiding many from the uninhibited preschool age child to the ever wise senior citizen.  Baking is favorite pastime.  I used to spend time at the pottery wheel forming clay into vessels. Now I knead bread dough instead of clay!  This is also probably why a day doesn't feel complete unless I've done a little digging in the garden dirt.
What elements draw you toward them?
I am drawn to texture and combinations of textures.  This is probably one reason why I love collage. Color is also inspirational, mood altering and stimulating for me.  When I taught elementary art I loved exposing the children to the depth and breadth of color.  Even construction paper comes in luscious colors and chartreuse, pumpkin, magenta, salmon, spring green and slate grey were always included in my yearly order!
When and why do you create?
As a small business owner  I appreciate the flexibility to my schedule but I create best when there is a rhythm and routine to my week days. I create because I feel I am called by God to do so.
What activates your creative energy?
I love reading. Often a walk through a book store or library will find me stumbling upon a text on a period of art or design history, symbolism or a technique that will spark the creative energy to flow.   I often set out to make one thing and it transforms as the process of using the materials and the spirit of creativity take over.  When it works it is a joyful journey.
Any creative rituals?
Turning the music on pouring a cup of coffee and indulging in a bit of chocolate are almost guaranteed to get things going!