This is a followup to my previous blog
on leaving our "creative comfort zones." With a nudge from
Elizabeth Gilbert we can also call them
"curiosity zones" a somewhat less intimidating phrase to refer to
our immersion in something totally new and different (to us).
I so enjoyed the many responses to my question about what you did this past week that was "out of your comfort zone." Some of you admit that it was not a voluntary leave taking but that you found yourself out of your element and just relaxed into it. Others were intentionally trying to engage with new people, try a new food or even jump into a new media. Great! and GOOD FOR YOU.
So I return once again to our visit to Penlands Open House for a story about Jaydan Moore:
We stumbled onto Jaydan's studio because he was surrounded by silver platters resembling many I had recently culled and given away, this piqued my curiosity. We stayed because he was so engaging and enthusiastic and a walking advertisement for what leaving your "zone" can lead to.
Jaydan started his art career in jewelry and metal working. He had a very prestigious job and could have (maybe?) lived happily ever after making award winning pieces for high end clientele. But Jaydan's roots (his family was in the cemetery monument making business) had already left an impression on him about what happens to someones objects as they leave this world. One of those objects being, ta-da, those myriad trays all daughters of my generation are divesting themselves of.
(for more fascinating work go to Jaydan's website here.)
Those trays? This is only one of the iterations Jaydan has come up with for preserving an impression of the life they once led. Printmaking? Yes, he explained that cutting the metal was right up his alley of previous work, printing? not so much. But never fear, as Jaydan began the slow and careful process of preparing the etched design to print (I imagine) that his brain began asking more what-ifs. Like what if he cut off the unique bands or collars and used them, what if only certain parts were inked and combined with other printing methods, what if a beat up piece of silver could become a trophey of one's life.....he stepped out of his zone and entered an entirely new world of possibilities.
It doesn't hurt that Jayden is a handsome, witty, redheaded kid (relatively speaking) but just listening to him put all my motors into high gear. There was no stopping his train of ideas once he started down this path of preserving/reusing/altering pieces which were once a cultural symbol and were now being discarded. And yes, he is so very patient with the many questions that come up.
American Craft Magazine named him an emerging artist and he has a 3 year apprenticeship at Penland so Jaydan is well on his way to making a name for himself and his art. Read more and watch his delightful short video here.
Sooooo, the short version of this wonderful story is that the world of art would have been so deprived of this original and authentic expression of Jaydan's regard for cultural iconology IF his mind had not wandered and his self confidence had not dared to play a bit. I also imagine there were a few experiments that we will never see, some bumps in the road to speak, but no doubt Jaydan took notes and proceeded. Thank goodness.
So keep dabbling, keep experimenting and don't let the walls of your comfort zone fence you in - so much is waiting to be discovered.