Artist Interview: Rustic Carvings

Name: Christine
Name of Business: Rustic Carvings
Creative Influences: My mom, husband, and the world in general
Preferred Medium of Creativity: Wood and Paint

Brief Bio:
My name is Christine. I’m the one behind the computer, and in the garage, errr...workshop, making the items you can see displayed via Rustic Carvings. I'm happily married to a wonderfully brilliant man, and we have 5 dogs. When we aren't working, we're probably vacuuming. Or, we’re caring for the first addition of our two-legged brood, who was born this last December.  I never knew I could love a little boy so much!  He’s already been on wood “shopping trips” with Mom and Dad, learning the trade.  I’m a CPA.  (I know, weird, right?)  You wouldn’t expect a CPA to be making and selling artwork, huh?  Well, I needed a change of pace, and that’s when I found myself carving, cutting, sanding, designing… 


What is one of your earliest creative memories?
The earliest of my creative memories probably dates back to childhood.  My mom was always super-creative.  We used to get those ceramic ornaments at the art store, and paint them at home each Christmas.  Or, do you remember Shrinky Dinks?  We’d color those.  We made art all the time – my artwork ever gracing the refrigerator.  Then, an endless line of art projects and crafts came during Girl Scouts, where my Mom was a co-leader of the troop.

How did you find your creative voice?
Honestly?  I don’t think I have yet.  I tend to make things that I feel in my heart should be made, or I think is cool, and go from there.  Some of them take off, some of them don’t really leave our home.  It’s ever evolving as I learn more and find interest in new things.  My creative voice even changes based on life experience or the time I have on my hands.  So, I guess I have found it, it’s just evolutionary.
    Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?
    My creative habits took a huge downturn for about 10-15 years.  I was a manager at a local mid-sized public accounting firm, preparing and reviewing tax returns.  So, yeah, that tax season?  It’s as busy as you’ve heard.  Which, was pretty much how my whole year ended up being….busy...  Trouble was, I ended up feeling so tired by the end of the day, when I finally got home, so my creativity took a back burner to yoga and general rest and relaxation.  
      If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle?
      When I decided to leave my corporate job, I had no other plan for life, no other job lined up for the future.  It was a huge, and terrifying step for me.  Out of boredom, I started drawing again one day, and found myself playing the piano again the next.  It was so much like finding myself.  Two months later, I started Rustic Carvings.  I guess the creativity was tired of being on the back burner.   

        How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?
        God has always been the center of my life.  I grew up in one of those families that was “always” at church….working this event, selling these tickets, making something for the craft or bake fair…running the craft or bake fair…  It’s just how it was.  Church was more our primary home than it was our second home, even.  It revolved around doing things for other people, helping out, and generally being charitable with our time.  When I was working my corporate gig, I failed to do any of that anymore.  So, when the creative bug did hit me again, the first thing I created was my “Louise” Reclaimed Wood Cross, with the idea of making something great out of wood, that wouldn’t have otherwise been used, and giving it back to God.  

          Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?
          I believe God gives us certain talents and we’re to use them to the best of our abilities.  So, I think anytime I do anything creative – whether it’s with wood, paint, or even when I’m in my garden, it’s a very spiritual time for me.  I lose myself in the paint, in the sawdust, and in the dirt.  When I’m done, I feel I’ve accomplished so much more than creating something…I’ve fed my soul too.

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