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  • Chance Liscomb

Things That Inspire My Creative Side

The driving force that keeps me in the studio is the potential of the materials I work with. I find oddities and peculiar shapes, textures, and things as I stroll through the scrapyard. It's funny because I'm the only one that buys. Everyone else is bringing something to be sold as scrap, and I'm searching for things. I get weird looks often, but the scrapyard employees love me because I'm a walking anomaly. If I find five shapes in the scrapyard, combinations of just one sculpture can have 120 different compositions. The key is picking the best pieces. This is where I somehow excel. I often know before I get home what the sculpture will look like. I usually build them in my mind right on the spot. Creativity is on the decline worldwide, I believe, because we walk around with our necks down, swiping our devices, hoping to find something that does not exist. I'd be better off putting my pocket god down and never picking it up again. I hope others will find the strength to put down their devices for a moment and be present with their surroundings to find their inner creative outlet. We all have gifts. We can choose to inventory ourselves and develop our creative abilities. There is a lot of chance in art (pun intended). For example, when I arrive at the scrapyard, an intriguing piece presents itself. One day it's there, and the next, it may be gone or completely covered up. I have learned to rely on my gut instinct to determine the potential creations in the scrap pile. I then take action, knowing to let my intuition foster creative imagination. Finding things inspires me. I used to collect arrowheads and artifacts when I was a young kid. I would go looking for treasures in historical settings. To find something in the scrapyard that is a "ready-made" sculpture is unique. I have done this many times-- basically, polished a piece, placed it on a base, titled it, and then sold it. Generally, these objects have character or charm or visual beauty and interest. To find something and pay next to nothing for it, clean it up, and then find it home with someone who sees the value in the creation is truly unique. I guess this is one of my gifts. I strengthen this gift by frequently visiting the scrapyard and nurturing my sensibility about aesthetics. Selling art is also motivational since it impacts my daily life. The process of how I place value on my art and creative projects is challenging. I learned that pricing and titling them appropriately significantly impact how they sell in the gallery. I'd, of course, like to gain more notoriety which would increase art sales and visibility. But that's not all that important to me. It is doing the work, staying with it day in and day out, and enjoying what I do. I wake up excited each day to engage in creative play. Finding a balance between sculpture, painting, and life responsibilities is my focus. I often just smile, thinking of the metal and all the potential pieces I have yet to realize. Another thing that inspires me is the psychology of art. The mind of the collector and the artist selling can be very intriguing. There is an ebb and flow in how people respond to titles, pieces, and the psychology of color. There is so much to it, and I continue to learn from others or by accident. I'm a big believer in experiential learning. I also am a proponent of art as an experience. Just being in a setting to do as you wish, like a child alone in the room. Everything is available to experience, try, fail, and succeed. Failure is a big motivator. Failure is also a great teacher. I often fail and learn much, especially when I apply my hand at abstract and expressionistic painting, which is quite fickle. I embrace failure and know that it's a great teacher. And finally, I'm inspired by famous well-known artists and others that are not so well known. There are so many artists and great work out there. So many styles and techniques to try. I need 10 lives as an artist just to get started. Moving about through traveling and seeing different people and cultures also inspire me. This always provides me with various lenses and cultural norms or constructs. I've seen a lot of the world but never enough of it. My hope is to get back out there and experience more. Other things that inspire me are books and good stories, my family, horses, pets, animals, people, nature, food, religion, and the spiritual world. But out of all these things, I believe that working with piles of steel is what challenges and inspires me most to bring into existence a "thing" that occupies space and commands attention. This is what keeps me stoked to be in the studio. Work comes out of work! So, what will You make today?


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