Tap-In — Sue Bleiweiss

Get ready for today’s exciting Tap-In guest, the highly talented fiber artist, Sue Bleiweiss. Such vibrant color is present in her art and mirrors the way she looks at and embraces life…
Do you have any life mottos? Any pieces of wisdom to share with us?
It may sound trite but my motto has always been that life is too short to waste spending it doing things that don’t make you happy. So for me, the litmus test that I apply to any project I am considering being involved in is “will it make me happy to be involved in this?”  If the answer is yes, I jump in with both feet.
When you create, are you messy? How much is planned versus spontaneous? Do you hold an outcome in your mind’s eye or is the end product a surprise?
I am by nature an organized person, so my studio is usually pretty neat and tidy. I find that when my studio gets to a certain level of messiness, it starts to inhibit my creative flow, so if I’m in the middle of a project and it gets to the point where I can’t see any of my work table surfaces or I’m slipping on all the fabric that’s landed on the floor, then I have to stop and clean up before I can continue working. For the most part I am a planner and I typically spend a good amount of time brainstorming, sketching and researching an idea before I act on it. There are times though when I get an idea that takes hold and I jump in and let serendipity guide the process.

If the concept of money didn’t matter in this world, would your life look different? If so, how? If not, tell us why?
Honestly, I don’t think it would because for me money is not a motivator. Challenge is my motivator.

What do you like to cook? Does your approach to cooking mirror your creative process in anyway?
I love to cook! In fact my degree is actually in culinary arts. I get a great deal of satisfaction from feeding people. It’s the nurturer in me I think. I cook dinner every night for my husband and it’s something that I love to do. There are definitely similarities between the way I cook and the way I create in the studio. I don’t typically plan ahead for meals. About an hour before it’s time for dinner, I just open the fridge and pull out a combination of vegetables that sound good and put something together with them. In the studio I work in a similar way – I get an idea and then pull a stack of fabric, paint or dye and then make them work together.
What is your favorite color combination?
I have two:
purple and green / copper and turquoise
Above are some pieces featured in Sue’s fabulous new book, The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals. Tune in Monday, as I will be hosting a giveaway for this incredible book!
artwork credit:
Top from left to right: book cover, Jane LaFazio, Carla Sonheim, Diana Trout, Lyric Kinard
Bottom from left to right: Sue Bleiweiss, Jamie Fingal, Carol Sloan, Tracie Lyn Huskamp

How do you feed your creative spirit?
Food for my creative spirit comes from a lot of different sources. First and foremost I am careful not to over-commit myself to the point of not having enough time for myself in the studio. Certainly my involvement in the sketchbook challenge has been a constant source of creative motivation and challenge for me since its launch in January 2011. I’ve gotten so many emails from people whose lives it has touched in a positive way and inspired them to get back to being in touch with their creative selves, and it’s given a lot of people the confidence to jump in and try something new. It’s really morphed into its own creative community filled with inspiration and positive energy and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Because I spend my days creating by myself in the studio, I enjoy teaming up with other artists to create projects that have a positive experience and outcome for everyone involved. I recently teamed up with some friends to launch an exciting project called Art Box csa and we’re having a lot of fun working together on it.

Where you can find Sue:

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