I feel freedom - River Ceramics

Decorating your home can feel like one of the tasks on your to-do list. But after a couple of months of moving in you start noticing small things. Small things that maybe were rushed into.
So always take your time. No matter if you are planning a new life, or just treating yourself with a small item. It is always good to surround ourselves with items that give us great positive energy. That makes us smile, that pushes the positive thoughts into our head... The things that give value and bring more than what we gave for their price.
I love when we find people who think in the same direction and nurture the same values. One of those people is Jolene, the artist behind the River Ceramics, from the coast of Margaret River.

Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you?

The art journey for me is driven by a question. I wonder? Curiosity, joy and interest in all the variable which contribute to a final outcome. As I come from a (building) design background, I have noticed that it is consideration of these elements bridging both function and aesthetic which keep me intrigued.

What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?

I have experienced both a rush to experiment and try design ideas as soon as possible, and also, particularly as I mature, an interest in planting just a little seed and trusting that it will keep growing without my direct interference. As I spend so much time in the creative zone, I suspect it is somewhat of a rich soil, so I don’t always rush in anymore. My main emotional state is curious, excited, interested. I feel a freedom and safety in my current creative process.

What is the back story of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?

The back story of my design process is equal parts a love of art and beauty, to a strong sense of practical application. I don’t love fluff and fancy, with a preference for everything having a dual purpose and to “make sense”. I think I have found it easier to adapt to spending time in a creative field for which there is a clear purposeful outcome. Perhaps I found it easier to find my value as an artist that way as I had something solid to lean into.

When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?

I have been very lucky in many many ways in my small artistic business. Although I acknowledge that I worked very hard, I can also see that timing was really on my side. My biggest piece of advise is that you need to be willing to fail. Take that prospect as lightly as you can, and see each mistake or failure as a rung to improving in some way. I am genuinely so grateful for all of my mistakes, but I think that was only possible as I had prepared myself in advance for them to be inevitable.

What do you prefer, single pieces or story telling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?

I definitely prefer story telling through a whole project. I consider each collection like a rabbit hole, each with branching opportunities to explore. Some of them end quickly, and others lead deeper and deeper until the story is told.

Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece?

Similar to my reason for choosing art, and the factors which drive my design, my materials are chosen for both practical application and beauty. It has taken me a lot of trial and error to arrive and my current kit of materials. Additional to this is both environmental and personal considerations. I use natural earth materials, and locally sourced materials wherever possible, including wild clay which I procure and process from our own garden. This gives me such a deep sense of gratitude and connection to my work and the land we walk on.

What does ART, in general, mean to you?

Art to me is expression and freedom. It is an opportunity to explore those parts of ourselves with which we are not easily in touch with in most other parts of our lives. With the added element of tactile earth in my craft, it is also the opportunity to connect, ground and meditate.

The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Jolene for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.