Finding Your Creative Spirit

By Dean Nelson

Growing up, I never pursued art because I was intimidated by it, and I want to teach people not to be fearful about creating.  Art is about the journey, and not necessarily about the finished product. It’s what you learn along the way – your work may come out differently than your original vision!

The first step to being creative is to just start! Maybe gather some seashells and arrange them on a plate; swirl them around and add some color. Remember, art is like an etch a sketch, if you don’t like it, just do it over. And do what you love – it’s hard to be creative in a medium you don’t like. If you love what you’re working with, you make your own rules. I do glass on glass mosaic. I take stained glass and put it on top of clear glass, then cover it with a liquid glass composite. I found a way to create that works for me.

Go to the beach, gather a pile of shells and a stick, and start drawing. Arrange the shells within your work – you could use seaweed as a border. Take a photo of your creation when you’re done. At home, surround yourself with stimulating objects and vibrant color – they don’t have to go together. Having pretty rocks, pretty pieces of stained glass, etc. in your surroundings makes you want to be creative. Glean as much as you can from other sources, like magazines or store window displays. Look at what other people have done and apply that in your setting.

My best ideas come from my customers. They ask me to do things that I had never thought of. Listen to what other people suggest and put your own spin on it. I’m known for turtles; I incorporate a tiny turtle into every piece of my art. Finally, approach life with a creative mind – if one thing doesn’t work, try something else.  Creativity manifests itself in conversation, in dress – listen to your authentic self, believe in yourself and taking chances.

About this writer

  • Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson is owner of Seascape Designs at 7645-5 High Market Street in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.  She specializes in glass on glass mosaic and has the support and help of her husband David, who does all of her frames and “grunt” work. The couple still sells their art at a farmers market in Southport and at big festivals, but having a store gives people the ability to come in out of the elements and create a custom piece that fits their lifestyle. Dean is the mom of a beautiful cat and dog and lives with her husband in Sunset Beach, where nature stimulates her senses. Contact Dean at 910-712-6817 or find Seascape Designs on Facebook.

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