Artist: Kathryn Lane Berkowitz
Business name: Blue Ridge Diva Designs
Location: Lincolnton, NC
Blog: Blue Ridge Diva Designs
Kathryn, how do you describe your work?
I see my work as the culmination of the release of my abundant and free flowing creative angst. I am somewhat compulsive when it comes to creativity, and never seem to be at a loss for inspiration.
My biggest challenge is choosing which project to start next ! I chose the name Blue Ridge Diva Designs because I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I didn’t want to limit myself to jewelry and beads, although they are my primary medium. I also enjoy painting, crochet and embroidery.
What is your creative process like?
The process usually starts with a found object, a color or something that I see or feel that resonates with me. I rarely plan anything from start to finish. I like to jump in and let my muse take me for an adventurous, spontaneous ride.
Do you throw all your materials on the table and let serendipity take its course?
That’s a pretty apt description of the way I work ! I like to make a bead soup and see what “cooks up.” Occasionally I do make very rough sketches when I have an idea. If I don’t, I am likely to forget the concept. I love music when working. I listen to a lot of music. Anything goes except country and hip-hop. I love Loreena McKennitt, Hillsongs Worship, Delerious and John Doan. I am a manic beader. Once I start, it is very hard to stop ! So I keep going as long as I can.
What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I do not have any formal training and have never taken a beading class. My Mom was an art teacher, so we always had our hands in something at home.
Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
Charlottes, 3 cuts, Hex beads, Fireline, Silamide and Ultrasuede.
What inspires you to create?
I believe it is my Creator, primarily, who inspires me. The very meaning of the word, inspiration, implies that an outside force breathes creativity or ability into men, a divine enabling to communicate or create.
What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
Sheer stubbornness ! The most frustrating thing is having to tear something up because of a mistake. I have done this so many times. But the beads will eventually submit to my whims.
What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
I would just say plunge in and follow your instincts. Enjoy the process as much as the finished project. Stay true to your intuition and you can’t help but grow. And don’t judge your work too harshly. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been completely underwhelmed by a piece I created and it would be the first thing I sell at a show. That makes me feel great, because I have brought pleasure to someone else, even though I may not have been thrilled with the result. It’s always a delightful surprise ! My beading buddy, Paula, and I have a saying that goes “The one thing you know, is that you never know.” ( who is going to be attracted to what piece )
What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
My family and granddaughter, and my work as a Perinatal Educator.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
Lattes and Chocolate, both of which make for more enjoyable beading !
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