We would like to introduce you to Gina Zycher. She is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Her talent for creating unique, functional and decorative pottery is inspiring. Her positive and sincere personality truly shines through in every piece she makes. She has a natural talent for this craft and we are so grateful to know her and carry such an authentic line.
Why do you do what you do?
Making pottery is just such a joy for me. It’s a medium I’ve really connected with in a way I’ve not experienced before. I love the way clay feels in my hands, and the fact that I can make something useful and pretty from a lump of dirt feels magical. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head and I’ll obsess over it until I get a chance to make it (or attempt to, at least).
Background? Where does your creativity come from?
My Nana Nadine Pollard was a talented painter and my mom Lisa is great at drawing and has the most lovely and perfect handwriting you’ll ever see. My dad claims not to be creative at all but I have a secret theory that he could be a good potter! My family has always encouraged me to be creative and they’ve been very supportive of everything I do.
Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that creating objects was what you wanted to do? How did your passion come to be?
I don’t think there was one particular moment or event that was the start of my life as a creative person. My favorite things to do as a little kid was arts and crafts. I took ceramics classes in high school and remember enjoying them, but I didn’t touch clay again for many, many years after graduating. Then, three years ago, I signed up for a wheel throwing class at a local pottery studio and I was hooked from day one. So I’d say that was the real beginning of my love for pottery.
What’s your favorite artwork?
I am completely in awe of Watts Towers. The scope of it, the amount of detail, time, and care that went into creating it blows my mind. Every inch of it is bursting with this beautiful, raw energy. I feel like the inside of my brain probably looks something like Watts Towers, like it’s full of junk but somehow it works there’s a sense of harmony there.
What kind of routines or rituals do you have?
I actually don’t have any rituals in terms of making pottery except for cleaning up after I’m done, which is an absolute must since I share studio space with lots of other people! I tend to be a little all over the place when I’m at the studio and am usually working on several different things at a time, so it’s hard to get a consistent rhythm going. But I’m a homebody and I love domesticity and I have many little rituals and routines around the house. The first thing I do after I wake up in the morning is have time with my cat and then I drink a big glass of water. I do a walk-through of my apartment every day to see which of my plants need attention. I make a new batch of kombucha every other Sunday. I try to sit down on my couch with a cup of tea (or wine) every so often and just enjoy the sunlight that comes in and reflect and be thankful for how lucky I am to be able to live where I do.
What’s your favorite thing that you created?
This one is hard for me to answer because I flip-flop a lot. I’ll love something when it comes out of the kiln, but after looking at it too many times I grow tired or overly critical of it. It can be frustrating but it also motivates me to push forward and try new things.
What do you try to communicate through your art?
I don’t necessarily think about communicating something specific with my work, but going back to my feelings about domesticity my main goal is to produce pieces that help people love their home life, whether it’s because I’ve made a mug that feels great to hold and drink from, or because my vase on their mantle is one little part of what makes their home feel special.
What role, in general, do you think artists play in society? What are your thoughts on being an artist in today's world?
Art makes life so much richer. The thought that I might contribute to that in even the smallest way makes me very happy. This is an interesting time for artists and makers because I see two things going on simultaneously: On one hand, we have things like Instagram and Pinterest where you can show your work and there’s actually quite a supportive community out there. But at the same time, art — and the time and skill required to make it — is very much undervalued in other areas of society. So I think one of the bigger struggles for me right now is finding and connecting with the right audience.
Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?
I would love to learn metalwork and be able to make jewelry. I’ve wanted to learn how to play the guitar for ages. Not that I haven’t ever tried drawing, but I’m not that great at it and want to get better.
Do you have any advice on how to be more creative? OR overcoming creative blocks?
Try as best as you can to make time for yourself and do things you enjoy whenever possible. Being stressed out or overwhelmed by “life stuff” is, in my experience at least, very stifling. Seek out inspiration — go for a nature walk, check out a museum, look up something you’re curious about on the internet. For overcoming creative blocks, don’t be afraid to take a break if it’s just not working. Also, I find that working with constraints can be inspirational. Complete creative freedom is great but it doesn’t push or challenge you; working toward a more narrow goal or trying to solve a particular problem can lead you down a road you wouldn’t have gone otherwise.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Treat yo self! More eloquently stated, be kind to yourself. Something that I heard recently that has really resonated with me was, “Better done than perfect.”
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