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The process of creating can be capricious

“When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey.” – Rudyard Kipling


I do not believe in muses. There have been many discussions about this topic among those who create and sell art for a living. I know several people who wait until inspiration strikes before picking up their tools. For myself, I enter my studio every day, inspired or not. Sometimes I am finishing a Joomchi piece and know right where to start; other times I begin anew, fiddling with colors, looking for direction.

As an abstract artist, the quote above resonated with me. Mr. Kipling was referring to the god Daemon who is known in ancient Greek mythology to be sometimes evil, sometimes kind. Today the word “daemon” refers to computer programs that run silently in the background, waiting for a specific time or event to execute. This definition appeals to me because inspiration – that moment when all falls into place and magic happens with the Hanji paper – can strike so unexpectedly.

When it does, I feel just as Mr. Kipling described: I almost literally “let my fingers do the walking,” cutting strips of the Hanji paper and fusing it where it feels right. I turn my brain to “off” and let it happen. It can seem like a dream. When a majority of the Joomchi piece is finished I often wonder: How did this happen? I could never have planned the results I see.

When visitors to my studio ask me about my creative process, I often have difficulty answering. I know I was meant to create artwork from the mulberry paper and I truly feel my energy and the magic I experience is transferred through the finished artwork to the new owners and their environment. Leave it to Rudyard Kipling to help me put into words what I have often found so hard to describe.