Adrian Schwab, a lampwork artist from Scottsdale, Arizona glows. Her demeanor reflects joy and Mallory Square Studios serves as home for her lampwork glass and jewelry design. Adrian spoke with me about creativity and her creative roots.
ME: What does creativity mean to you?
“Creativity to me is the basic form of expression, sometimes this can involve feelings of anger, sadness, joy, etc.”
ME: How did your art evolve and how have you evolved as a result? Did art play a role in your childhood?
“I have always had an active imagination. It stems from childhood. As an only child, I had to learn to entertain myself. I would make items from rocks, sticks, anything I could find. We lived on a farm so I was always experimenting with objects.
Friday Night Crafting
Every Friday night my mom, aunts and grandmothers would have a crafting night. Pottery, painting, you name it. They were really big into ceramics at the time and did a lot of painting and glazing. I looked so forward to those nights!
We also did a lot of macrame, crocheting, and one of my favorite things was quilting. I absolutely hate sewing, but I love picking out colors and fabric. I think this has most influenced my jewelry. I love trying different color combinations and I love mixing various items to make a finished item.
Unfortunately, I never had children and my family doesn’t live near me, so that tradition is now reserved for special times a year when I visit with my mom. We still create together and she’s very supportive in my journey. Since I can’t create weekly with my family, I hold classes as well as workshops which is a really fun way for me to share my knowledge and passion with others.
I never thought that I could make a living though as an artist, so I followed a path of my other love, healthcare. Nursing was perfect for me though because it gave me the flexibility to do art shows and follow my passion of jewelry and glass making.”
ME: How do you feel when you’re in your creative space and what does that feeling contribute to your end result?
“My studio is the most amazing space in the world to me. After 20 years as an artist, my husband and I built it in our backyard. It’s my pride and joy. It represents all of my hard work and passion, but most importantly it symbolizes my husbands’ countless dedication and support to me. (NOTE: Click here to learn more about Adrian’s studio, which was customized from a TuffShed.) When I was selected to be featured in Where Women Create (August 2015), that was one of the finest moments in my life!”
ME: Do you see an impact of fellow artists on you and your work?
“I’ve honestly always kept a bit to myself at art shows, as I feel I want to stay 100% true to myself and not be influenced by trends or other people’s comments.”
ME: As an artist, are there doubts and struggles you face?
“Of course, it’s very hard to make it as an artist. I’ve been approached many times to wholesale or have my items massed produced, but to me, that is not what I envision for myself. That is the of course the best way to make a living as an artist, but it’s just not for me. So when I see others that have chosen that path and are very successful I judge myself, but then I take a moment to reflect and realize it’s not for me!”
ME: How has your art changed your perception of the world and how the world sees you?
“I stopped nursing a few years ago but I realize that I still have the ability to touch people through my art. I have so much time to spend quality time with others and connect on a deeper level.”
“Remember a kind heart”
ME: What impact do you want to have with your art and on whom?
“I want people to wear my jewelry or use a piece of my glassware and remember a kind heart that took the time to listen to their story, and actually hear them.”
Each month I introduce you to an artist who has impacted me. I met Adrian at Art Unraveled in Phoenix, AZ this summer. Who knows, she could inspire me to take a lamp work glass class! Let’s spread the word about these big-hearted, creative women. If you have an artist who’s inspired you, send me her name.