i. I work as a jewelry designer, and a sculptural artist working primarily in metal, wood and clay.
ii. I do this creative work because:
I would go crazy otherwise! It is a passion that must be expressed. My creativity thrives in the light but it also lives in the shadows waiting to be revealed. COVID has been an opportunity to dig deep and explore new ideas.
iii. A ‘typical’ day for me under Covid lockdown involves:
The sheer joy of not waking to an alarm. Each morning I ring a wind chime saying hello to my loved ones who have passed. I gong my Tibetan singing bowl to cleanse my energy for the day. I do meditations, then journal with a coffee in hand. Now I’m ready to start my day. I communicate with family and friends, and answer emails from clients. I go to my studio and work on a variety of art pieces I have on the go. I am also making special commissioned jewelry and art pieces from Zoom or Face Time meetings. Right now, I’m working on these super cool meditation cubes. At the end of the day I go for a sensory walk down to the beach. I like to hear the birds and smell the different scents of trees and flowers starting to pop. Loving Lilac right now!
iv. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Tenacity- I never give up. Sensitivity to forces around me. I call them my muses. They are the co-creators of my work. As an artist I have learned to listen.
v. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Prior to COVID, it would be keeping up with the demands of a successful jewelry business. It’s a fast moving train with building two collections a year. Time was a luxury.
vi. Creative childhood hobbies:
Drawing – always, singing, soccer, baseball, tennis, squash, carving wood, swimming, writing – always!
vii. Other creators who inspire you:
Coco Chanel’s early jewelry, Lalique glass, Walt Disney’s early cartoons, Van Gogh’s thick palette knife strokes, the sculpture of Rodin and his play on light, Mother Nature.
viii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I learned a lot attending art school at U of A about the principals of art. As for jewelry making, I’m a self taught, hands on person. My best teacher has been experience…30 years in the saddle and thousands of jewelry pieces later! Having said that, I am now playing with clay sculpting. I took a course in San Miguel, MX that was humbling and inspiring at the same time. I am also being tutored by a clay artist in White Rock that is very helpful.
ix. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Do your own thing! Don’t follow trends- set them. The world craves new ideas. Show them who you are in your work, let it shine through. I have always been a spiritual person. Years ago it was considered odd. Still- I did my thing creating a line of motivational pieces called Higher Power. Women’s Wear Daily found out about it and did an interview with me back in the early 2000’s. The focus was on companies who were “out there”. One of them is a now big aromatherapy company. We have come a long way baby! I share this story because it is what put me on the map. Share your thing and you will shine! Follow and you will always follow.
x. Some proud career moments:
Two things stand out. The first was when I worked with kd lang in my studio creating a Buddhist locket with pieces she was gifted by her Lama. I instinctively knew not to touch them and guided her on making it. She is a natural artist in all mediums BTW. Then they brought me to the Tuscan gem show. We spent two days choosing 4 gemstones to be set in the crown of a golden statue of a Rimboche. A ruby, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. I was honored to be part of that journey. The second would be when I was chosen as one of the alumni to graduate in their field of excellence to celebrate the University of Alberta’s 100 Anniversary. The irony is I never thought I could make it as an artist so I switched to Education. Now fast forward, I have made a career as a working artist and was honored for it. Guess the universe had a different plan.
xi. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Just start. Go on YouTube and start playing with metal or whatever else calls you. Take classes offered by local schools, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different mediums. Jewelry is wide open.
xii. A professional goal I have for the future:
I am working on a body of work for a one women art show. Metal sculpture, clay sculptural table top pieces, and gorgeous one of a kind wearable art jewelry.
xiii. If you want to see my work, go to:
www.karynchopik.com for the silver line, Karyn Chopik Studio on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karynchopikstudio/ has beautiful gold commissions, some art and everyday wear jewelry from my commercial collection.