i. I work as a Ceramic Artist
ii. I do this creative work because:
Because I started and now I can’t stop….I don’t even think it is a conscious decision, it is simply what I do or more who I am.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I think as a potter the best quality you can have is the ability to be still. When you work with clay, you are not just moving the clay, but more responding to the movement of the clay. If you can be still and sensitive enough to anticipate those subtle movements, the process flows so much better.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Finding blocks of uninterrupted time to really get fully absorbed in what I am doing at that time.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I had my childhood in South Africa, so I was never afraid of getting dirty; that comes in very handy today.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
When we work we use our minds and our hands, but then there are people who work with their soul and their hearts. Regardless of what it is they do, those are the people who truly inspire me.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I studied Fine Art in South Africa followed by one year of Graphic Design. I think the freedom of the Fine Art balanced by learning the fundamentals of good design has helped me create an aesthetic that is both natural in the randomness of the markings yet still has a certain degree of order about it.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Finding out too early what it is that the public wants. If you make what sells, because it sells, you will never reach your full potential.
ix. Some proud career moments:
I am very honoured to have my work in the Michael Audain Museum in my home town of Whistler. Another proud moment was when I was featured in the “Ones to watch” segment in Western Living magazine last year and was chosen as a finalist in the SSICA awards.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Don’t wait till it is the perfect time or you have the perfect studio. Working out of Whistler where square footage comes at a big price, I soon learned that it is not the space that you create in, but the place that you create from that matters. My first studio was an old sauna that we converted into studio space with my wheel sitting on top of an old jacuzzi tub covered up with some plywood. In order for things to evolve something needs to be happening….so don’t sit on the sidelines and try and figure out how you can get started. Just get in there, get dirty and it will move forward from there.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
The only real goal is to never fall out of love with what I do.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Header + 2nd Photo: Sarah Mickel