14 February 2019

Ismini Samanidou Answers 12 Questions Relating to the Creative Process

What is the creative process? How does it differ from person to person? And what are the similarities? Can it even be defined? If so, to what end?

Taking my own fascination for process and repetition, I thought I'd attempt to answer those questions by simply, asking more questions. Questions on what creativity means to different people from across a wide spectrum of vocations, designed to reveal what the binding elements look like; to extrapolate the gold dust in the glue that holds creative process together. At least, that's the big idea.

From designers to artists to chefs to musicians to writers to programmers (and quite possibly anyone in-between) 12 simple questions are posed to see what creativity means to them and to glean insight into how these individuals are inspired, work, and produce their craft.

Although thoroughly tempting to dissect the results, as part of my own process I'll be letting the subject's answers speak for themselves. A Q&A. No more, no less.

Answering the questions this time is artist, Ismini Samanidou.





C O N C I O U S N E S S




In a nutshell, what do you do?

I am an artist and designer working with weaving, drawing and photography. I work on one-off pieces for exhibitions and site specific commissions, design textiles for industry and collaborate with other artists or designers. I used to teach more than I do now which I really miss. I also travel whenever I get a chance!


What’s your creative process; how do you get stuff done?


I do a lot of hand weaving, I also work on photography, and drawing and, depending on the project, may do a lot of design work on the computer too. A big chunk of it though is outside the studio, meeting people, writing emails etc. etc. etc.


Everyone works differently. When did you become aware that your creative process is your own?


I was pretty single minded and determined when I was a student so I think quite early.


When are you most creative?


When I am left alone to play without pressing deadlines and toddler tantrums, and able to focus on one thing at a time. Also on the train looking out the window my mind seems to wander and work ideas through.


Can you be creative in a vacuum or do you need outside influences to help?

Both: I need outside influences and then to be left in a vacuum for a while to make sense of them all.





E X I S T E N T I A L I S M




Did you seek being a creative or did creativity find you?

I think it found me. I always thought I would be a vet growing up. Photography captured my imagination and made me look and see, and weaving grounded me and made me ask so many questions about making and the world.


Do you think your background has had an effect on your creativity?

Yes definitely, I didn't grow up in a creative household and it takes me a while to throw myself into creativity today. It's not the most intuitive thing which is why I am so drawn to the process based work with weaving where math, planning and a methodology is a big part of the creative process.


Have you ever struggled with creativity?

Every minute every day!





D I S R U P T I O N




Is there any one person, thought or thing that’s changed the way you think?

I love the quote from Anni Albers 'You can go anywhere from anywhere' about the importance of experimentation and play and not worrying too much about the outcome, but enjoying the process of making. Also it reminds me that everything is connected.


Do you have one piece of advice for anyone starting out as a creative?

You need to be ready to stomach the creative lows and blocks along the way.





R E F L E C T I O N




Do you think creativity has defined you?

Something has given me a fire in my belly to keep working as an independent artist and designer, but I don't know if it is creativity as such. Good question. Need to keep thinking about it.


What would you like to do if you weren’t doing what you do now?

On a bad day I want to have a 'proper' job with well defined hours and a stable income every month, or that I should have stuck to the original plan and become a vet. Generally I would like to work more outside the studio on people projects: with schools, with the community close and far, and with projects in other countries looking at weaving and how this brings people together and changes values in the world.






T H A N K   Y O U





Photo credit: Gary Allson