Creative Beings Series: Andrew Steinbrecher

Observing and learning from other artists is a huge form of inspiration to me. Artist is a broad term here, because I don’t necessarily mean painters, dancers and writers. I mean ALL “creative beings”; people who follow their heart and do what they love. Enter: The Creative Beings Series! (#creativebeingsseries)

I’ve decided to regularly highlight amazing creative people who do creative amazing things. So without further ado… I introduce a friend of mine since childhood, Andrew Steinbrecher. I hope he inspires you as much as he has me!

drew_latteWho are you and where are you from/where do you live?
Hi, I’m Drew. I live in an old neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio called the Clifton Gaslight District. I moved here to attend college where I studied graphic design. I was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in a small town in Ohio. It’s very easy to live in Cincinnati. The low cost and easy living allow me to live a more bohemian life, have a savings account, and travel, which are all important to me. I wouldn’t be able to do that living in California or New York.

What is your medium? Tell us about your work.
I currently work with fiber, primarily fabric. Most of my pieces are art quilts which are meant to hang on a wall as opposed to a traditional bed quilt. I’m currently interested in how my surroundings, environment and nature can inspire me and how my male perspective affects my work relative to the female-dominated fiber art scene. Because I am self-taught, I often intentionally use the “wrong” techniques and processes. This brings a freshness to the finished pieces since I do not worry about creating a piece the “correct” way.

Why Art?
I have been crafty all my life. I was always cutting and pasting and making things. In high school art classes I discovered I had an interest and talent for design. I wanted to study fashion at university, but someone dissuaded me saying it’s a difficult and crowded field (I shouldn’t have listened). So graphic design was the next choice.

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“Art Line Study 1” by Andrew Steinbrecher

When did you find your specific creative/artistic calling or are you still searching?
At some point 5-10 years ago, somewhere on the internet, I discovered art quilts. Their deceptively simple aesthetic created by fabric caught my crafter/designer’s eye.

I knew the basics of sewing and using sewing machine, but art quilts scared me. I wanted to make one but didn’t know where to start and was too worried it would go horribly wrong. One night, after a few years of self-doubt, I decided to just shut up, let go, and finally do it. What I began that night became my first art quilt titled “Letting Go”.

Making quilts is the one and only thing I do where I don’t worry about or question my choices… it comes naturally and easily to me. It just took me 40 years to find that one thing.

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“Letting Go” by Andrew Steinbrecher

What are 3 things you do everyday? Feel free to expand.
– Drink coffee… one of my favorite things to do every morning is walk a few blocks to the coffeehouse and get a cup of coffee. On the weekends I usually make it at home or get a latte at one of the hipster espresso places in town.
– Knit… I usually find time each day to knit at least a few rows of whatever project I’m currently working on. Right now it’s a cardigan for a friend’s baby who will be 1 year old in October.
– Waste too much time on the internet… at some point each day I get sucked in to the internet and before I know it way too much time has past.

studio_dirtytableWhat are your fondest memories as a child?
Any time my family would travel… from seeing relatives in Pennsylvania to several weeks in California… I loved it all. Traveling at a young age really gave me an appreciation for experiencing and appreciating different locations and people. It taught me important travel basics and gave me confidence to travel and live internationally by myself when I was in my 20s.

What is your favorite form of inspiration?
Traveling, urban decay, huge cities like NYC and London, crisp autumn days, dramatic coastlines where mountains meet the sea.

Best piece of advice for creative people or those searching for their “purpose”?
Just go for it and start. Don’t worry if it’s not good. Nobody has to see any work you don’t want them to. Don’t compare yourself to other artists… remember that you are seeing everyone’s self-edited best work on social media… you don’t see their mistakes or disasters.

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“Tidy Towns” by Andrew Steinbrecher

Quote of the day or Favorite food/meal, you choose:
Korean is my favorite cuisine. I love dolsot bibimbap and kimchi.

If you weren’t an artist you would be…
A personal assistant for a celebrity.

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“Triangle Quilt” by Andrew Steinbrecher

Thanks for sharing your work and life Drew! You can check out Drew’s work at andrewsteinbrecher.com and follow him on Instagram @drewsteinbrecher. (Wish him a Happy Birthday, he celebrated this past week!) Also, if you are a “Creative Being” or know a “Creative Being” who should be highlighted, please send me a note at hello@poeticfood.com!

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Ignite Your Creativity | Spark 4: The CRAZIES

pf_crazyheadSo I’m behind on my Ignite Your Creativity series… BUT… lucky YOU, because now you’ll get two “Sparks” in one week! Yahoo!
See how I did that? I just turned lemons into lemonade. So satisfying.

The last several weeks have been pretty crazy with the end of school, work and preparation for our two week jaunt across the country. I am so looking forward to traveling, sleeping in and just doing whatever the heck I want while my kids run barefoot in the backyard and the grandparents dote on them from morning till bedtime. One of the things I plan to do is blog more, that is, if I have enough time.

Rut roh. There is that crazy voice again. (Crazy voice: you suck.)

Which brings me to Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity. I am highlighting a way, or “Spark”, each week for 30 weeks, and this is week 4 (well really 5 because I’m a little tardy.) The fourth “Spark” Carrie mentions is what she calls “The Crazies”, or rather, the letting go of them.

You know when you get a really good, creative idea and you start to work on it/implement it/explore it and halfway through you start saying to yourself, “Why am I doing this?” or “This isn’t good enough.” or “I could be doing something more practical right now like grocery shopping or dusting the blinds.” Well, all of these things are barriers to the creative process. Sylvia Plath said “The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.”

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And we all do it, don’t we? So, what should we do? Carrie has a nifty idea. She recommends writing these self-limiting thoughts down on paper so they become physical objects that you can see and touch. Each time you have a case of “The Crazies”, write it down and store it in a container on your desk or work table. Then, the moment you have a sparkly, creative session reach in there, tear up a piece of “crazy paper” and watch how they slowly disappear. Crazies gone forever. Creative You, here to stay.

So I did just that. It’s a wonderful exercise in mindfulness as well. Only when you truly pay attention and reflect on what you are thinking do you realize how much you are thinking about something! And as my yoga teacher says… “Where the mind goes, energy flows.” Ponder THAT today.

See you this weekend… On the Road.

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Patterns by Kelsey Oseid

Artwork by Kelsey Oseid @kelzuki

I just started using Instagram. Where have I been all these years? That is where I discovered freelance illustrator, Kelsey Oseid. How beautiful and interesting are her patterns and drawings? I love the whimsical yet historical/folksy quality they emit. I discovered her from a favorite blog’s, (DesignSponge) Instagram feed which highlights Kelsey’s work. And guess what? DesignSponge is actually offering a series of pattern downloads from Kelsey, for digital wallpaper and tech backgrounds, right now! Get the first pattern here and visit Kelsey’s Etsy store here. *Remember, free for personal use only! It would look so great as a bed spread…