Tuesday, February 24, 2009


As many may already know, I spent two years in Nepal, one year during college, and another year post-college as a Fulbright scholar. Both years were spent studying the traditional art of the Kathmandu Valley as I created my own sculptures using traditional techniques. This experience really made my own work take shape and has had a lasting imprint. It was also my first introduction to working full-time on my work in a very self-directed manner. This made me realize that I really did want to be a full-time studio artist.

Subsequent trips to Tibet and Mongolia added new themes and approaches to the mix and kept me fully charged with ideas for a very long time. This all happened before I started my own business. Once I went off on my own, I put everything I had into the business and it occupied all of my waking hours. I had to put thoughts of travel abroad out of mind for a very long time. Not only did it take all of my energy and financial resources to get things off the ground, I felt that taking two or more weeks off was out of the question.

Lately, I have been feeling that the creative battery has been running a tad low. There are still so many ideas to explore, but I have been wanting to really re-arrange my thoughts in a big way. Another thing I have been longing for is a more collaborative experience. I didn't necessarily expect this to come as a jewelry-related collaboration and my involvement in the Middle Eastern dance and music community exposed me to the way in which performers collaborate.

Enter in the picture a performer called Akim Funk Buddha. He is a consummate collaborator and has worked with many dancers that I have studied with and admire. My husband, Jun, and I became big fans of his work, and in fact, I had the feeling that he was the performer with whom I wanted to collaborate. Through conversations with him, he told me that he was planning to go to Bali with as many of his people as were willing and able. We had the miles, and the abilities to work on the visual aspect of the show, and through those converging circumstances, a new project has been born.

In April, we will head to Bali, and I will be working on the costume design, shopping for materials, contracting local craftspeople, and seeing what kind of incredible creations can be made from the wide variety of materials.

I am trying to not to anticipate too much what kind of effect the trip will have on my work, I want to just experience it in the moment. I do expect that the trip will have me all fired up and ready to get to work in the studio exploring many new ideas and maybe new materials.

Do you know someone interesting in Bali that I should meet? Please drop me a line!


Valerie A. Heck said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip, I am sure you will find much inspiration! : )

knitting said...

wow, natasha! this sounds amazing!
what a fantastic opportunity!
i'm going to give you a call so i can hear all about it.