Scenes From Sydney: Your Creative Process

By Jaclyn Carlson This month I've been focusing a lot on creativity, more specifically the creative process and how a simple idea or thought can blossom into something bigger than we ever imagined. For years I thought that in order to express yourself creatively you had to be a painter or an artist, something or someone visual, which admittedly I'm not. I've always been stronger with words and ideas so to finally understand the creative process and how it can relate to someone like myself was a real breakthrough.

The process itself is hard to define and is of course, different for everyone.  For me, my best ideas come to me when I'm on the move and have time to think. Suddenly an idea will burst into my head for a blog post or craft project and I'll have to quickly try and capture those thoughts before I'm distracted and they've disappeared. To see these ideas through to fulfillment is so satisfying and to truly experience an amazing look at the creative process I highly recommend listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's TED Talk.

Sydney itself is bursting with creative women who understand and have mastered the creative process far better than I.  That is exactly why I wanted to introduce Julia Denes, a Sydney based Jeweller, Designer, Gemmologist, Diamond Grader, and trained artist.  After years spent working for some of Australia's top jewellers, in 2010 Julia launched her own business - Julia Denes Jewellery, giving her the creative freedom she'd always desired.  As someone with such a dedicated art background I was curious about Julia's creative process and what I might be able to learn from her...

"My creative process usually begins with an overseas trip to a country that my heart has decided on. So far I’ve created ranges inspired by travels through South East Asia, Costa Rica, and Paris. Whilst away I spend weeks travelling around taking lots of photos of everything and anything that inspires me, from carvings and architecture to people and prominent places. I have a note pad with me at all times so I don’t forget a thing. This is the sketching and ideas process. On my return, I go through all of my photos and I’ll refine my sketches and choose the top 12-15 pieces.  I then decide on the best and most fitting material to make the pieces from.  I make each piece by hand so the making process generally takes the longest. From time of ordering the gold, silver or materials to making each piece, to setting the stones and then lastly polishing, it might be 2 months till the range is complete, especially if there is a design that needs to be revised a few times before it’s ready. I’m also a complete perfectionist which probably doesn’t help!"

Looking at her jewellery it is easy to see the love and passion she puts into her work however what really struck me was where her process started - travel, life experiences, moments.  These are things that all of us can use to gain inspiration, to embrace our creativity and discover our own creative process.

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Jaclyn Carlson is the author behind the Sydney-based blog, Little Paper Trees. When not documenting her expat adventures, she can be found working for one of Australia’s top design & homewares trade shows. Passionate and prone to wasting hours on Pinterest, she has years of experience in marketing, advertising and PR and aims to put Sydney’s creative women in the spotlight with her monthly column