We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Yezza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, is there something you believe many others might not?
Think outside the box.
That idea assumes that the box in itself is not helpful. To me that’s jumping the gun. You should actually start with the box and create the box itself. I draw my box with several parameters including (but not limited to) any physical or spatial limitations, the limitations of my own knowledge, the tools I have access to and the material(s) I am working with. I start with the box. I believe that if you draw the box you want to think within first, you will inevitably find yourself outside of it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I compare my creative mindset to that of an explorer. In this world where most everything has been explored & google has all the answers, maybe the best thing you can do is explore your own self. That’s where all the newness is.
I wander around in my head, pulling bits and pieces from my life, like pulling reference books off the shelf and then pour the chosen ideas through various filters, exhausting options, problem solving, and imposing boundaries until something lands. Ultimately, it’s the culmination of myself at this moment, distilled down into object. It sounds intellectual, but it’s really not. It’s quite simply my search for an intuitive ‘it’.
That intuitive ‘it’ finds its form across a myriad of mediums but paper, clay, plaster, and charcoal are staples I return to again and again. I find inspiration from seemingly ordinary moments with my son, the thrill of ‘a find’ while vintage treasure hunting, the reuse or repurposing of old materials, and my own mistakes which continually propel me forward and often serve as a jumping off point for new work.
Steve Jobs once said, “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you.” I find so much truth in this. Of course I’ve had challenges, everyone has, but I do feel like I’m being pulled and I’m just along for the ride. I have faith that if I get stuck I will eventually figure it out because I’m the only one with the answer.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Best beach – lake erie bluffs – narrow rocky shoreline, the bluffs to your back and the waves in front of you. Peace and quiet. Bring a picnic and stay a while. Find a pretty stone to bring home.
Billy Ritter studio – to add some pretty pottery to your serving ware
Local estate sales on the weekend – there’s usually always a good find to be had
Thai thai- for the best thai food in town
Stan Hywet Hall- for some serious architectural inspo
Bedford Reservation, Bridal Veil Falls hike – shaded hike through the woods that runs along the river – bring your river shoes for exploring
Best lunch- brassica in van aken district
Best pizza – hot honey pie from geraci’s
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Of course! So many things and people have conspired in my life to allow me the space and opportunity to jump into creating, how much time do you have?! If I had to boil it down to the top three it’s the following: 1. My parents both went to art school and my sister is a director at a graphic design firm so I have been surrounded by art and creativity and art things literally my whole life. Having my family willing to help answer questions as I navigate this new journey is something I will be grateful for forever.
2. Becoming a mom, and a stay at home mom at that, has allowed me the time to dive into this creative endeavor with the flexibility that I’ve not had before. And being at home (and having been able to set up a studio in our basement) has added to that flexibility. I steal away down there every chance I get, which, let’s face it, isn’t as often as I’d like but it is a blessing for sure.
3. My husband is the supporter of our family and keeps us on secure footing as I trial and error in my basement studio. I could never do this without him and his support.
Other: for any inquires/commissions: email@example.com
Kelley Shaffer (for personal photo)