This is the first of an interview series I am doing with creative people. It’s fun to make things and be inspired by creativity, and even more fun to poke around in the heads of some of those people who inspire us. I’m starting off with some of my Rockin’ Art Moms buddies, but I have about a thousand people to hit up for this series.
Let’s get to it with Meri Cherry, whom I have known for a few years online, but never met in real life. I have an inkling that when I finally meet her I will give her a sloppy kiss and we’ll be fast friends forever, but in the meantime I’ll just interview her and share her with you.
Although most of you probably already follow her, Meri is the master of process art for kids, sharing the most delightful messy projects and wowing us all with her outdoor art studio.
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What’s one thing from your childhood that helped spark your creativity?
I love this question. I was blessed to be raised in a very pro-creativity household. I would say one thing that played a big impact on me was the support I had from my mom. She would gush over my art so much, in the most authentic, loving way. I remember drawing Batman while watching him on TV and my mom had me 100% convinced I was drawing an exact replica. I wish I had one of the drawings today to see how biased she was. Regardless, her unconditional love and support gave me a great boost in confidence. Thanks mom.
Where do you go offline for inspiration?
I go for walks and to the library. I really love being in the library. It just calms my nerves and helps me think. Long live public libraries. Ideally I am going for a walk to the library. That’s a perfect day.
Oh, and modern art museums are pretty cool too for inspiration.
What makes you weird?
The list goes on and on for this one. In seventh grade I wore a sweatshirt turned upside down as pants with a big belt after seeing “the look” in Seventeen Magazine. That didn’t really go over so well. More recent and everlasting weirdness, I sleep with a stuffed animal named froggy. I’d like to lie and say it’s from when I was a baby but I got her right before I left for college and we’ve been besties ever since.
Do you remember something in your life that you felt squashed your creativity?
When I was in middle school I didn’t get picked to be in this special art program that I really thought I deserved to be in. When I mustered up the courage to tell the teacher I thought maybe there was a mistake, she blew me off and said there was no mistake. That kind of stayed with me for a while. It’s strange how certain people in our paths have this control over what happens to us. If it was a different teacher, I might have had a different experience in those years where being part of a like minded group of kids would have been really nice.
Do you have any/quirks/routines/habits you follow when you work?
I usually have an idea for a project for a post or an art class and then I have to do it the whole way through before fine tuning it or thinking too much about it. As I’m creating I kind of repeat the mantra in my head, “don’t judge, don’t judge.” This way I can see it through to the end and see what evolves. Then I go back in and rework it where ever is needed based on what I know about kids. The first stage is more for me in ways. A chance to let something out.
Meri Cherry posts for you to peruse:
Go see this sweet and wonderful post on making mini art books with kids.
This fabric resist pillow project is one of my all-time favorites of hers.