Photographed by: Katie Jameson | Interview of: Kristen of Kristen Saksa Juen
How did you get started?
My artistic voice in clay started when I first decided that maybe my work did not have to be perfectly round. Instead perhaps it was even better if it was something different all together. This shift in my mindset, to embrace irregularity and take chances on new shapes and forms, changed everything. That change was when my artwork became exciting. Ever since then I simply couldn’t stop creating in clay.
What influences you? / Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by the beauty of nature and my love for the outdoors greatly influences my creativity. I strive to create ceramics that spark a connection with nature for modern spaces.
I am influenced greatly by the creative process itself; the process of experimenting and designing in clay often changes in ways that only come to me when I have my hands in clay.
At the core, I am influenced by a desire to make items that have their own character and individuality. I am inspired by beauty seen in marks of process and craftsmanship. Randomness and variability are a deliberate part of my work, as an expression for my love of items that are unique and celebrate handmade.
What keeps you motivated?/ Why do you love doing this?
Lately, I am really motivated by meeting people who appreciate the individuality of my artwork. It means the world to me to share my passion for creating with others.
I am also strongly motivated by the creative community, both here in Austin and across social media. I am fortunate to have met many inspiring artists and creatives on this journey! Being in this crazy and exciting maker’s world, with a great community of other business owners, is encouraging, supportive, and inspires me to keep going.
How do you balance your personal time + work?
It has always been an important life goal for me to be passionate about my work. For me, this passion feeds both my work and personal life and naturally blurs the line between the two.
My struggle for balance, comes in learning when to say no to opportunities - since I genuinely enjoy taking on new challenges - and learning when I need to take time out for taking care of myself. Similar to working on artwork, for me, learning this balance is a work in progress. One idea I recently started. is setting daily mini goals where I reflect on myself as a whole. I set business goals such as emails or studio time, but I also set personal goals such as taking a walk, or having lunch with a friend. So far, it has been nice to take on some of these balanced goals one at a time :)
Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years? / What’s next for your brand?
In 2-5 years, I see myself continuing to make handmade items with intention. I will be working on some old favs and new designs which I haven’t even dreamed up yet. I will still be reminding myself to embrace making mistakes, to live creatively, and hopefully inspiring creativity in others along the way.