The Heroine’s Journey of Jennifer Tull Westberg

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  I love that it evolves and changes organically as I live and learn. The more work I make the more I know how to do and my life/work experiences inspire new work all the time.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?  Achieving a good balance between work, home life and social life. Being able to have a happy stable home and workspace, but also having the opportunity to travel. Having enough money so that I don’t need to think about it too much and so that I can be creative and productive, independent and generous to others.
What is my greatest fear? Bad health, blindness, deafness, poverty of spirit.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?  Distractibility and impatience.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?  David Hines (Nvitblanche), Dana Schneider, Gabriella Kiss, Anthony Lent.
What is my greatest extravagance? Getting a manicure and pedicure done by someone other than myself.
On what occasion would I lie? I would potentially not offer up an opinion or information to spare a friend or loved one’s feelings.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  I dislike setting tiny stones-ha! In general, when all is said and done, I like my work. If I didn’t I probably wouldn’t keep doing it.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  I am always happiest when working in my studio while my husband is also at work in his adjoining space making music. I love when we are technically together, yet both off in our own happy creative space/worlds. 
If I could, what would I change about myself?   I wish perhaps that I were not such a “Night Owl”.  I might get less done, but I would probably be more productive and certainly less tired during the day.  I would like to be able to conquer all fear. 
What is my greatest achievement in work?  The fact that I have figured out how to make my jewelry without any formal training.  I get an idea and I keep at it until the piece/ pieces are complete.  Sometimes this takes hours, sometimes days and sometimes months. I think about my work all the time and I work diligently. I’m proud of this.
Where would I most like to live?  New York City. I like to travel and I love visiting other cities and countries but right now I love where I currently live-East Village NYC.
What is my most treasured possession? A hand made wooden box with an Emily Dickinson poem incised in the top that my husband Norman made for me.  It contains bits of ephemera from special moments in our life together…from our wedding and our daughter’s birth etc.
What is my most marked characteristic? Persistence.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  The beautiful urban gardens in my East Village neighborhood and the East River.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink? Prune and Avant Garden both in the East Village, NYC.
What books influenced my life and how?  Memoirs of A Beatnik by Diane DiPrima. I loved reading about her adventures in NYC in the 50’s & 60’s as an artist and young mother. She held her own among the male writers and artists (her peers) and kept on working and creating no matter what. It was a revelation and inspiration. I love many of the Beat writers/poets, but Diane DiPrima is my favorite.
Who are my favorite writers? Off the top of my head and in no particular order: Flannery O’Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, F Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Diane DiPrima, Hettie Jones, Shakespeare, William S Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Lenore Kandel, Amiri Baraka.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? The song that my husband Norman Westberg made for me this past Valentine’s Day (currently unreleased).   It’s about 17 minutes long and it is so beautiful.  It fills me with joy and love and I can’t think of better music to hear while passing from one world to the next.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?  My late poet friend Ronnie Burk, and a whole slew of great women artists and musician friends. The water protectors at Standing Rock.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Gimme Shelter by Albert & David Maysles.
What role plays art in my life and work? Art plays a central role in my life. I would not want to live in a world without art. While there is a lot of poor and mediocre art around, there is also so much great art being done all the time.  It is pure joy to encounter it and the feeling I derive from seeing an amazing painting or sculpture, hearing a fantastic piece of music, seeing a great dance performance or reading a beautiful poem can sustain me for weeks.  Love of art connects me to my favorite people and to what I consider to be God-source energy.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband Norman and my daughter Mina.  They are loving, supportive and all around awesome humans. I am also very fortunate to have wonderful parents who always loved and encouraged me.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Not sure yet.  I’ll have to see who and what the Universe puts in my path.
What project, in 2017 am I looking forward to work on?  I am looking forward to making new assembled pieces using molds & casts from my collection of prehistoric shark’s teeth and I am also looking forward to doing more wax sculpting to be made into limited edition rings and charms.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?  You can see my past and present jewelry work on my website: jennifertullwestberg.com and  you can buy my current jewelry via: jennifertullwestbergjewelry.com
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?  To me this means that as long as I do the work I am compelled to do and adjust my life according to that, I should hopefully never need to retire.  I imagine the kind of work I make will change as I age, but that will be just fine.  I am happiest when my mind is engaged through creating and I am inspired by simply living life.  I am never really at a loss for ideas, so I’ll keep on going as long as I can.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?  Danielle De Picciotto, Okkyung Lee, Rebekah Harris, Olivia Eaton, Lisa Barnstone, Veronica Ibarra, Anna Huckabee Tull
How can you contact me? jtwjewelry@gmail.com
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