The Heroine’s Journey of Kelly Potts Martinez

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I do more than one type of work, I’m a sculptor of various things, jewellery and character ‘doll sculptures’ and for this I like it best when people can read a narrative in my work, when it touches them on a deeper level… they may see stories I have never thought of! Some of this work can be quite quirky and comes from a place of wanting to share wonder with the world, and so I love it when I see a smile on people’s faces… when it touches something innocent and childlike inside. I hope to inspire delight with my artwork so it’s lovely when that happens. My other role is teaching my arts and crafts on courses and for this I love to inspire people to create their own art. We can all create art, we are ALL artists, we just need to find our medium and have someone to give us confidence. I love being one of the people who can encourage that creative confidence, especially when I am teaching someone who has been told “You are no good at art.” at some point in their lives and they create something with their own hands and the spark of creativity is lit within them.
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What is my idea of perfect happiness? On a personal level, working on my art and being so immersed in the creative process I lose myself entirely to ‘the muse’. Being with those I love, surrounded by unconditional love… nothing is more perfect than that. On a wider societal level… perfect happiness for me would be living in a fairer society, where no-one is without the basic essentials and rights of human life. Maybe that seems a little far fetched, but that would be my idea of perfect happiness for all people across the world
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What is my greatest fear? Losing someone I love, or one of my pets… the pain and loss of grief. Nothing fills me with more fear than that. Even though I have great spirituality and a faith that death is not the end of our mortal energy, this pain still fills me with dread.
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What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Worry. I could worry as an Olympic Sport, I could take it to PHD levels, I even annoy myself with it and tell myself off about it often. I’ve been trying to retrain my thought process though over the past couple of years… such as asking myself ‘Why would something bad happen?’. I think this ties in with my fear of loss.
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Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Gosh, this is a difficult one as most of the sculptors I admire are dead, Lalique, Tiffany etc! I tend to live and create in a little world of my own so am somewhat out of touch with who is ‘current’ in jewellery creation and sculpture… I was inspired to go into the arts as a career, and trained, by my mum and dad who are both artists, sculptors, jewellers… so I suppose I would probably say Jacqui and Jose Martinez. Both are artists who never stop experimenting and both are self taught in most of their skills, and I really admire that. I married an artist called Marc Potts, he too is self taught and always experimenting in paint, collage and 3D, so I can add him here too. Other than that I would have to say any artist or craftsperson who is carrying on an old tradition, keeping old skills alive, and all those who are persistently driven to create despite societal or emotional pressures, that’s something to always admire… art born from a place of adversity.
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What is my greatest extravagance? My animals, they live better than my husband and I do, but it’s what they deserve for their unending patience with us as mere humans and the unconditional love they give us. We are moving soon to Spain from the UK…. there will be more animals & so more extravagance! They are all spoiled but are priceless.
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On what occasion would I lie? To save someone hurt if I knew they would never ever find out the truth. I can’t bare the thought of people being in pain, if there was  situation where I could spare someone that I would lie in a heartbeat
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What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Sometimes I feel I am much too precise, tight, I get caught up the small stuff rather than trying to be more fluid… letting things flow, be more organic. This is probably because I initially trained to be a master pattern maker for the jewellery trade and that is all about precision. I’d like to loosen up more!
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When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Now, here, definitely. I am happiest in my life now, and that reflects in my work life as well. I feel at a skill level at this point where I am comfortable enough to play about and experiment with new things, and be able to correct things if it doesn’t work out the way I hoped. I’m confident enough now, at this point in my life, as well to pass my skills on to others with the courses I host.
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If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to be less shy in social situations. Strangely, even though I teach, and host residential courses and exhibit etc. I am quite a shy person socially. I find it difficult to strike up a conversation randomly. THAT I would LOVE to change!
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What is my greatest achievement in work? Being collected and being exhibited. When I started to find clients (most of whom have become great friends since) who would commission me, and working with them one to one to create a dream piece of jewellery, that they sought me out! Wow!! Words can’t even express how humbling that is to me! As far as exhibiting goes I would have to say being accepted into IX (Illuxcon), juried into a show with my artwork to exhibit alongside some of the most astounding international artists & creatives. It has done my confidence no end of good… I found ‘my tribe’… their love of my work allowed me to move forwards creatively with confidence and experimentation, hence wanting to pass that feeling on to other people now by teaching others.
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Where would I most like to live? I’m moving there, To the Alpujarras region of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia, Spain… snow capped mountains, flora and fauna filled Natural National Park, full of artistry and fascinating history. I get to have at least one donkey and maybe an Andalucian horse as well so I am beyond happy!
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What is my most treasured possession? My family (and I include my pets in that). I am not really into ‘things’, don’t get me wrong we have WAY too many things and keep adding more, quirky, arty, intriguing stuff… but all of that can be replaced. For me true treasure is irreplaceable… I couldn’t replace those I love so I choose those as my treasures… not sure they would be happy being called possessions though!
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What is my most marked characteristic? I think, and have been told many times, my kindness. It costs nothing, but can change someone’s life, or emotions and always for the good….  it makes both giver and receiver feel happy and a sense of fulfilment! Kindness is a very undervalued thing. The world would be a happier place if we simply approached so much from a position of kindness.
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What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I don’t live in a city (although I from one, Manchester). I live and work in the middle of the countryside in a very old fashioned rural part of Devon UK… and am working now in, and soon moving to, an equally rural part of Spain. So I am going to be indulgent and choose two, one UK and one Spain. UK I would definitely say Dartmoor, Devon, the inspiration for so many folktales, fairytale and ghost stories (Hound of the Baskervilles country!), it’s changing faces through the seasons never fail to take my breath away. In Andalucia I would choose the ‘three jewels’ of the Alpujarras- Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira… little white Arabic villages nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, each one above the other. They stole my heart entirely, I am hoping we can live very near there.
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What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Two again as I seem to have a foot in each country! U.K. picnics on Dartmoor, can’t beat them, either sheltering among granite tors looking over the magnificent Devon countryside or in the ancient woodlands at Holne by the River Dart, a family favourite for decades – faery woodlands! Spain, I would have to say the little handmade chocolate shop and cafe in the village of Pampaneira, sitting by the square drinking strong, sweet coffee from a glass and eating chocolate covered figs… bliss!
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What books influenced my life and how?
Wuthering Heights stands out first. I am from that kind of countryside and reading this aged about 13 or 14 it really spoke to me and my inner wildness, the drama, darkness, tragic romance, it is something that I can’t really explain, but it gave me a sense of place and belonging. My first book about Rene Lalique changed my whole view of jewellery sculpture and I completely fell in love with the sinister beauty of Art Nouveau. My first book about the Pre Raphaelites, I couldn’t believe it, these were the fellows whose paintings I saw in local galleries in Lancashire! It all clicked… again a sense of belonging, like my feet had found their place, I have loved the PRB ever since with an intense devotion! Dickens novels- my mum would buy me ‘classics’ for Christmas every year, and Dickens really opened my eyes that social injustice has no boundaries of time, the same exploitation and poverty he witnessed and documented then are still with us now. Reading these from about 12 years old made me very angry at that lack of societal caring and class divide, it was definitely one of the main things that set me on a path to being very much a social warrior and a fighter for justice for those who can’t fight for themselves.
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Who are my favorite writers? All three Brontes, Dickens, Harrison Ainsworth, Wilkie Collins, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Angela Carter, Sheridan Le Fanu, Poe, M.R. James, Tolkein.  I do tend to read a lot of non fiction though.
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You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Anything by Qntal, Wardruna, Taraf de Haiduks, Buena Vista Social Club, George Harrison, Madness, Kate Bush… and The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams
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Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? A little stuck with this one, but  probably characters like Alice (of Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass fame), Nancy (from Oliver Twist), Ripley (Alien)… I can see a pattern of strong women here! Also Samwise Gamgee & Sancho Panza for their unconditional fellowship towards their friends and fellow ‘questers’, their support and belief in Frodo in one case and Don Quixote in the other.
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Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Anyone who fights to survive through adversity, whether societal, health, emotional issues. Those who take up the unjust challenges thrust upon them from authority and fight to protect what is precious, to be heard and listened to, those who strive to bring about positive change for themselves or wider society and those strong quiet warriors who are carers.
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Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Alien, Nosferatu (silent), Ivan the Terrible (silent), Wuthering Heights (Oberon & Olivier), pretty much all of Guillermo del Toro’s films, A Company of Wolves, Greed (silent), Poltergeist, Rare Exports, Spirited Away.
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What role plays art in my life and work? I can’t imagine my life without some form of art, be it creating or appreciating the art of others. I am from a family of artists, I married an artist, I am one. Basically… my life is all about art!
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Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My family are best fans, but I have some incredibly supportive friends as well, many of these friends started off as clients, but became friends through the creative process. Partner in crime is my husband Marc, we get up to all sorts of weirdness when out and about; always have each other’s back and collaborate a lot. Both of us critique each other’s work as well (without taking offence or getting angry), and both of us, given free rein, would end up with a small zoo of animals if left unchecked, it doesn’t take much for one or the other of us to want to adopt another needy creature!
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Whom would I like to work with in 2018? Marc Potts, my husband. We have a lot of ideas we want to work on together, books, 3D pieces, collage art… too many ideas for one year, but we’ll be happy if at least some of them get finished in 2018.  My parents, we have been working towards making a lot of life changes for a few years now, moving to Spain will mean I can work alongside my mum and dad again , teaching art and craft.
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Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? Would love to meet up with all our dear art friends in the States again when we all descend on Pennsylvania for Illuxcon in October. Although it’s an art exhibition and convention it’s a real meeting of minds and friends and we’ve both made some amazing friends there,  artists, collectors and crew.
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What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? Teaching new techniques and courses in Spain, getting the creative juices flowing for people. Marc and I have a couple of book ideas we want to work on together, we also want to start collaborating on 3D mixed media pieces as well. I want to make a really big silver sculptural showpiece necklace this year. I haven’t created one of these for a couple of years so I’d love to start working on a narrative piece like this again.
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Where can you see me or my work in 2018? Illuxcon (Main Show). Fab convention exhibition of mythic, imaginative realism and fantasy arts at The Goggleworks, Reading Pennsylvania, USA, in October. Teaching on courses in Granada, Andalucia, Spain throughout the year On my Facebook and Instagram pages where I’m always happy to accept friend requests and it’s where I put most of my news and new art pieces
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What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? That I will probably ‘pop my clogs’ while working at my bench, tools in hands as I can’t ever see me ever stopping creating!
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Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Gosh, this is where I realise I know so many women working in the arts! Ok, so I will choose for this – Jeannie Zaengle Wilshire, Vanessa Lemen, Melissa Gay, Iris Compiet, Ingrid Kallick,  Cheryl Fallon, Beck Sian
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How can you contact me
 

 

Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey 

Spring Journey

eatpraylovebigstill (2)Wednesday 14th March – Sunday 18th March

The best of The Heroine’s Journey condensed into a single, unforgettable week.

The Heroine’s Journey is a global organisation dedicated to teaching skills not covered by the regular education system – skills that develop storytelling intelligence and encourage psychological well-being for creative professionals.  The Spring Journey brings together the very best in our storytelling.

We will cover such themes as how to make money doing what you love, how to promote your business, which is you, how to choose our partners more wisely, how to make relationships last, how to find and create your dreamjob by meeting your rolemodels and making testdrives, how to manage your time and organize yourself creativitely, how to focus on our creative goals, how to have the financial freedom to create and how to more regularly experience creative flow and happiness.

You’ll embark on a rich and enlightening voyage, discovering how to make lasting, meaningful change across every aspect of your creative life. By working within a fixed group led by Peter de Kuster over the week, you’ll dive deeper than would be possible in any single daytrip. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

The Journey is ideal for those seeking a more meaningful, transformative vacation; for attendees of our daytrips who now wish to take a structured journey through our expertly curated material; and for those wishing to save time in the long run by working through the dilemmas of creative life, business, passion, and your own story in a single, high intensity week.

Blending tuition, exercises, meeting with stories of rolemodels, and discussion in journeys in a world city, each day of the Spring Journey will equip you with tools and strategies to help you find answers for your creative life’s big questions.

Join us for a truly transformational vacation for the mind in Rome

Ticket costs Euro 1250 excluding VAT per person, includes all teaching, materials, light refreshments & additional activities.

You can reach Peter for a skype meeting about questions you have by mailing him at peterdekuster@hotmail.nl 

DAILY TIMETABLE

09.40    Tea & Coffee on arrival

10.00     Morning Session

13.00     Lunch Break

14.00     Afternoon Session

17.00     Drinks

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the Spring Journey itinerary.

“You are the Storyteller of Your Own Creative Life. You can Create Your Own Legend – Or Not” – Peter de Kuster

EatPrayLove1 (2)

Spring Journey Itinerary

Day One: The first day of the Spring Journey is designed to equip us with the core skills of The Heroine’s Journey and Storytelling. We will learn the power of the story we tell ourselves, why our minds have a hard time understanding themselves, how to map and understand our passions, and how and why we characteristically respond to them.

Day Two: The second day of the Spring Journey takes us on a structured journey around the power of your story as creative professional.  Creative flow is always in essence a mental phenomenon, it is a result of ideas- and a story you tell yourself therefore relies on having to hand a raft of enriching stories about your business, your money management, your self promotion and your time management that can be called upon in moments of truth. The day begins with a Heroine’s Journey Breakfast – considering what three of the greatest creative heroines of all time have as story about the art of creative living wisely and well.

Day Three: The third day of the Spring Journey teaches us how to choose our clients and business partners wisely and make our relationships last. One of the gravest errors we make around business relationships is to imagine that they aren’t things we can get wiser or better at. On this day we will learn to practise and rehearse our skills at working with the people who can help you further your creative business (clients and business partners like agents, publishers, marketing professionals etcera). In the evening, we will attend a Storytelling Dinner in a local restaurant – learning to overturn small talk and master the art of opening up our deepest stories.

Day Four: The fourth day of the Spring Journey teaches us how to achieve our creative career potential. We will employ storytelling tools to be better able to understand our creative talents and to move forward using the opportunities that are open to us.

Day Five: The final day of the Spring Journey explores new business opportunities and markets for you to as creative professional. Many of the challenges we encounter in modern life require us to develop creative solutions to complex problems. And even when we’re not tackling big problems, continuously improving the way we live using invention and imaginative strategy is deeply important.

You can reach Peter for a skype meeting about questions you have by mailing him at peterdekuster@hotmail.nl 

 

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