Drawing Inspiration from Nature & Found Objects
Continuing our interview series with artists who teach, Trudy Perry talks with Jenn Lima about weaving, drawing inspiration from nature and found objects from the hardware store.
Based in the Santa Monica Mountains, Trudy Perry is a working Fiber Artist. With a background in design, she creates large scale woven wall hangings using organic materials. Inspired by nature, she brings these elements into her pieces. Creating something that is intentional, thoughtful and visually appealing is deeply gratifying. She loves seeing the magic that happens when a piece is finished and the story it tells. She currently exhibits her work, creates commissions, and teaches weaving workshops.
1. We love that you incorporate everything from rose quartz to Hawaiian shirts and coconut husks in your pieces. Is there a material out there that you haven't yet worked with that's on your wish list?
Yes, I'd like to work with copper wire and found things at a hardware store. I know this is random but the most useful things are great incorporated into weaving.
2. The natural world plays a huge role in your work, both as inspiration and as elements of your woven pieces. Has being in Topanga altered your practice at all and do you draw from its creative energy?
I wouldn't say it's altered however the peaceful and natural setting has charged my creative juices. My studio is on Chumash land and I can sometimes feel the energy there.
3. Is there a jumping off point that you typically begin with when starting your creative process such as a location, memory, or the materials themselves?
It really depends on the project I am working on. Sometimes I am inspired by the materials, or the space a piece is going in. Weaving is intuitive for me so sometimes I just am in the flow of things and a design just comes out.
3. Could you talk about how you came into weaving and the importance of passing the practice to others? Has teaching others inspired you to experiment with your own practice?
I came into weaving on a trip to India. I was inspired by a man weaving on a giant loom and he looked so peaceful and the piece he was working on was so beautiful. I decided I needed to try that when I got home. I was living in Hawaii at the time and there were so many wonderful things to incorporate in the weavings. Self taught, people started to ask me how to weave and I so enjoy sharing this time honored craft. I definitely push myself and try to learn more so I can answer all weaving questions. I really find the joy in seeing the amazing pieces participants come up with.
4. The tactile shapes incorporated in your pieces invoke waves, skylines, and landscape elements. Do you find that you plan out a piece inspired by your surroundings or do you find the environment influencing your process as you continue to work a piece?
I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings and if I don't find something nearby, I will drive to a new space like the beach, museums or art shows. Sometimes just a drive along the coast we get my creative juices flowing.
Thank you, Trudy for sharing a peak into your weaving practice with us. We look forward to gathering in the Santa Monica Mountains (at a safe distance) and weaving with you!
Take a peak at all of our artisanal and meditative workshops below.
Watercolor or Relaxation
Natural Dye Group
Round Weavings with Natural Fibers- small group in-person
What types of creative practice most inspires you?
3 reasons why I host and you can too!
Today, I am going to share a secret with you! As many of you know, I have been hosting workshops now for about 5 years now, plus teaching and mentoring artists for many more. Over the years, my interest in Interior design and the fine arts led me to create a textile line. I found myself wanting more time to dedicate to the development of my textile practice and work out in my sunny garden studio...which is when I discovered workshop hosting and I want to share it with you. Below, am going to tell you 3 reasons why I host workshops and why I think you should host workshops too.
One awesome reason to host workshops is the income that you can generate from Day 1. At first, the income started off smaller, but I still made a nice profit! I tested the market to find out more about what I could charge. Next, I did a little research to to see what other similar people were charging. Now, I create a valuable experience around what I'd like to earn. Hosting a few workshops has earned me additional thousands monthly. Some offshoots of workshop hosting are private lessons, pop-ups, small group privates, corporate workshops, and brand collaborations. Now, I find my self only committing to the workshops that I really want to teach, and when it is in line with what I currently earn from my expertise. Earning more can give you the funds to explore your art form along with the freedom of having your time back, which is very important.
Just 3 years ago, I held my first Indigo Shibori workshop. Shibori is a Japanese an art form that has captivated me for many years. I first fell in love with the spontaneous nature of the patterns. Along with indigo and the varying shades of natural blue that arise from the dye vat after multiple dips.
At that time, I felt like I was stuck on a hamster wheel of hourly teaching commitments, with little to no time to practice my chosen art form, except on the weekends. Have you ever felt that way? Like your time is so limited? If so, I truly believe that hosting in-person workshops, is one way to get more time to practice and study what interests you. When you teach and prepare a workshop, you grow and discover new things about the medium.
Not only will you grow from workshop hosting, but you will inspire others. It feels really good to share something that I have devoted my time to learn and practice. You will find all sorts of people to inspire, from those that need a creative outlet from their jobs to other artists. I love it when other textile designers take my class. I think it's so awesome that we can inspire each other. About a year ago, a group of 3 friends had attended a pop-up of mine. A few months later, she was dyeing things in her kitchen using avocados as dye. The next month, she and her friends purchased my Shibori Kit. Later they reportedly up-cycled a good portion of their whites in their wardrobe. I love to hear stories like this because it means that something I shared, made someone think differently about their clothing and in this way expanded their world view. Isn't that amazing? I genuinely believe that each of us has something wonderful to share and that is exactly what we are here to do.
The Next steps...
If earning more income, growing your skill set, and inspiring others sounds just perfect to you! Then, I would love to share with you the Creator's Path. This page is dedicated to helping creatives launch their best workshops in 2020 and beyond. Be the first to learn all tips and strategies about how to start and grow your workshop business when you sign-up to grab your freebie below. I really can't wait to get others started on this road to success from the beginning. I will be sharing everything that I know, including some shortcuts, so you get to benefit from all of my trials and learning!
This year has brought a lot of adventure and new opportunities. So now, it's time for a quick look back over the past 12 months. I always write and reflect, right around this time of year, Thanksgiving time on the horizon, yet right before the big/huge holiday boom. One reason that I love doing this, is to measure my growth as and artist, and secondly to prove that in a year's time a lot can be accomplished. As small business owners, it's important to remember that. We often set goals and (hopefully) focus on the metrics and milestones that we are going for. Whether you set weekly, monthly goals, or annual goals. I would like to hear how more about how you do it!
As I mentioned before, you really can accomplish a lot one year. I am so grateful for all the new opportunities that keep coming my way. I truly believe that gratitude is the quickest way to magnetize all that you want to you, and keep it showing up! I hope this recap will inspire you with your creative business goals to focus on gratitude and see what shows up for you.
I am so proud to share that brand collaborations reached new heights this year!
1. Our custom indigo t-shirt workshop at Vince
2. Indigo and Aromatherapy custom eye-pillows at Jenni Kayne in Brentwood
3. Our custom indigo textiles workshop at Herman Miller for the team of architects and designers
4. Offering a Bandhani workshop in collaboration with a textile school, Somaiya Kala Vidya featuring artisans from the Kutch region of Gujarat, India
5. Expansion of my private workshop offerings in our Miracle Mile, dye garden. This included teaching textiles to guests from all over the region.
6. Hosted a batik workshop instructed by artist, Lindsey Fouts of Last Chance Textiles
7. Botanical dye workshops: collaborations with aromatherapist Flin Grant of Art of Essentials and another Natural Dye and Embroidery class with fiber artist, Lori Zimmerman.
8. Hosted my first sample sale on Instagram
9. The launched my first linen kimono style jackets. Using hand dyed-linen and batik collars.
and for #10, I will share a personal accomplishment. I know I mentioned last year, how much my mindfulness practice was helping to guide me in my business as an independent artist. This year, I expanded that practice through formal yoga training. I am now a certified 200 hour to yoga teacher working on my 500 hour certification with Yogaworks! I'm not sure exactly how I will weave it all in, but I am excited to see how 2020 unfolds.
I would love to see you all just before the holidays as I am showing at 2 fantastic events this year. One is the Modern Artisan Market at Platform in Culver City see details below! The other is a curated Holiday gift event in Pasadena, please RSVP for all the details.
Last but not least, if by some chance you are up in Seattle as I know some of you natural dye lovers are, then please join me at Renegade, Seattle at Magnusson Park on December 14th & 15th.
To see my Top 10 List from last year, please check it out, as it's fun to see where I was at this time last year. If you have not taken a creative workshop with me, then please plan on attending one in 2020. Our Winter/Spring 2020 workshop schedule is coming out soon! If this post inspired you some way please comment below with your current goal or achievement. Don't be afraid to grab note pad and start jotting down your goals for 2020.
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable art filled home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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