Carline Gumbs is an Accessory Artist. Her brand Tizik boasts of natural and intriguing pieces. We wanted to know more about them, and her. This is what this Maker had to share.
For Carline, Creativity means "translating ideas and transforming inspiration into something tangible. It’s alchemy – turning base metals into something precious and invaluable. It’s spiritual. Creativity is boundless, it’s like the sea. Someone can dip a cup into the ocean and say 'Here is creativity' but it doesn’t begin to capture all that it is or could possibly be. To me, creativity and a creative outlet are essential. It’s like light and breath. I find myself getting ill, slowly dying without it."
"For a long time I thought my creative ability was genetic (my mother is HIGHLY creative on a number of different levels- she has an eye for design and concept that is truly admirable) and I still think that she nurtured that creativity in me. But I have also learned now that creativity is divinely inspired and that we are merely channels of A Greater Grace and Power. That said, ability and skills are like muscles that only get stronger, better and more developed through continuous use over time."
The design process
We were curious as to how Carline got started. "For as long as I know myself, I have always been drawing, painting, pasting, stitching, cutting things up and putting things together in a different way. It’s called 'upcycling' now! Ha! My parents encouraged it – my dad would bring home reams of discarded paper from his office and my mom was always giving us poster paints, coloured pencils, scissors, cloth, embroidery thread, you name it. As a child, I was known for “making ratchifee” but as I got older, the “oohs” and “aahs” I got spurred me on to try different media. Eventually, experimenting with beads, threads and wire led me to jewelry making".
There is no one specific way Carline gets going from concept to creation. "Luckily, a lot of the materials I use (particularly polymer clay) are quite forgiving so it leaves a lot of room for error or even more inspiration. But sometimes I doodle, I sketch, I might make a definite plan with measurements – only to throw it out later and just go with what moves me."
"Walking really helps my creative process and flow. I find that when I take long purposeful walks or just walking long distances over the course of the day, things become clearer, ideas get sharper and answers come. Also walking in nature gives me a lot of creative ideas and stimulation. Things flow better."
"When I have a creative block, I leave it alone. Walk away from it and come back to it later. I may be forcing an idea or trying too hard, so I leave it alone and come back to it a few hours (or maybe days) later."
We asked Carline what her standards were when evaluating her creative work, or that of others, and what role if any, money plays in that evaluation. "I go with my gut. When I see something I like, it’s a real visceral, physiological response and this is the gauge for my intuition, which I rely on strongly. I see money as just another tangible form of our abundance of talent and ability. We can get rewarded in many different ways- support, admiration or monetary rewards. Of course, there are times when we wish we could have more of one than the other! You can’t buy supplies, pay bills or invest further with kudos only."
Asked how culture and the views of others influenced her design process, Carline responded "Culture plays a big part in my identity and my self-awareness and who I believe I am is the filter in which I see and perceive my world and shapes my creative work... anyone who calls themselves an artist or creative person has to have a finger on the pulse and be an antenna of sorts for what’s happening around them. But you can’t do that at the expense of your work and its integrity.
Not being one to doubt her creativity, Carline says she's become more adventurous as she's grown, trying styles or methods that she may have been hesitant about before. "I always love to learn and experiment with new things... That gnawing feeling that I’ve been put on the earth to share my gifts helps me to persevere and not quit." Rejection doesn't phase her either. According to Carline, "Nobody likes to be told their baby is ugly. But that’s never stopped people from having more children, has it? :)" For her, it's not about being accepted by others as being creative. "At this stage of life, the love of what I do is enough. I think once you can capture that passion in your work, others feed off it and acknowledge your creativity. But I don’t necessarily wait for it because I already know myself to be creative."
We dig Carline's approach to design progression. "I don’t believe in necessarily changing the past because we need to make mistakes and screw things up in order to learn. At the same time, tweaking and changing is a key to growth and I try to do that within the present moment. Regret is a very different energy from release and you must release to change." This is probably why she can't single out one particular piece of work that she is most proud of. "I feel they all have taken me through a different path and process and when I look at all of them, I feel proud for different reasons".
To a young Creative emerging in her field, Carline would advise, "Stay true to yourself and your self-expression and let your passion for your work be your fuel."
If Carline were a crayon, the name of your colour would be TIZIK, of course.