Cory Smith on How Being an Artist Can Be Simple
Today's guest post is from our dear and talented friend, Cory Smith of Four Hats Press. We are thrilled to share her reflections on creativity and images from her beautiful 2016 Christmas collection, released here today!
I’m an artist. I have other gigs, sure (including one that occupies 40 hours a week in an office), but when I think about where I land on the vocational landscape, I confidently, solidly land as a “creative.” I haven’t always been able to say that, but today, as a 31 year-old woman having taken a meandering path to where I am, I can say it with gumption.
Utilizing a journalism degree, I began my working life as an intern at a cookbook company. Soon after, I set off on a magazine trajectory and began working on the editorial side of a small local publication. It was through that position that I ended up meeting and interviewing a couple that owned and operated a small letterpress. It didn’t take long for me to become fascinated with their process.
Just weeks after my appetite was whet, the magazine job came to an end and I had the chance to explore my new-found interest for two glorious months at a craft school. The time was right. I leapt, and I came home a new woman.
I fondly recall this season of my life as a creative renaissance. I was always a maker… hand-lettering greeting cards for friends and family, creating in the kitchen, writing. But, it was during this time, after just a relatively short stint pursuing a serious “working woman” life that I learned how vital intentional creativity is to my being.
Also in that season, together with the women of my church, I read, for the first time, The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer, and my heart burned within me. Beauty, Schaeffer says, is God’s flourish on creation, meant to be seen, savoured, replicated. She says:
It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what’s been created for us.
The time to begin wasn’t down the road, when ducks were in a row, it was NOW. I began to see that any ounce of creativity—expressed in my home, my meals, my clothing, even my work—could be worship. God-given eyes to see turning his gifts back to him. Open hands, open eyes, a redemption of mundane routines and domesticity.
Over the last decade, my work and art have blended more seamlessly. As I embark on my third decade, I’m more and more relaxed into this idea of simple over grand. My finished products don’t have to hang on gallery walls or win awards. My art is in the little things of life lived purposefully, at work, at home. I’m an artist, and I daresay, you are, too.
Cory Smith is a hand-letterer and letterpress printer at Four Hats Press as well as a marketing copywriter. When she’s not behind a desk or her presses, you can find her cooking, reading, or exploring her new city of Chicago with her husband.