How I invigorate my creativity outside of work
As a driven, success-oriented professional, it's easy to get swept up in your career aspirations and lose sight of much else. Before you know it, your job consumes you. But while that might put you on the fast track to professional advancement, you'll also head straight for burnoutnot a place anyone wants to be, no matter what career success might precede it. Before you land in that position, or if you're already there, take a step back and remember your passions outside of work. Maybe discover a new outlet to create a much healthier work-life balance.
For me, that outlet is the art and jewelry business I started when burnout reared its head in my professional life.
I work with fire to shape glass and metal and to create jewelry that reflects plasticity and radiance. The practice of yoga, swimming in cold, open water and hiking in nature evoke a sense of openness, fluidity, and vibrancy that nurture my spirit and invigorate my creativity.
In my artistic endeavors as a jeweler, I pursue balance through asymmetry and contrast. Each one-of-a-kind piece constitutes a whole, while simultaneously being part of a continuum in my exploration of form, color and content.
In addition to jewelry, I create sculptural objects drawn from subjects that stimulate my thoughts. In contrast to the peaceful meditations that inform my jewelry designs, my sculptural art motives represent concerns for environmental and social issues that afflict our world.
We find that where there is serenity in one of my jewelry designs, there is unrest in a sculpture. Also, while we encounter flow and landscapes in my necklaces, we experience resource depletion in another one of my sculptural objects. In essence, asymmetry and contrast are at the core of my abstract artistic work, and in my ongoing examination of harmony and balance.
I draw from ancient flameworking traditions used in Venice, Italy, to create my contemporary abstract glass jewelry and sculptural objects. I have studied at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Wash.; The Crucible in Oakland, Calif.; and Public Glass in San Francisco. I use borosilicate glass (Pyrex) and various metals and gems in my creations. I see myself as a multimedia artist. I also work on oil paintings, focusing mainly on the topic of climate change and the environment.
About the author
Mara Perez, Ph.D. As Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services, Mara provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits. Mara has helped over seventy organizations obtain funding, design innovative work strategies, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Community service includes: 2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital; 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, twice Board President; 2005 Spirit of Marin Award, Business Person of the Year; Coro Leadership Community Fellow. She has published articles about immigration, social change, and fundraising. Born in Argentina, Mara resides in California.