Charity Daw's work was introduced to me by a friend of mine who was just recently featured - Alicia Maynard! I was instantly in love with Charity's feather crown (first photo below), and knew I had to delve further into her work. As you will see, she is incredibly creative, and mixes mediums with ease.
Charity made her first hat while pursuing song writing in Nashville not so long ago, and and the art of hat making clearly took off for her. She moved to L.A. in 2011, and has been able to exercise her passions - hat making and writing - daily. Charity illustrated the book "Up Down the Front Back Door", a children's book, which was published in December of 2013. As you will see in this interview, she paints as well! Artists that work with multiple mediums inspire me...
What does Creativity mean to you?
Creativity is a way of forfeiting the realities of life.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
Research, for one. I like always having references to spare, I take trips, I collect images, (love Pinterest for that!), and my friends are always telling me about things I need to see or hear!
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
Oh yeah! All children are creative. They get it. My family was always really good at guiding my strengths even as a kid.
What inspires you most?
I think it changes with what I'm into at the moment. I recently found a still from the 1945 film, "The Dolly Sisters" of this woman dressed as a tube of lipstick! I ordered the movie on Amazon. It inspired me to make a tiara made of lipsticks!
What turns you on creatively?
Oh this and that. I'm inspired by so many things! The streets of my Los Angeles neighborhood, old Hollywood, the sea, India, vintage costume jewelry (which I collect), crowns, good coffee, a perfect pop song, an exceptional shade of red, Carmen Miranda, a musical, a bold print, the list goes on!
Do you have any gratefulness practices?
I like this question! I’m so grateful everyday that I get to do what I dreamed about as a kid and I'm not homeless or starving! That's a good perspective to have! It's so easy to get discouraged when pursuing a career in the arts, but some days you have to step out and say, "I'm healthy and everybody is okay and this doesn't define me".
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
Oh! I would like to write a song with Dolly Parton and make a hat with Coco!...and then sing the song while wearing the hat. I don't ask for much.
How do you balance life and art effectively? Or, do you?
Fortunately for me, it isn't much of a dance. I get to be creative for work and for myself. I can't imagine not having creative outlets in "real life".
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
I don't always have the luxury of working through an uninspired spell organically, so it's useful to have some insta-inspiration in my back pocket. Sometimes a good conversation does it, or food! There are dishes that can bring you back to life! Could be something that simple!
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
I welcome it! It's part of the fun and it's inevitable.
How does criticism affect you?
It's not fun or easy, but it's the only way to grow. If it's coming from someone I admire, it's hard to hear, but valuable. If it comes from someone who's clueless, it's disregarded. Take some, leave some.
Has your work ever been copied? If so, how did you deal with it?
Oh man. Yes, but if you're not inspiring anyone then what's the point, right?
How important is self compassion to your creative process?
It's important to be gentle on yourself and let yourself feel everything. If you're frustrated, take a break. If you're intimidated, then find your confidence; but it's not going to be perfect every time, and that's okay, self! ;)
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
Make up and accessories are a daily medium for me. I'm always wearing both, and believe, neither were chosen on a whim!
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
Both! It depends what I'm working on at the time!
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
For now my little house has to be my "everything" space, so by default it's a studio! But I like that idea. I'm sure it would be the same way if it were a BIG house.
Is it important for you to have a creative, inspiring environment?
Yes! For me, it's important for my space to be visually pleasing and with a light atmosphere. Color and clutter are a must, or as I like to call it, "organized clutter". I like everything where I can see it all at once.
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
Go with the flow! Creativity is " flowy" by nature isn't it? One thing I am learning about myself is, I like a fast turnover! It's hard for me to work on the same thing for a long time!
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
Yes I do! Instagram is fun. A visual diary! I have less interest in the other ones. I'm much more confident leaving a picture trail behind.
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
I can remember moments in my life, like markers, where someone imparted into my creativity. In art school, I was never the best drawer or painter, but one day my painting teachers came behind me while I was working and said " Charity, you are a colorist" and continued on. I just took ownership of that and still wear it as a badge. I just believe in investing into other people's creativity, even if it's with encouragement. It always comes back.
Do you surround yourself on a daily basis with creative, inspiring people?
Absolutely! It is vital. If the people in your life don't inspire you daily, get a new one!
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
All you can hope for is that it makes people feel something; anything. Hopefully it's happiness!
What music, if any, plays while you work? What are you listening to at this very moment?
Right now? Ella Fitzgerald
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Never lose your joy!
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Find your voice, it's your best shot at a spot on the life boat.
Where can we find your art?