Artist Spotlight — Courtney Watson Jewelry Designer, TwIsTeD Jewelry

Courtney Watson, an artist living on the south side of St. Louis, MO, is committed to recycling, repurposing and reusing some of the most unconventional items to create her one of a kind jewelry. She is a lover of all things geek and vintage and displays her passion for an eco-friendly lifestyle through her TwIsTeD Jewelry created from repurposed telephone wire.

Describe a day in your personal or professional life.

I work for a web hosting and computer networking services by day. As soon as I return home from work, I’m huddled around my laptop responding to customer convos and maintaining contact with Etsy groups I participate in such as Team EcoEtsy. I then fill orders placed throughout the day. After dinner is my creativity time. I spend these few precious hours twisting wire and designing my next pieces.

Who or what influences your work and why?

Oooh, that is a toughie! I am influenced more by the color in our world than anything else. I’ll see three cars sitting next to each other in a parking lot and fall in love with the combination of their paint colors. (:

Is it your personal belief that creativity and the ability to create art is innate?

Oh not at all! I think everyone can create, but they are all inspired in different ways. For instance, my fiance’ is not interested in crafts for the most part, but designed our Wedding centerpieces out of old records. If you wish to create, you can. For some it is easier than others.

Explain your art- what exactly is it you do? How do you describe it?

I create jewelry, accessories, etc. out of found/recycled/pre-loved materials. The shop focuses on jewelry made from recycled telephone wire.

Where did your first inspiration come from?

I have no idea!

What are your long term career goals?

I love my day job, and can’t see leaving it. My dream would be to open an eco-friendly crafts shop on Main Street in my hometown.

When did you first become interested in fashion?

Childhood. My mother was so creative when she was the one buying my clothes. She loved to mix patterns and color, and I think I inherited that from her.

When did you first discover your talent and artistic ability?

I don’t think that I did. I finally listened to my mother, who always said that I had a creative heart.

Were you influenced by the Green Movement?

Not at first, but I am now. I started making jewelry and art from recycled telephone wire in elementary school. But, I have now made a decision to use only eco-friendly materials in projects when available.

What have you incorporated into your lifestyle to facilitate going green and conserving energy?

At our home, we think three times before throwing something away: #1 “Can it be used in a project?”, #2 “Can it be recycled?”, #3 “Can it be composted. We hang-dry most of our laundry and drive smaller cars with good gas mileage (VW Beetle and Honda Fit).

Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire?

A few on my “love list” would be Jackson Pollack, Basquiat, and Andy Warhol.

What is important to you about conservation and preserving our environment?

Survival! Be it animals, plants, or humans, we need to put forth an effort to survive by taking care of our planet.

Where do your ideas come from? Can you tell me about your creative process?

I carry my little digital camera and a few notebooks wherever I go. When I get an idea for a color combination or a piece, I jot it down into one of those notebooks. If I see something that inspires me, I take a photo. All of this gets tacked onto my “inspiration wall” which covers an entire wall in my office.

What is your favorite project or work you’ve completed thus far?

My TwIsTeD ReCycle necklace. This piece took a little over two weeks to complete. It is the first in a line of higher-end pieces for the shop.

What challenges have you had in your work?

Finding the time to work would be the biggest challenge. While working my day job, planning my September wedding, and blogging, it is extremely important to manage my time well.

Do you feel that the Internet has a positive or negative influence on art? How does the Internet affect your work?

Without the internet, I would not have a shop! I think it obviously brings art to people who would have never before experienced it.

What is your greatest ambition as an artist?

To follow my heart wherever it takes me. I thrive on feedback from others, but I create for myself.

What are you currently working on? Can you tell us about it?

I am working on a new line of earrings made of recycled telephone wire and the higher-end line of necklaces for the shop. A few items have already been listed.

What advice would you give a young artist just getting started?

Do what you love and you’ll love doing it!

What “Green” Product would you recommend to our readers?

I LOVE these tote bags made from old t-shirts

What is your best “going green tip”- for example turning off lights, or eating one meatless meal a week?

Turn off the lights during the day and open your drapes. While there is sunlight, use it!

How would your friends describe you?

Loud, goofy, and a little crazy!

Courtney Watson
Courtney has an online storefront and blog.

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

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