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Bernice Schachter  –  sculptor
Click for larger image "The greatest aspect of any creative act is the Eureka feeling which means, 'This is it; I have discovered! This is what I want to express!' "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
  While an undergraduate in college, I was first motivated by Ben Shahn, an American painter. In his book, The Shape of Content, the chapter called Education of an Artist influenced my lifestyle in this millenium.

Read and read. Go to an art school, take art courses, know many artists. Look at pictures and more pictures. Look at every kind of visual symbols, every kind of emblem. Do not dismiss any school of art. Draw and draw. Talk and talk and sit at cafes and listen to everything. Go to all sorts of museums and galleries and to the studios of artists. Go to Paris and Madrid, Rome and Ravenna and Padua. Stand alone in the Sistine Chapelle. Learn to work in many media. Know all you can about art and by all means have an opinion. Never be afraid to undertake any kind of art at all however exalted or however common, but do it with distinction.

For twenty three summers I followed my muse to Pietrasanta, Italy, and literally followed the above advise. In Italy I experience the renaissance lifestyle that became the influence for many of my carvings. The shapes, designs, and textures of the great historic buildings found their way into my sculpture. I read the history and mythology of the ancient cultures that gave me ideas for my work. Carl Jung spoke of archetypes that are part of the human collective consciousness as portrayed in mythological ideas in every culture through literature and art. In a comprehensive study of the Venus figures in sculpture I traced the development of the fertility figure from the earliest times to the present. I researched how myth and religion influenced the female form and how it changed in imagery and meaning. I depicted the myths of the earth mother in twenty–four contemporary sculptures.

In another series I call Legends in Marble, I attempted to capture the attitudes and gestures of well known people who have impressed me in someway. We all need role models to follow.

Speaking as a sculptor, my inspiration comes from my environment, what I remember, what I love and sometimes even what I hate. Sometimes it just comes from the marble. However, I can relive my life that is recorded in the 500 marble pieces I have created.

  Click for larger image
What can you share about your creative process?
    According to Rollo May, an eminent therapist, "the creative process is the emergence in action of a novel relational product growing out of the uniqueness of the individual on the one hand and the materials, events, people, or circumstances of his life on the other." In his book On Becoming a Person, May expresses a simple truth.

All individuals who have found a creative endeavor for self actualization will have a very satisfying and constructive life.

Yes, creativity can be taught and must be taught for the new age. My teachings are contained in a book I have written called A Three Dimensional Life, With A Workbook for Creative Self Expression For Everyone. It will soon be available on a website.

My definition for the three dimensional life is discover your muse, dedicate yourself to a purpose or domain, and discipline yourself to learn the needed skills. In my forty years of teaching, many students and I have developed motivational keys to unlock the imagination. These motivational tools are The Creative "I's". We experienced different suggested excercises and implemented them in creative ways. Some examples: Imaginative play, Involvement of energy, Imagery in the mind, Innovations, Ideological social commentaries, Incongruous association, Ideas from nature, Inventions of fantasies. etc. One comment from a student, a retired lawyer, was as follows:

"The Creative "I's" exercises drew out of me an awareness of art, the courage to create something unique, and enhanced my ability to see beyond the norm and find a new exciting road to travel..."

His creativity led him to a higher quality of life with a sense of accomplishment that generated self esteem and joy.

Artists who discover something unique are designing their own destiny. The greatest aspect of any creative act is the Eureka feeling which means, "This is it; I have discovered! This is what I want to express!" When you are able to discover your passion, you can live a three dimensional life anywhere.

What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  We must not abandoned the history of the past. Education from a very early age of past cultures should be stressed in the new society. I repeat, creativity can be taught and must be taught for the new age.

To be an artist, scientist, musician, writer, is to live up to your highest potential. Creativity is the key to living in the state of well being and it will be with the help of the artists who will help discover the miracles needed to transform Mars to a phenomenal healthy and liveable society. The artist must play an integral part. They are the innovators with imagination that runs the gamut between inspiration and emotions. They will create order out of chaos.

Complex, mature and meaningful works grow out of modest beginnings. Most artists think in terms of symbols or metaphors and seek new synthesis of ideas. Any artistic statement evolves from the implied correlated form that transmits a message or meaning other than itself. These are the metaphors. As Aristotle stated, "The highest human capacity is the capacity for metaphor."

Discovering new symbols, new patterns and new paradigms will be needed in a new planetary society that will thrive on harmony and beauty of the environment and give the inhabitants a more three dimensional life.

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