Christina doesn't call herself an artist, but being creative helps her come up with unique new jewelry designs. With World Creativity and Innovation Day coming up, we decided to ask her about how she started making jewelry, where she gets her ideas, and how she gets her creative juices flowing.
Do you want to be more creative in your daily life? It might take some trying new things and being open to new ideas, like Christina talks about in this interview.
Or, you could treat yourself to something like our Wide Inspiring Ring with your own custom message about being creative, or maybe a bracelet with the message "She Believed She Could, So She Did". Keep reading to hear what Christina has to say!
Have you always considered yourself to be a creative person, or did you realize that later in life?
CK: While I don’t consider myself an artist, I've always been somewhat creative. I danced for 17 years, and spent four of those in choreography. When I was a child, I'd write stories and even music. At one point, I thought I'd be a writer (but my grammar wasn’t really up to snuff).
My dad was a hand engraver and owned a jeweler supply store, so I was introduced early to the idea of making jewelry. I dabbled in many creative hobbies like beading and macrame but didn't pick up a torch until I was 25, when I took my first jewelry class.
Do you have other creative outlets besides Christina Kober Designs?
CK: Designing jewelry is my main creative outlet, but being an entrepreneur also requires creativity. From directing photo shoots to designing emails and writing copy as well organizing our studio and even problem solving, I have to be creative.
I also find that being a mom - and doing activities like playing with my kids and finding ways to teach them through play - gives me a lot of time to be creative.
What time of day do you feel the most creative?
CK: It’s never a specific time. Usually something will hit me, and I’ll have to stop what I’m doing to roll with it. Sometimes inspiration hits at very inconvenient times, so I try to make a note to come back to it when I’m able.
What inspires you?
CK: Mostly my everyday life and memories of childhood inspire me. But honestly, I can be inspired by just about anything. Sometimes inspiration comes from a texture, a stone, a message, a feeling I want to evoke from wearing a piece of jewelry. Nothing's off limits.
Can you describe your creative process? Do you sketch your designs first?
CK: This goes back to me being “not an artist” and “somewhat creative.” I don’t really have a set process. Usually something inspires me, and through overthinking it, I come up with different ways to bring the idea to life. Then I start playing with metal. Sometimes I sketch, sometimes I go straight to metal, but I always make notes of ideas.
For example, when I was coming up with the Fortune Cookie Necklace, I knew I wanted to make something with fortune cookie messages because I had been collecting them for years. I mulled it over for months. Do I somehow use the actual paper fortune? Do I make it out of metal? Do I include a fortune cookie? How would I even make a fortune cookie? Eventually I began experimenting with metal and teeny-tiny stamps to see what would happen and voila - the Fortune Cookie Necklace was born.
Can you describe a time when you faced a creative block, and how did you overcome it?
CK: I can’t think of one moment in particular, but when I feel like I have no ideas (the proverbial "blank page" syndrome) I always go back to my notes and “sketches.” Usually something will spark my imagination and get the wheels turning.
There have been times when I get stuck on a new design, and I can’t get it right. When I step back and evaluate why I’m struggling, I realize it’s because I’m forcing the design and not being true to myself.
Can you describe a time when you took a creative risk, and what was the outcome?
CK: In a way I feel like every new design is a creative risk. It’s an expansion on an existing idea or completely new one. Any new design is like bearing your soul in a way, sharing something that comes from the deepest part of you. But that can also feel vulnerable when you share with others. Sometimes the risk will fall flat, and other times it will resonate with others - but the only way you can know is to share it.
Who are your creativity "heros" or people you look up to?
CK: My creativity heroes are people who are unapologetically themselves, people who choose to make a huge leap and change direction, people who can stay so true to their design aesthetic that you always know they had a hand in creating it, or people who can find the beauty in everything they come across.
Some of these people are:
- Iris Apfel
- Emily from Consider the Wldflwrs
- Lolly from Laurel Denise
- Anna from Rifle Paper Co.
- Dianne Von Furstenburg
What did you think? We'd love to see you doing some of your favorite creative activities. Tag us on Instagram @christinakober and maybe you'll inspire us too!