Meet the Team
We are working artists passionate about finding ways to keep the creative process active and fresh in our work
Alexis Moyer and Susan Spencer
Alexis is a ceramic artist who has operated The Pot Shop, a working pottery studio and gallery in Philo, CA since 1988. To see art work by Alexis visit AlexisMoyerPottery.com
Susan is an assemblage artist and owner of The Beat Gallery.
A year of inspiration has culminated in the creation of My Art Muse. It began with the year-long artistic journey undertaken by two artists, Susan Spencer and Alexis Moyer, which tapped into their creative process in an unusual way. What started out as a ‘fun experiment’ went on to earn them national recognition as Artist/Craftsman Extraordinaire by American Craft Week in 2017 for their resulting creation; The Influence and Inspiration Project.
Coined "The Influence and Inspiration Project" by ceramic artist Alexis Moyer and mixed media artist Susan Spencer, the project entailed an exchange of original artworks back and forth between each artist, with each exchange inspiring a new piece of art by the other. This resulted in a line of art works or an "artistic conversation" between Moyer and Spencer. Over 40 artworks were produced during the course of the year and the results of the project reached farther than either woman could have imagined.
Alexis Moyer, from The Pot Shop in Philo, CA, created ceramic sculptures that pushed her in new directions of insight and techniques. "When we began The Influence and Inspiration Project, we wanted to do an experiment, to see where it would lead and what we would find. In the end, we found that by using our method of non-critical response we really grew as artists. We clarified our personal inspiration, learned more about ourselves as artists, and our work took on more meaningful content."
Susan Spencer, of The Beat Gallery in Philo, CA, found growth she would not have imagined possible without this project. "I learned again, that to grow as an artist entails a spirit of play, and that surely will open new doors of creativity. Not every piece need be approached as a masterpiece, the journey of taking the time to try new things I would never have allowed myself before became more important than the end product. We became accountable to each other in continuing our growth and we never ran out of inspiration!"
Accountability became a key aspect of the project. By undertaking the challenge of creating a new piece to exchange back and forth, each artist was pushed to free up her creative thinking, unlock barriers, experiment and grow. “Having to respond to another's work really makes you dig down to find a way to communicate your idea, using your own methods and style of work. The other side of that is seeing what response your piece elicited from someone else. It’s much deeper than “I like that”, you really do get to see what the other person got from your work.” says Moyer.
Problem solving skills also greatly expanded for both artists. They discovered techniques they could use to get “unstuck” when the piece that came to them was less than inspiring on first viewing. “It makes you realize that you can find inspiration from the most unlikely places. It was an interesting process to see that when one of us struggled on a piece the other’s response piece seemed to make a huge leap in artistic growth. Certainly not what either of us would have predicted would happen,” says Spencer. Along the way avenues for new work opened up for both artists and they each took opportunities to expand on pieces from the series.
The benefits of the project seemed like something that other artists could use as well, so the two women started ‘My Art Muse’ where they share ways for other artists to try out this method whether they have a working partner or not. It is a place for conversations and interactions that will benefit everyone who participates.
“The Response Method has encouraged us to try new techniques in order to better respond. It feels like expanding one’s vocabulary in order to better communicate. We really do become better ‘speakers’ as we improve our craft.”
We'd Love to Hear From You...
We invite you to share your thoughts and challenges with us on either our blog or by sending us a note.