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Inspiration Diaries with Steven Gibson

Inspiration Diaries with Steven Gibson

“It’s nice when people like my things but for me it’s the process of making things. If people didn’t like what I made, I’d do it anyway.” Steven Gibson makes his art for the love of making. He works out of a studio in the former Blue Elephant building which is only a half bock away from his home!

I sat down with Frederick glass artist Steven Gibson to learn about his process and how he got started in the glass medium.

Throughout his life he dabbled in many art forms but about twelve years ago he took a glass class that changed everything. Within two months, he had his own kiln in the basement. At the time his art was limited to being a hobby. Right out of college, Steven went to Botswana with the Peace Corps. He worked for the Peace Corps and spent ten years in Africa. Many of his inspirations today can be traced back to that time spent in Africa. He recently retired from the State Department and is able to do his art whenever he wishes.

1.What inspires you?
Travel really inspires me; the colors! Since I have been doing glass, I see things in a different way. The shapes & the colors- I’m more tuned in to those types of things.

2.How do you turn those ideas into action?
I’m really bad about a sketchbook. I start trying things out, seeing it, moving things around. Trial and error and hands on.

3.Do you start with a plan or are you spontaneous?
Definitely spontaneous.

4.What is the greatest enemy to creativity?
Mood. Some people can turn their sadness into art. I don’t find that I can do that. I’m very conscious of being positive.

5.How do you get yourself out of a creative rut?
I will go look at other people’s art or take a walk outside. I will put myself in a situation where I know I will be inspired.

6.What does an average day in the life look like?
I don’t have an average day. I’m retired so I work part time at The Arc of Frederick County. I do my art when I’m not doing other things. On an open day, I come in the morning (to the studio) for a few hours then again in the afternoon for a few hours.

7.Who are your mentors?
I have fellow more experienced glass artist friends that really inspire me.

8.What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Travel. Travel is one because I am inspired by it in other ways too. As a child figuring things out for the first time. It brings back that feeling of discovery. I love that feeling.

9.How do you maintain balance?
My life is so much easier now. When I was working, it was much more difficult. I don’t work at maintaining balance, I am very lucky that it sort of happens naturally.

10.What words of wisdom do you have for others embarking on their own creative journey?
You just have to be open to things and let them happen. It can’t be forced. Let yourself define your own creativity so you make things you enjoy.

Below is a quick list of favorites that I had Steven fill out…

Steven’s pieces can be found at The Muse. You can also find him on facebook at Gibson Glassworks and on his website at

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