Who are you and where is “here” for you right now?
My name is Angeline and I live in Tulsa, which is the place I grew up in and left as soon as I could. 20 years later, I’m back, to be closer to family. The roof stays over my head, at the moment, solely because I am married to my husband (who has a job, after nearly a year without one, hooray!) and we haven’t completely decimated our savings account. I am a piano and Alexander Technique teacher who has a few students and hopes to have more very very soon.
What is your creative practice and what have you learned from it?
I’m a pianist and Irish fiddler, a photographer, and a blogger. The music is an essential piece
of who I am because it’s been part of my life since I was three. I understand that there are some people who approach their music as a beloved muse that brings them happiness and sunshine, but for me it’s more like an irritating, everpresent relative that you can’t stand half the time but love to pieces anyway. I’ve recently gotten back into photography because I like noticing the little details and patterns of the world and working with light and shadow to make them more interesting, and I blog because I am seriously worried about our food system. I’ve learned that, without discipline, nothing happens, and that I can do several things reasonably well but not one thing astoundingly well. And, that I’m okay with this. Most of the time.
Where do you find inspiration?
This is going to sound sappy, and I am really not a fan of sap, but it’s true: My husband William (http://william.bajzek.com/) is better than I am at everything. He’s an intuitive musician with a great ear who loves to practice, he understands the mechanics of photography and the rules of artistic composition, and he writes clearly and precisely. I’ve become better at everything I do since I met him, partly by osmosis and partly because I’m just trying to keep up, but also because he’s happy to discuss any and all topics of interest, talk through points of musical interpretation, read what I write, and point me to online photo tutorials. Besides that, I go to concerts and take lessons and classes and…just try to pay attention to what’s going on around me. I rarely get inspired to practice music, though – I have to force myself to sit down and do it, and it’s been pretty spotty lately.
How do you overcome the creative barriers you encounter?
Mostly, sheer force of will (see note about practicing, above). Recently, I’ve tried writing longhand in a notebook when I don’t feel like getting anything done – something about seeing all of my lame excuses laid out on paper showcases their stupidity better than anything else.
How do you regenerate when feeling artistically depleted?
Sometimes, I do something else, as opposed to the thing that wasn’t working out right. Other times, I read a lot. Periodically, I curl into a ball and whimper. I’ve also been known to do all three at the same time. One of them usually works.
What does success look like to you?
It changes – I’ve earned (or am about to earn) money for everything creative that I do, but I can’t say I’m supporting myself at the moment, so I don’t feel terribly successful right now. On the other hand, having the ability, the funds, and the time to continue studying and trying things out looks a lot like success, from certain angles…
What do you want people to know about you and your work?
I have a lot of websites; here are some of them –
Piano and Alexander Technique: http://angeline-leleux.com
Irish music: http://castlerockduo.com
Photography portfolio: http://angeline-leleux.com/
Thanks a million, Angeline, for your candor and enthusiasm. I know all about that curl up in a ball feeling, and I’m glad a not-me someone was willing to share what that’s like!