Creativity through the eyes of Chico State artists


Jane Turner Print Museum – University Galleries. Photo by Carrington Power

On Oct. 28, Chico State’s Studio Arts and Interior Architecture students participated in an open gallery in the Janet Turner Print Museum University Galleries. The artwork from 30 student artists was displayed and they answered questions from the public. 

Ceramics, printmaking, painting and drawing, interior architecture and digital media are the majors represented in this gallery. For this event, the process of their works was the main discussion.

The creative process is the adaptation of a concept into a piece of work. Anyone who creates art can understand that the creative process and inspiration can have ups and downs. The conversation featured within this open studio can apply to creative industries other than those featured such as film, journalism, music and more. 

Gracie Gomes, Tamara Murphy and Zoey Rosenthal are student artists who opened up about their creative processes and inspirations.

Tamara Murphy with her pieces. Photo by Carrington Power

Murphy, a ceramics student graduating in Fall 2022 showed off many unique clay sculptures and spoke about drawing inspiration from daily life, relationships and processing the grief of losing someone. 

“Find the humor and absurdity in life to process everything going on in the world,” Murphy said.

While the creative process is a great outlet for feelings, there are struggles associated with it. Murphy said the constant process of inspiration, self doubt and critique are obstacles, but remaining strong and stable with yourself is a great way to overcome it.

Gracie Gomes with her painting. Photo by Carrington Power

Paintings and drawings were featured in two rooms of the gallery. A senior majoring in studio arts, Gomes’ current paintings take inspiration from a childhood passion of fashion magazines with anything flashy and over the top. Finding it hard to get completely discouraged, Gomes finds art as a happy place and an identity. 

Rosenthal, a junior with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, captures inspiration from the world through nature, people, movies and making original reference photos. Procrastination is a major block in the creative process, but Rosenthal handles it by prioritizing creativity and setting time aside to brainstorm and conceptualize ideas.

Artists find it difficult to define success. Some believe that making money and sales characterizes success, while some like Murphy say that success comes from an openness to change — the ability to continue to grow and remain humble. 

Zoey Rosenthal with her painting. Photo by Carrington Power

Rosenthal has also found a deeper meaning to success than money by stating that success is enjoying the process and the creation. However finding success can be difficult as brutal self-evaluations and the critiques of others often build up creative blocks that can make it difficult to find inspiration.

The creative process can be demanding, but many artists feel that their passion is worth it. Some advice Rosenthal has to fellow peers is to put time and effort into what your work and dedicating yourself. Gomes says finding passion and incorporating it into the work is important. 

“Find what makes you tick, what you can talk about for hours,” Gomes said.

The Arts Department at Chico State hosts events throughout the school year, including portfolio reviews, exhibition talks and lectures. Check out the department calendar for more information.

Carrington Power can be reached at [email protected] or @_carringtonp on Twitter.