Developing Your Creativity | Hana Karim | Episode 662


Hana Karim | Episode 662

Hana Karim grew up between painting studios and pottery wheels in the Western part of Slovenia where her parents encouraged her to see that ceramics could be a business, a passion, and a form of artistic expression. This sense of progression felt natural, as Karim uses jewellery-making techniques as a way of giving definition to the bowls, cups, and plates of her homeware line. Karim’s sensitivity to her creative process has taught her to work organically and in line with her feelings, rather than forcing herself to create something that she will come to dislike. Karim’s evasion of structured routine urges perpetual curiosity and exploration – in both her ceramics and in her personal life.”


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I was told that when you are trying to develop your creativity to keep your eyes open for pattern recognition. And I’m curious about you that even though your pieces are all very organic there’s a pattern to them that seem to all fit together. So do you practice pattern recognition?

Yes, I think I do. I think this is what you do on a rational side of creating but I think that there  is also very important intuitive side for creating. I can only speak for myself how I perceive the other side. Because I think this intuitive side is actually really hard to explain. It is really hard to determine it in normal, rational ways, but it determines my work much more than maybe the rational side, the pattern recognition for example.

For example, I really don’t know why I sometimes choose certain shapes and certain colors. Especially when I am putting them together in these curated compositions in my photos. It’s pretty hard to explain why I do it the way I do it. My approach is not in any way rational in that sense. There is a pattern because I think pattern searching is something that is given to every human being. This the why our brains function the way they do. This is why we look for similar things. We are somehow bound to fall for the same pattern that we find safe and cozy, right?

Do you find that letting ideas peculate or marinate in your brain instead of chasing it, letting it sit for awhile, do you find that that opens up more creative ideas or juices?

I am not sure I understand what exactly you mean.

What I mean is sometimes I have an idea that I have been thinking about and I will spend days thinking on them before I actually do something. And then it will hit me when I wake up in the morning and all of sudden I will have a flash and I will see a completed project and I go, Now I know how to do it. And I wasn’t even working on it but it just comes to me and that’s where I think the marinating comes from and I am wondering if you have a marinating process that you allow your brain to have?

What I think I know about my brain is that when I am trying to get an idea I am not going to get an idea and I think there is a whole psychological concept behind it of how it is really good for creative approaches to merge to another field that might not even be slightly connected to what you are trying to discover and then you might somewhere else find the brilliant idea that you are searching for in your primary field. For example, I am really, very much trying to avoid looking at photos of other potters because they can be a bit heavy for the inspiration. Obviously you don’t want to be finding too much of inspiration from other people using the same medium as you are because there is a thin line between what is an echo and what is a duplicate. I really like looking at other fields. Sometimes I find inspiration in weirder things, especially color wise. It could be just a bench in a park next to a background of greenery in a certain shape that is going to awaken something in me. So I take a photo of that and I carry it to my studio and contemplate.

Does that mean you are ready at all times to record those awakenings?

Ready to record with photo taking.


I mean, definitely not always. Which I usually regret. I forget  a lot of things. (laughter) A lot of great ideas get lost in a too busy do write something down moment or too busy to take a photo. But I think that some of them, I think mostly I execute everything. I try it. It might take me two years to find time to try something new but I definitely, I cannot sleep until I try what ever idea is on my mind.

When you come up with a great idea or finish a project, do you reward yourself for your creativity?

Yes, actually. I do. In a way I think, before this weird Corona time, I had this great cycle in my life, where I would spend three weeks in my studio, finishing projects and working really hard and then I would take a week off going to London to visit my boyfriend and I would just live this cycle all the time and I figured that sometime along the way that it is so important to remove yourself from your work space. If you have a chance to do it obviously it is a blessing to be away from your work. Because once you come back everything seems so fresh and you are relaxed and you get rid of whatever stress you had before. And I was living the cycle where every three weeks I had a week off and it was just amazing. When the lock-down came I lost that cycle and I spent the entire lock-down in the studio and I really needed a break. I was really relying on that time of peace and being away from clay. As much as I love it,  I think it is really important to step away from it as well.

Do you also take risks? Are you a risk taker with your work?

Yeah,  I think I am. In a way…in a technical way or a creative way, and also in a studio-managing way. I think just me being in this was taking risks, you know. Renting a studio was a risk. Or deciding to be a potter for lively hood was a risk so yeah, I think I am quite a risk-taker.

Are you a believer that most problems have solutions and maybe even multiple solutions?

Yeah. Definitely. I am such a solution seeker. Immediately when I am faced with a problem, at the studio, I would say, because sometimes in life obviously I need some mentoring and guidance from people around me, but I think when I am faced with something in my work my mind gets hyped up trying to find the best solution and trying this, or maybe that works better. So I believe every problem has a solution or even more than one.


The Secret Lives of Color By Kassia St. Clair

Hana’s Father


Instagram: @hanakarimstudio

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