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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

The Turning Point in Creativity

The poet Maya Angelou observed, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." Artist Carol Brook discovered this phenomenon at a very young age. Carol grew up in a small town on the Platte River close to Phillips, Nebraska. Country living provided open space to explore and time for imaginative projects. Carol began her creative journey creating doll clothes, evolving into creating her clothes. She remembers, "In high school, I based my clothing designs on photos I saw in magazines. We could not get the latest styles off the rack where we lived." Carol gained a reputation for being the create one among her peers; she could draw anything she saw or imagined. Her high school art teacher was the one that encouraged her to explore the possibilities of evolving her creativity into a career.

Carol graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelors in Science with majors in Journalism and Education. Following her creative intuition, she launched a career in the hospitality industry in Nebraska and crisscrossed the US several times, working for major hotel companies and independent resorts in catering and as a sales trainer. No matter what she did Carol found inspiration to provide the current project a creative angle. Carol states, "I found a variety of opportunities during this time to push my limits on creativity in business and personal projects, as well as assisting with enrichment events at my son's school." In 1992 she relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona. Here she found a vibrant community of creatives and ample opportunities to attend arts-related events.

The turning point for Carol's focus came from a fortune cookie message she received just before her retirement in 2019. It said, "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built."Carol knew she would devote her time to leatherworking and fiber arts in her second career.

She states, "Today, I work with a variety of leathers and fiber in designing my artwork, but my passion is sculpted free-form leather vessels." Her pieces are made from vegetable-tanned leather. Carol states, "The leather has the longevity and beauty only an artisan-created product can sustain. The original fibers of the animal hide add to its character making each piece a unique individual with the addition of dyes, stains, paints, beads, bones and other adornments."

"I work with a variety of leathers and fiber in designing my artwork, my passion is sculpted free-form leather vessels."

Artist Carol Brook is a juried member of the Sonoran Arts League and exhibits with league-sponsored events and shows. She and her husband Mel, also an artist, work from their home studio in Scottsdale, known as "Brook Art Studio." They participate in the annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour each November. Carol's artwork can be viewed on social media or the couple’s studio with private viewing appointments.


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