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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Creativity Takes Courage

French artist Henri Matisse once wrote, "Creativity takes courage!" Matisse's bold shapes, collaged surfaces, exuberant colors, and vibrant, imaginative energy have come into the 21st century through jewelry artist Diana Ferguson’s work. At first glance, her designs instantly transport you from the Impressionist's creative genius through the explosive brilliance of 1960s Peter Max graphics, landing you right in her world of future musings. Inspired by pop culture, music, and fashion, Diana's designs are present-day versions of “POW, WOW, and SHAZAM.”

Diana credits her “creative genes” to her birth mother, a fiber artist who owned a boutique on the island of Mykonos, Greece. Growing up in Glen Ellyn, Ill, she remembers always being the “different one” involved in something creative with her fashion sense and writing. Diana shares, “I have always had a vague feeling that I was meant to do something creative; however, I didn’t grow up doing anything especially artistic; I just always loved music, fashion, and pop culture." 

Entering college, Diana signed up for studio art courses because she loved " hanging out" with her cool artist friends. One would eventually become her husband, artist Kenneth Ferguson. Although Diana freely admits she wasn’t great at drawing, she did enjoy creating in areas where problem-solving and abstraction could challenge her artistic sensibilities. She ultimately completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Art History. Shortly after, the necessity for a reliable paycheck led her to pursue a series of positions with ever-increasing responsibility in the corporate world. For a time, she worked toward a Master’s Degree in Art History at the University of Minnesota.

Ultimately, Diana found herself at the fork in the road; choosing between continuing her education or progress on the corporate ladder. The corporate ladder included a job transfer cross country, to Arizona, with a well-regarded health care firm. Although she chose to take the new path, her creativity was not left languishing. Diana reflects, “As I moved through my 30-year business career, the urge to call my shots, solve those ever-persistent design problems, and making a living doing it soon guided me back to my destined path as a jewelry artist. I think the key to success is being agile.”

Today, Diana works from her home studio. She enjoys being inspired by the ever-persistent chatter of the creative spirit. "What’s different?"  She aspires to be constantly vigilant for inspiration, whether visiting art exhibits, galleries, museums, or visiting Canyon Road in Santa Fe, where she claims, "I rarely walk away without some idea percolating." While Diana continues to craft her visionary “Petals to the Metal” earrings and pendants, which have increased in popularity, her current artistic practice has changed gears. Currently, Diana focuses on exploring the elegance of off-loom bead weaving; primarily architectural and geometric forms, with which she creates unusual and one-of-a-kind bracelets, necklaces, brooches, and more.

Diana finds harmony, peace, and serenity in the simple stitching movements. She values how she can fully immerse herself in the creative process as the needle passes through beads with repetitive motion. The result of her efforts may remain in play until the piece is complete, she is confident the outcome will contain beauty.

Artful Home represents Diana Ferguson's designs. You can also find her at the Sonoran Art League’s Hidden in the Hills Artists Studio Tour every November and the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, which takes place for ten weeks each year, beginning in January and ending in March. In the world of mass design Diana’s original jewelry designs stand out as timeless pieces of beautiful art.


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