Makers Monday: Courtney of Rustic Green

What do you create? My name is Courtney Stallard and I am the owner and artist of Rustic Green.  I create custom hand crafted wood wall art from my home garage which my husband converted into a wood shop.  I live in Pilot Butte Saskatchewan and have two beautiful children.

What materials do you use to create?  I use wood, wood, wood! Part of my goal is to upcycle reclaimed wood.  I find wood that is in good condition that would have otherwise been burned or thrown into our landfills.  I also purchase some of my wood to incorporate the old with the new to create something beautiful.  

Why do you create? I have always had a creative side and I recently discovered that woodworking is my true passion. It makes me happy and in turn makes me a better person.  I also create because I love being able to make something beautiful for people that is unique and one of a kind.  

How has your art practice evolved since you first started? I am a self-taught wood worker.  A year and half ago I had never used a power saw.  I was simply just too afraid. The saws can be very intimidating.  I finally got over that fear and went for it.  The first thing I made was very basic. A wood box!  That proved challenging in the beginning but it quickly evolved to more and more challenging things.  I eventually came across the work of Aleksandra Zee and knew that I wanted to make Wood Wall Art.

The first piece I made took forever and was very difficult for me at the time. My work keeps getting more and more complex in design and the pieces keep getting larger and larger which I love.  Pushes my boundaries and keeps my creative wheels turning.

How much time do you spend on your art practice? I am married, have two young children and work a full time day job.  I do all my wood work in the evenings once my little ones are asleep.  It calls for long nights and even longer days.  When you find your passion, you find a way. 
Is it enough? Never enough!  I have big dreams of becoming a full time wood artist one day.  It is my drug and I am addicted!

What is the most rewarding part of creating?  The most rewarding part is the joy I feel when I finish a piece that I spent hours working on.  Then furthermore, the joy I get when the client sees it for the first time and falls in love.  It is like a part of me goes along with every piece.  I fall in love over and over.

How is your art unique from others?  I have seen a lot of wood décor, especially rustic looking signs and rustic farmhouse style décor, which I love. I really wanted to go beyond what others have already done and do something I have yet to see here in Saskatchewan.  I wanted to be the “first” to do something rather than copy what others have done.

Do you have a philosophy? I don’t have a philosophy per say, but I believe that being creative keeps you healthy and makes you a better person. 

What does creative joy mean to you? Creative Joy to me is doing something that doesn’t feel like work.  Something that truly warms your heart and makes you feel good inside.

CREATE your own question & answer. 
How do you keep your creativity alive?
I have what I call “An Idea Book”.  Your ideas are like a muscle.  You have to exercise your idea muscle in order for it to produce good results.  I write down every idea I have in my Idea Book.  No matter how silly the ideas seem they eventually get stronger and stronger.  This is how I keep my creativity healthy and alive.