We were excited to catch up with Whitney Simpkins of Personal Best Ceramics to talk about her creative path and what makes a good neighbor.
ed note: this interview was lighted edited for clarity.
good neighbor: Good morning Whitney, if you would be so kind, please introduce yourself.
Whitney Simpkins: I'm Whitney Simpkins. I run personal best Ceramics and I've been living in Baltimore for a long time but I'm from Florida originally.
gn: Can you tell us a bit about why you’re drawn to creating?
WS: I feel like I always had a desire to make something out of nothing and ceramics is the ultimate way to make something out of nothing. It is actual clay that you're turning into a finished, usable item that can also be appreciated as an art object.
gn: Can you tell us the people in your life who guided you towards living creatively? How did those role models help you to find space for that creativity?
WS: I know this is cliche but my parents. They are always so chill; they always let me do whatever creative thing I wanted to do. It was my mom who actually found my first ceramic classes that I took when I was twelve and thirteen, and never pushed me into things that I didn't want to do. Things like math! I feel like there was a day where I said, “I don't want to do math Superstars anymore” (an education program for K-5 students) and she just said, “Okay.”
gn: What’s being a good neighbor mean to you?
WS: Being a good neighbor it's just taking care of people and wanting to be taken care of. And wanting to help and make things better.
gn: Having called Baltimore home for so long can you share what you love about the city?
WS: I love that I can go for a walk outside and there's a good chance that I will see someone and have a conversation. If I don't know them yet, there’s a good chance that one day I'll meet them because it is such a small community. It's very very chill and real here.