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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Contemplating Creating

What are you reading??

Every artist or writer struggles with just getting started at one point or another in their lives. Some experience struggle every day. In this book, "The Sound of Paper" by Julia Cameron, through short but meaningful essays that journal a year of Cameron's life, starting out in NYC and ending up in her own personal retreat in New Mexico, she shares her experience with writer's block, emptiness, and sudden bursts of creativity & how you the writer or the artist can overcome and thrive in your art. Her essays approach these subjects in such a way that you could really apply to any art, as we all go through dry spells, creative dryness, lack of motivation, even pure fear. She concludes each essay with helpful and enlightening exercises that get your juices flowing, sparks contemplation on the what if's in your life, and exercises to give structure to your thought processes.
How many times have you not finished something because you'd rather it not be judged? Through the crux of her journalling, you find a common theme of creating structure during your artistic life. A routine of creativity can save you from the dry spell because you are always making, doing, writing, painting. Those that lack a routine, often are faced with more blank pages because it's harder than just getting back on the bike. You can ride so much further if you practice your art everyday. This book had mixed reviews, many compare it to her more commonly known book, "The Artist Way" in that a lot of the exercises are the same and some even bark that she is capitalizing on her own cash cow of writing "how to's". I didn't have any preconceived notions when first picking up the work as I simply found it at a yard sale (it's actually an "uncorrected proof for limited distribution"), and said, for a buck, what the heck. I was hoping to find some enlightenment, some companionship in my own personal journey. Surely someone else must feel as I do from time to time. How does one overcome the fear of getting started?
By simply doing. I know this. I think many of you know this. Yet, so many times we procrastinate, and for what reason? Time? Lack there of? I know this is silly, but somedays I think about a CEO of a big company let's say XYZ, the biggest company in the US. What must their day look like? What time does it start? How productive they must be every minute of the day to run XYZ. They have the same 24 hours I have, so why can't I find 10, 30, 60 minutes to create everyday? I can, and lately I do. It may not look like it from my blog, but I can assure you, I am making more progress than I was a year or two ago creatively.

Here's my work from last nite. Just a journal page of doodles. If I were to replicate this with different colors, and duplicate the pattern, I can picture this as a border for a pretty linen tablecloth. What the heck, why not?? The point is, I just did it. No reason. No ryhme. It wasn't something I had to do, nor did I particularily know why I drew it. I just saw something in a magazine that inspired me to draw it. As we fill up our tool boxes with gadgets and gear, we should also put those tools to work and simply do...something. It's a process of evolution, like an athlete in training. Go to practice everyday, and although you might not win a gold medal, you at the very least tone your body and mind and have a fighting chance in the race. Sit on the couch and do nothing and you surely will be trampled on by other racers. Just show up to practice. Eventually as we keep up our practices, we find our rythym and develop our own style, or a myriad of styles that are still our own. In this article I found on Pam Garrison's blog, it touches on how the cyber crafters and artists are finding their market through this web of community we have created. I think it's a beautiful resurgence getting back to the basics. Developing that closeness of the buyer and seller through close personal interaction. Can you say you've spoken to the person that made your comforter on your bed? I bet you some of you can. Do you know the artist that created that piece above your mantle? I'm sure some of you have close personal knowledge of him or her. This card I'm sending to my friend....yep the artist that created this just had a baby. I picked up a magazine the other day and saw a bunch of contributors that "I know". I think it is just beautiful. I hope this flood of creativity continues on for years to come. It gives me hope and inspiration on my own journey, and I am excited and refreshed to know the person behind the creation. There certainly is a place for big corporations---but please move over because the one "woman" shows have a hip and funkier place right beside you. And...our marketing costs a lot less then your Super Bowl ad....and even though our orders aren't in the 1000's or millions, they are just enough to keep us happy and keep us creating. And we create with the best fan club by our side, cheering us on. Our readers. Who, by the way, are crafters, artists, designers, sewers, entrepeneurs, too. And good ones at that. What a wonderful blog world it is.

Speaking of wonderful blog world, this pink..yes it's pink, not offwhite (&%$!C camera) is being packed up and shipped off with a few more goodies to a super nice blog friend. Could it be you?? I created this purdy little tray to in a combined effort with some other blog friends to brighten a mutual friend's day. So to you..friend, when you receive this, I hope you know we luv ya and have been thinking of you :)

Well I'm off to bed and will be away (gasp) for a couple of days. I'm off for a training meeting for work out of town. I'm going to learn to be more diversified. I really think I'm diversified enough--but hey, one can never learn too much, so I'm game. I'm packing along side my toothbrush and work clothes, my sketchbook and pens. Afterall, I'm sure I can carve out a few minutes of down time to continue on my journey of simply just showing up to create. It's all about creating a habit, and learning from it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, at least until a better story comes around :p



Sarah and Jack said...

PBS is running a new series that starts tonight that you might be interested in called Craft of America.

monique said...

And another beautiful tray!
That is a wonderful gift.

breanna said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post! I am still so new to blogging, and am continually amazed at how creative and thoughtful and generous people can be. And I love the tray.

Vallen said...

Stupendous musings, Miss. Well put and well thought. And the tray is quite lovely, too.

Rebecca said...

Well said my friend! And I think your tray is just darling. Can't wait to get a look at your stuff in person one of these days soon. :)

Leigh Ann said...

The tray and the doodles are gorgeous. I've always wanted to read Julia Cameron. She has a book called Artist's Way (i think) that sounds wonderful.

Have a good trip. Cheers! LA

Christy said...

I love all of your "doodles"!

Dinah said...

You are right on the money with your words! I felt like each sentence began or ended with my name - because that's exactly how I feel so much of the time! And your tray is just great Lucy. I also love the artwork you "doodled". We need to get you into textile arts. You could easily be another Amy Butler or Denise Schmidt!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

I love the font you used for writing spring. I'm sure 20 years ago I wouldn't say font but it just seems fitting. What a gorgeous tray.