Living Up to Your Creative Potential
I get a bit anxious if I try and be all organised with what I make. I currently have a quilt half finished, a couple of outfits for my shop cut out and half sewn, a felt kitten waiting for arms and legs and the list goes on...there are some patterns that I am still too chickenish to make available for sale yet, so their progress is halted. Not sure if it is because I know they will be hand-drawn, but for now I have not the time or inclination to settle in to learn to use photoshop or illustrator...that day will come. But it is not this day. Do I need a funny meme or something to insert here?
Hazel is one of the patterns waiting to be transformed....I designed her and stitched her up and I do have dreams/plans/hopes of patterning her. And other friends at some point. There are applique sketches and a fabric swatch, that I designed, had printed and now I am not sure what to do with it.... I swear some of these creations are like wayward children, where I throw my hands up in the air and shake my head at them.
This blog is a creative outlet....I sit down when inspiration strikes and often write posts in my head, days, weeks or even months in advance. But there is no schedule or blog calendar, and one week you might get two or three posts, and then it'll be a blog post drought for another two. Hardly proper by a professional's standards..tisk tisk!
My point is, all the time spent on worry, procrastination and anxiety is wasteful. Time spent just getting stuff done is very productive. There is only so much planning to be done. Better to get in and have something tangible than a dozen designs that stay permanently etched into paper - believe me, I know.
The structured business-y side of me is slowly letting go (some days, like a toddler who doesn't want to give up his favourite toy) but I am getting there and the peace and creative fulfilment are worth it. If you ever feel as if you will never get where you want to go, just backtrack a bit and celebrate how far you have come. Write down a list of what you HAVE done and not what you haven't. Read interviews with your favourite crafters or bloggers, most 'success' stories have started as happy accidents...the road taken was not the road planned but what a happy journey it turned out to be, simply because some people allow their creativity to flourish, to bend and shape and grow. You can prune it a bit here or there, but ultimately, if you follow a "set of rules" when it comes to your creativity, you might be stifling it, instead of cultivating it.
Letting go would have to be one of the harder things to do, allowing everything to fall where it falls. Because it means letting go a bit of some control and that seems to be something human nature craves the most - to be in control. Which is funny, because there is so much of life that we simply can't control. I know a lady, she makes the most amazing, whacky creations and once she said to me "Everyday, I just go and sit in front of my sewing machine and say "okay, what are we going to do today?" And sometimes, she just sits there, without any ideas. On those days, she just walks away and does something else. One of the reasons I found this so interesting is because this lady has made a living out of her craft, and it's quite spectacular, artistic craft too. The beauty in her work is that the creative freedom shines through, almost like a child's drawing where the creator cared not for what anyone would think of her work, just that she felt creative and so she made something from the heart.
It takes bravery to let go, it takes courage to be truly creative - 'truly': meaning actually being true to yourself, regardless of how 'perfect' or 'popular' your pieces might be. Who knows what your journey will be if you are never brave enough to take the first step? You will always be constantly growing, learning and changing in your work. In a way, we stay young through creativity because we don't stop exploring and discovering new ideas and things to try. Each day, and each year can be more exciting simply because of the creative potential each and every one of us has. And that is pretty amazing.