Sunday, March 30, 2014

Creative is ___________Part 2

I know you have been on pins and needles waiting to hear what the very first assignment was...

Sadly, it wasn't so much an assignment as it was a question.  A question that I still am not sure I know the answer to.  Don't judge me.  It's not like a question you would find on Jeopardy (of which I am pretty darn good at by the way), but one of those psychological, mind busting, feel like your whole life hinges on your answer type questions.  Now mind you, if you have already snagged the book (and if you didn't read my first blog post regarding the aforementioned book...shame on you!) Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh then you know you obviously need the book.  So her first question of "who needs this book?" is pretty much null and void.  Apparently the only people that don't need the book are children (hence the reason my husband won't be reading it :) ).

No, the mind blowingness, should I just toss a coin or play eenie meanie miney moe part of the question comes in figuring out WHO you are or WHERE exactly you fit in the niche of people who need the book.  There are only 3 places for which you could fit (this to me is very disturbing as I always like to think I could be a hybrid of several one of those dogs we use to call mutts but now call cute names like Puggles and Shi-Poos and LabraDoodles).  If the millions of people I imagine in my head really read this blog, I might post a poll and see if society could see where I fit.  Since it would be a poll of maybe one (and my own vote really isn't supposed to count), I guess that wouldn't work too well.

So are you:
a. not a creative bone in your body (but wish you were more creative)
b. a dabbler (love to be a real artist but really you just play)
c. an artist (love to be known and respected for your art as well as be able to support yourself with your artwork)

And here is where I would like to put in choice d--none of the above.  I mean shouldn't there be something between a and b or even b and c????

Since I haven't come up with an answer yet, I have been afraid to turn the page.  I feel like I have failed already and that maybe I should get some test prep and come back with either a cheat sheet or some definitive time spent pondering it all under my belt.

Which means instead of continuing this book and INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY, I went shopping.  Oh yeah!!  The husband left for New Mexico today.  It was nasty, rainy weather.  My LSS, Betty's Creative Studio, was having a 20% off everything sale and a 50% off a massive section of the store sale.  My kiddo was super excited to go see Betty's dog Charlotte and claimed if we went to the newly opened 5 Below (a crazy dollarish type store) she wouldn't rush me through Betty's.  I was avoiding being at all creative because apparently I am not ready because I can't even answer a dumb question about being creative.  There was a crap ton of laundry that needed to be done.  Yeah, I ran like a fat kid chasing a cupcake!  Got out of the house and went shopping!! Wanna see???

I know!! I did good!  I shopped for pure love as opposed to necessity.  I am totes digging the new TCW stencils and the Prima goodness goes without saying.  There is some Graphic 45 back there too...the new By the Sea collection.  Betty had a canvas at her store that someone had done with the paper and I will be totally scraplifting the idea for my next retreat auction item.  Did this shopping trip help answer my question?  Nope!  But it was a hell of a lot more fun and something to do INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!!  And if you are done reading this, perhaps you are now stuck trying to fit yourself in one of those 3 awful categories too...let me know what you come up with and maybe we can be Labra-Poo-Shi-Terrier-Doodles together!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Creative is a (fill in the blank).

If you are a former language arts teacher like me, you said ADJECTIVE! Unfortunately in this case you would be wrong.  The correct answer is VERB!  What??  Yeah, it is the title of the new to me book I am reading called Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh.  It is supposed to help you live your art and to "reclaim your creative spirit."  Since I am only on the first chapter, all of those mysteries remain just that...mysteries.  However, I have noticed that on every single page thus far there is an AH HA! moment.  So much so that I needed to find a cute notebook (I know right?  Any excuse for cute stationery!) to fill with my AH-HA moments.  I guess the real proof would be that these moments were so profound that they initiated this blog post (now if that doesn't convince you how much this book speaks to me, nothing will!!).

I don't want to take anything away from Mrs. Digh and give away the whole book, but I do want to share something with you.  I shared this on my Facebook page as well (sweet bellies) so if you want the short and sweet version, stop reading now and go LIKE my FB page (sneaky right :)???). One of the quotes that has stuck with me for both myself and for some of my crafty friends who constantly doubt themselves (you know who you are) is this:  " To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."  And by wrong the author means not measuring up to others or own expectations or the expectations of an audience.  She wrote it much more poetically than I just did but that is why she gets paid the big bucks right??  Anywho, it caused me to pause and for my heart to jump because there have been many many instances in which fear did stop me from doing something I thought I might enjoy creatively (really in a ton of life things in general but since this is a crafty blog, lets slow our roll) because I feel as if people expect things of me that might not be cohesive with what I really wanted to do.

THINK ABOUT IT!!! How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something creative in nature because you worried about failing yourself or having others criticize your efforts??   Let me give you an example of one of my own recent worrisome moments. Prime example right here:

Now I personally think this is cute.  Is it my style? I don't think it is but something about it speaks to me.  Do I have a point?  Yeah I do.  I painted this.  It is a paint by numbers canvas by Mary Engelbreit.  Even as I relaxed and forgot all of the stress in my life at the current moment while I painted it, that little gnawing voice in the back of my head kept wanting to interrupt.  Those that know me would immediately say "BOOOOOO!"  Or "This is NOT real art!"  Or "Why would you waste your time on something like this?" Did this really happen?  Nope but neither have I heard praises of awesomeness, except by my daughter who might be buttering me up for a pony or something.  
The fact that I put it both on Facebook and Instagram and now my blog is a good sign right?  Like I am saying to the world, "Here it is and I don't give a damn what you think!" But the truth of the matter is, I do.  I guess that means I need to keep reading chapter 1 to figure out what to do about it (meanwhile I have started a second paint by number canvas also by Mary Engelbreit and I am loving every minute of it).  Yes, in this book there are moments of AH-HA but there are also moments of putting your money where your mouth is exercises that force you to practice what you preach (or blog or post or Instagram).  I plan on showing you what results I have to show for doing the exercise because you know I plan on doing the exercise (or exercises because you know it may take a few of them to get creative groove on) INSTEAD  OF THE LAUNDRY!!!  Stay tuned!!  And while you might be looking for something to do INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY, think about where your fears are when it comes to creating and let's see if we can all give a collective middle finger to the critics both inside and out!!