August 19, 2009

notes on creativity...

I love this post from Ali Edwards' blog on "Working Through Creative Fear." I have it permanently bookmarked on my favorites, and read through it again today. It's worth clicking the link and reading the entire post, but the first part of the summary (wording taken from Ali's post) is:

What are we afraid of in our creative lives?

1. Messing up

2. Thinking this is the one and only chance to tell this story so it simply must be perfect.

3. People not appreciating what we create.

4. Being seen as selfish or extravagant for indulging yourself in your creative endeavor.

5. Not getting anything done because there is simply not enough time.

I've also been thinking about a couple other posts on Ali's blog, one being Shimelle's Tuesday Tutorial about her travel journal, and Ali's original thoughts on art journaling, posted back in April 2005. She wrote some things about art journaling that are really resonating with me lately- about how she was obsessing over them, reading about them, thinking about them, but not creating them...

I totally relate to these thoughts, but for me it is for the opposite reason- lately, I have been reading, thinking, and obsessing about scrapbook/photo albums, but not creating them. I started out "scrapbooking" years ago in a pretty simple, geometric style, stopped that, then recently got into art journaling. My art journals are a place to just be creative: a place to cut, paste, collage, and paint, and sometimes for adding written journaling, but they are primarily for me, not for anyone else- I like sharing my results sometimes, but it isn't important to me that anyone else like it; for me, the creative process of the pages is the thing.

The photo albums will be "for public consumption" so I think I'm still stuck in that "will they (whoever they are) like it" and "are the photos good enough (for them)" mode... one of the other things I get stuck on sometimes is "taking part in the action" vs. "documenting the action thru taking photos" thing- I get caught up in having a good time and stop taking pictures- having a good time is a good thing, I know)- but then later I spend tons of time thinking "that would have been a great shot" or "I wish I had taken a photo of XXX." It's interesting how different people have creative issues with different things- I'm stuck on photo albums and photos, but other people (Ali E.) get stuck the other way about art journaling... no particular point to this post, other than I just wanted to get this written down- it was really interesting to see Shimelle's travel journal in progress (I'm interested in seeing the finished product including the photos, after her trip in September) which combines artsy, photos, and journaling.


Jackie said...

You wrote,"I'm still stuck in that "will they (whoever they are) like it"

I used to think like that a, more often than not, I think "why does it matter to me what anyone else thinks of what I'm making."

It's the process of creation that is important. "Discovery" is in the process, not the end result.

Jackie said...

a little more big sister wisdom, via Gehrig. This is something he and I talked about many, many years ago...we can't be responsible for how others view our work. They don't have our same experiences, talents, views or dreams. The only thing we can do with our art is to satisfy that part of us that desires to create. People do however, pick up on the feelings we put into the work. If you are self-conscious when you create something, that feeling will come through, if you are joyous when you create, that will come through, etc. Feelings are energy and that's what people respond to. I've experienced it on numerous occasions. I remember many times when someone looked at one of my drawings or pieces of beadwork and said, "I can tell you had fun (or enjoyed) making that."

Create something because you have to....because you can't NOT create it....and let that be enough.