Monday, April 19, 2010

Creating with a handicap...

I am not talking about being permanently handicapped amd being creative. I am talking about when something changes either with your body, or your environment that makes it impossible to do the creative work you normally love to do.
I have spent the better part of a week feeling sorry for myself because I can't make jewelry or practice cello (or swim, or do many other things I like to do). I am an artist and a maker. I have to always be making something. I can't just sit around and wait.
 My left arm is in a cast because of massive over-strain with tendinitis. My doctor said absolutely NO to any of the creative things I normally do and to try to minimize how I use my left hand and arm while at work. I could hardly stand it. I am thinking to myself, "I can't all. I don't plan my designs, so there would be no point in forcing myself to do that." It seemed like I had no options.
Then, I thought, photography! Yes! I'll take pictures. I know very little about photography, but manage to do a decent job taking pictures of my jewelry. So, for now and the forseeable future, taking pictures is how I am going to express myself.
And if anyone has any ideas of artistic things I can do mostly one handed, please let me know. It is looking like I may be wearing this cast much longer than the two weeks the doctor first recommended. Also, I am using PhotoFiltre to edit my photos. If there are any online tools that are free to use, that you think would be fun for me to try, please send me the links!
And a word to anyone else going through something like this. There are always going to be ways to create. You just have to find them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Artist thoughts....

More random ramblings to provoke thought and insight about your creative endeavors....

Invest yourself in the process, not the outcome. Why do I say this? It is the process where all of the learning happens. Know the process intimately. Be observant. Be mindful of how mistakes or accidents occur in your work, and make a deliberate attempt to approach that task differently. Love the materials you are working with and explore all their properties. All of these things will improve the outcome, and the journey will be much more meaningful.

Is it remarkable? Is what you are making worthy of a remark? How is what you are creating going to stand out from the crowd? What are you doing that others aren't doing? What is the outstanding quality of your work? If there is no outstanding quality, ask yourself why? Are you afraid to step out and walk through uncharted territory? Do you feel you don't have the skill (yet)? Do you say, "I can't come up with anything?"
I say, yes you can. If you truly enjoy what you are doing, why would you carry around "I can't" statements, placing your own limits on your creativity?

Whimsy matters. Why? Because I said so... Which aspects of your own work matter the most to you? What creative part, if taken away from your work, would take away your look or your vision? Have you spent time thinking about how that aspect could be drawn out and further explored in your work? Is this the defining aspect that would make your work "remarkable"?

The only way to do great work is to do what you love. Do you love what you are doing? Life is short. Are you wasting time doing things that you don't care about? What really matters? What journey are you on? Ask yourself, "Is this a/the journey I want to take? Realize that your actions are always a choice. Is your life better for the actions you take? Or are you on a journey that is destructive to yourself and others? Have you decided to savor life and appreciate what you have? Or are your decisions motivated by fear and anxiety? If your fears are valid and justified, is living in constant worry, stress, and panic helping the situation? Remember, we choose to worry and stress out. If you feel that is the only path to doing what you love, is it worth it? Are you content? Have you involved yourself with people or projects that are going to drag you down? Are you seeking out work that you are excited to do? Are you taking the time to fill your creative tank? Getting enough rest? How are you spending your time? Are you working toward anything at all, or are you in a holding pattern. Consider these things and ask yourself if you need to adjust your thinking or your actions. These things have everything to do with how and what we create.