Monday, August 3, 2015

Feeling Creative

I took the whole month of July off from everything academic to work on BrisingBeads Designs business.  A luxury I have not had in about ten years.

And, I must say, I've never felt so creatively fulfilled and happy. 

Coleus in the garden.  Look at that pattern!
I've spent lots of time setting up fall and winter shows.  I think we'll have about 12-13 shows, which is probably all we can handle.  

I've also spent a considerable amount of time daydreaming about designs and trying out new ideas.  So much fun!

Echinacea.  We have TONS of this in the garden this year.  Tons.
Granted, I've lost sleep, what with all of the ideas.  Which makes me wonder, where do the ideas come from?  

I'm familiar with the things that inspire my creativity - the garden, myths, history, other artwork, nature, scenery.  I love that zing that happens when an idea occurs.  I love figuring out design challenges.  
Succulent collection
I love how one idea can expand into many.  My new found love of stencils has inspired all sorts of ideas.  Word scarves.  Using letters of the alphabet as a pattern in bead embroidery.  Or a pattern for pincushions.  Or hanging ornaments.  So many ideas.  So little time.

Amazing display of star gazer lilies.  Eight blooms on one stalk!
Do you think that the more you practice being creative, the easier it is for your creativity to flow?

I know that I try to practice creativity every day.  Even if it's being creative when I'm in the classroom or grading papers.  Because creativity is such a turn-on.  But I notice that some people really struggle with allowing creativity to be present in their life.

My students, for example.  Even though I always offer the option to do a creative assignment as a final project, most students stick with writing papers.  A necessary skill, yes.  But so is the development of creativity.  Yet, students are frequently at a loss on how to approach this.  Even when I show them examples of creative projects - videos, skits, poetry slams, etc.  Which means that maybe I need to be more creative in my presentation.  Hmmm.

Bee balm and daisies. 
I think the itch to stretch creatively is a big part of the attraction in jewelry design challenges.  As rewarding as it is to make something beautiful in a method that you're familiar with, it's even more exciting to create something from an element that you might be just slightly uncomfortable with.  And, maybe, that's where the cool ideas are - in that space that feels awkward, out-of-the-norm.

The older I get, the more I appreciate that awkward space.  Maybe it's because I've gained the confidence that I can work myself through the tight spots.  I recognize that I grow the most when I'm a bit off balance, as I'm forced to work with new ideas or new information.

Hosta corner.  AKA mosquito heaven.
I've long made notes and collages of ideas when I have these spurts.  Pinterest is my new best friend, making it oh so easy to keep track of new ideas.  'Cause that's the part of creativity that I love the most - how it connects us all.  No one has the only "best idea ever!" all on their own.  Chances are my idea will inspire your idea, and in turn inspire someone else's.  How exciting.

The trick - turning those ideas into gold by following through on them.  Or, passing them on.

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