I have been thinking about this creativity thing for the last week.
I don’t know how to explain to anyone why I decide what design to put in a section of a quilt. Or why something comes to me in the middle of the night…it won’t let me sleep and I will have to get up & write it down or test it out before I can get back to sleep. It’s like the OCD for an artist. Truly…it’s a compulsive thing. It just captures me and it won’t release until I act on it.
When I get an idea I *want* to try it consumes me. I do think there are some components of OCD that I do have…because I get that way sometimes when I am avoiding something I should be doing like paying bills…or balancing my checking account. But not in the same way I get with creating. In fact if there is an idea that pops into my head…it will make me act on it when I should be doing something else….there is a hierarchy to that part of me.
I read up on different theories of Creativity. Traits that creative people have ect. I love this quote by Steve Jobs:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
This is exactly how I feel when people ask me how I decide to put these things together. It’s a combination of many things. My experiences, what I have seen, what I have done…timing. Timing is a HUGE thing. I also attribute a lot of it to divine inspiration. I know who my creator is and I know he blessed me with this talents and he guides me along the way. Whenever I listen to that little voice..it’s always a winner. Seriously.
How do you explain that combination of things? I think many times if I wasn’t on deadlines ->I could create more art…….but that is the plight of a paid artist, right?
Sometimes my own quilt tops don’t get quilted for years….yes. Sometimes it’s due to time. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that I am stumped…and I need time. Time to study it. Or time to gain new experiences. Time to learn new techniques…..and then all of a sudden a quilt top that has been sitting in my bin for years will pop into my head. I will then be like a dog with a bone. It won’t get out of my thoughts until I actually quilt it. I will think to myself…”why didn’t you do this sooner? ….What took you so long?”
But the truth is it always happens in the right timing. I think quilts are such an expression of soul. I also think they tell us who they belong to. Whether it’s an everyday loved quilt, wall-hanging or one of those art pieces. So naturally sometimes the creative process will take some time….other times it will just spark right away.
My process is going to be different than someone else. My brain works differently…I link things all of the time and I day dream all of the time. I have no idea how I grab this idea or that-> from the million things that swirl all of the time. I know some people are minimalists…….I can’t do that even if I try. I like to be inundated with inspiration all of the time.
With my cooking I love tons of flavor. From spicy to salty….to sweet. Seriously….every time I want an assault on my taste buds. There is a joke when people ask me if something is to spicy…..I am a bad judge of that. What is too rich when eating a dessert?
When I want to smell something….I again like strong scents. I know many people don’t like that…but I do. I like burning candles. Perfume. lotions. laundry softener. I love the smell of spices & baking. Flowers. so many beautiful things.
I can associate smell with so many memories. Good & bad. I can remember the smell of Haiti. It’s so distinguishable. I love the smell of lilacs because they remind me of Grandma Nay. Those things make my life so rich.
I am the same with color. There is not 1 color that I don’t like. But I would hate for my world to be blank, black & white or without color. It’s not even imaginable to me. I love color. I love color theory classes. I love to experiment. It’s just a beautiful thing.
Textures……this is a funny thing. I love quilting in textures..I love mixing & matching different patterns. I think the quilts that always catch my eye are the ones that don’t have a place for the eye to rest. I know, it doesn’t make sense right? I know it’s necessary sometimes. I know that…I seriously do. But when I am in my element….and the ones that I just adore are all of those wild & crazy quilts with no eye rest. I love looking at each space and seeing something full-on….brilliantly shining in it’s glory. I know some can’t understand that and don’t like it……but that’s because those quilts are an assault on my senses…and I love that!
I have come to realize that my working space is never going to be clean & simple lines. It’s never going to look like anybody else’s. It’s a reflection of me. It’s crazy, disjointed & doesn’t make sense. It’s not supposed to. I don’t make sense. I have to have an assault on my senses to catch me off guard. Otherwise I won’t be inspired.
Its’ a funny thing……even with my body. Are you one of those people that likes to shower with the door closed so the steam fills up the bathroom and stays warm. Then when you turn off the water & grab your towel you try to stay as warm as possible?
I am not that person. My son and I talked about this years ago because he is the same way. We don’t do that. I open the shower curtain right away so I have that blast of cold hair to heighten my senses. I seriously do. I also love crawling into bed with cool sheets. It doesn’t bother me…I like the refreshing feeling. It’s like riding a roller coaster….or something. There is something in that blast of contrast that makes your body react. Some people are scared of that…..they don’t like the change. I like the change….because my internal workings will take over in such a short time….then everything goes back to normal. That little shock makes me feel alive.
That’s how my brain works. I can do my everyday work…then a creative light bulb will pop up and it takes over for a short time. I have to act on it. Once I act on it will dim again and I have to wait for the next zap of electricity. So I wait. I live for those moments. I truly do.
Then what happens is that last light-bulb moment gets added to the catalog of past creative moments. I keep working within those until the next ones comes. Does that make sense? So each bulb was a creative moment…all worthy and valuable. I just have to keep using more electricity as the catalog builds.
Isn’t it funny the things that come to mind? See how I think? Some people might find this crazy…..I would say you haven’t seen crazy yet! LOL
Sometimes if we know how our mind & body works we can identify those things that make us who we are. Do we like that blast of energy? Do we like to stay comfortable?
Do we know when we need to act or not? what makes us tick? Why are we attracted to certain things? I think about these things all of the time. I have to know these things in order to push myself to greatness. Not greatness in BIG way. I mean greatness in Charisma’s way. My own self greatness. I know what I need to do to push myself sometimes. That’s something good to know when you are human and you like creature comforts. Just ask all of my friends…..I won’t go camping. The thought of no electricity or running water and sleeping on the ground……Can’t really push myself to that. LOL But I can in other creative ways.