I was so pleased to spot that one of my favourite blogs, Annekata, has returned – I have really missed it over the last few months whilst Kathrin has been taking a break. She’s already got me pondering on my work with her new post Are you creative?, on the subject of the interrelationship between creativity and play.
I have never, until the 3 or 4 years, considered myself to be in the least bit creative. I had a very academic education and career (if you can call 6 years working in Archives a career!) and there never seemed to be time to sit down and play with yarn, fabric, paper, glue, paint and crafty things like that – to be honest, I rarely gave it a thought. And even though I have been sewing and crocheting in earnest now for the last 2 or 3 years, I still find it hard to think of myself as a creative person, and lose confidence in my work very quickly.
I started wondering about the things that stop me being creative…
Lack of time – I am aware that I need to make things that will sell, so feel that I can’t spend my time on taking time out to just play around with fabric and yarn. But looking back at my photos from this year, one of the things that I enjoyed making the most, and am pretty proud of, is this pincushion –
– which started off as just a bit of stitched doodling that I couldn’t stop. It took an age to finish, and I was never really was sure where it was going, but it was addictive, fun and so relaxing to do. Which brings me my next anti-creativity issue…
Tiredness and stress – not having the energy to pick up my craft tools and start playing. But, if I can get over that, get started, and devote myself to a project, it can be energising and calming (all at the same time – wow, the power of craft!). Sometimes, mind you, it can just add to the stress when things wont go right – but I guess that then it’s time to do something else for a while.
Lack of money to experiment – there’s always a worry that your experiments will turn out badly and that you will have wasted some fabric or wool. But, if I go back to the creativity/play relationship and think of my kids, using any old bits and bobs to create lovely games –
– here’s Tom, oh holiday a couple of years back, playing ‘Horton Hears a Hoo’ with a bit of clover and a petal. Look at his concentrating face! One of the things I love about being around my kids is their absolute commitment and resourcefulness when it comes to play. Hmmm…
Despondency – this is the biggest stumbling block to creativity for me. I compare myself to others whose work I admire and wonder why I bother.. this is not, as you can imagine, good for just letting go and playing! I also have a fear of inadvertently copying or being too influenced by other people’s work. When I get bogged down in negativity like that, I’ve learnt recently that one approach is to back off, take a break, and look at things from a different angle.
Playing around with colour has been on of my best experience of crafting this year because it’s given me a different departure point for creating. This cushion, for example, came out of fabrics put together from a colour palette on Design Seeds. I smile every time I see it because, for me, it’s a lovely blast of summer and it’s totally my creation – not safe, not nervous – just fun.
So, what gets in the way of your creativity?