Practicing Creativity

Today’s theme seems to be about creativity.  It seemed like everywhere I clicked on the interwebs or each blog feed I read had something to say on the subject.  I tend to sit up and take notice when something keeps popping up.  So I thought a bit about it as I was doing the laundry, putting dinner on eight hours early (slow cookers are fabulous!), and cleaning up the house.

I used to be in a creative profession.  A “designer.”  Though really, even then my employers relied more heavily on my technical abilities so that it wasn’t all about being creative.  At that time I crocheted – a lot.  I churned out afghan after afghan for my close and extended family.

My work life has progressively gotten less creative.  Don’t get me wrong, problem solving creativity and that kind of thing is still present.  I mean in the artistic sense.  When the balance finally tipped toward work being non-creative, I unconsciously took action to balance it outside of work.  That’s when I started regularly attending a knitting/crocheting meet-up and being creative on a schedule.  Meaning that at least once a week I made myself sit down and stitch on something.  That hasn’t stopped either.  Every time I moved to a new city, the first thing I did was seek out a group of like-minded stitchers to join.  Even if I only work on a project at the meet-up, that dose manages to undo most of the stress and frustration of the past week.  And if I get to squeeze in two meet-ups in a week…Whoa!

I can also see my stitchy creativity evolving.  I love directions and how-to’s.  When I began crocheting I always followed a pattern.  Then I slowly began to be comfortable with how the stitches combined to make different designs in the fabric and I took cues from patterns but didn’t follow them exactly.  I finally got so brave as to create something without a pattern.

I think I am finally at that first evolution point with my knitting.  After the whirlwind of productivity over the last several months, I have enough projects under my belt to feel comfortable with the stitches and construction.  I’m ready to take cues and branch off the pattern pages.  I’ve already taken a few baby steps.  I worked this Kindle sleeve using a stitch pattern for the cable as a cue and making up the rest.  It required several tries and lots of ripping out, but I like the result.

I did the same for this hat.  Though I’ve done enough hats now that I didn’t need to rip back very often.

I want to keep pushing myself in this direction.  I want to rediscover how to brainstorm a design, draw it out, and then create it.  It’s painful to say, but I think I’ve forgotten how to draw or doodle.  There is a blank notebook just for this purpose within easy reach, and next to it are my trusty pencil and eraser.  Have I used them?  No.  What’s stopping me?  No idea.  Maybe that darned practical voice in my head is louder than it used to be.  It keeps saying that I can’t just doodle, drawing has to have a purpose, and my doodles aren’t artistic enough.  Like everything I draw has to be perfect or something.  Silly, isn’t it.

So here’s the plan.

  • Rediscover drawing.  Little assignments like when I was in Beginning Drawing class in college.  Copy something, sketch a still life, doodle, whatever.  A little bit each week.
  • Do some stretch knitting.  As in stretching my skills.  Take an inspirational cue and execute it.  Try sketching it out first, making note of modifications if something doesn’t work the first time (or two, or three).
  • Revisit needlepoint designing.  Get at least a few of the ideas floating in my head down on paper already!  They’ve been hanging out up there for far too long.
  • Pick up some photography skills.  Seriously.  If I’m going to keep sharing my craft with the world I need to figure out how to use that fabulous camera my guy brought to the relationship.

Ready.  Set.  Go!

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2 Responses to Practicing Creativity

  1. Kara says:

    I dig the cables on your Kindle cover. Nice work. 🙂

  2. Hah! I recognize that hat.