Sunday, 16 June 2013

Like reading a hug: Creative Thursday and my Daily Hat commitment

Recently, I had a massage, and afterwards she asked me if I'd been drinking enough water. She said that my skin was absorbing the oils really quickly, a sign that I was under-hydrated. I went to lunch right after that massage and drank an entire bottle of water (like the glass ones they bring for the table) myself.

Something akin to this happens when you read the right book at the right time (or watch the right movie, hear the right song, have the right conversation...). Your soul just sucks it up through your skin. You absorb the words rapidly and eagerly to quench a thirst you didn't even know you had.

This was my experience of "Creative Thursday" by Marisa Anne. It's about creativity. Finding the time, inspriation and motivation to be creative and dealing with the emotions involved. There are lots of lovely, reassuring, encouraging thoughts in it, alongside her charming paintings (see her blog for examples). There's something about it that is like a balm to my wounded spirit. It's like reading a hug. If like me you love it when a successful artist/craftsperson opens up about feelings and fears, you should read this book. It makes me know. I feel this energy build up inside, like a wild force trying to escape. It's sad and scary but fills me with hope.

There are also some nice practical suggestions for dealing with those feelings. I've already started following one of these ideas. It's based on the aim of escaping perfectionism by creating an excuse for imperfection. Not in a "making excuses" way, but like giving yourself a note to yourself to say you are excused from being perfect today.

So you have a period of time. And in that period of time, you will create and finish an item. For Marisa it was a painting. There's lots of things mine could be but I'm going to make it mostly hats, so there is a nice themed feel to it. But I may wander off my path. That's ok too.

My period of time is one evening a week after school. It's hard to feel motivated, but I know that if I focus I can complete a hat in that time.

The first "Daily Hat" was this one two weeks ago, which I told the story of as I went.

Last week it was this one.

I was not feeling the inspiration. I had ideas, but not the blocks for them. I had sketches, but the fabrics needed washing. I had materials, but not the ideas for them. I had grand plans, but not the time. I had brand new felt hoods, but not the plans.

So I rummaged through the leftover felt scraps from previous hats. The perfect material for experimentation without direction. You can't ruin scraps. They are a worry-free project starter.

Off I went, and this is the result. It might need a little something on that fold. Perhaps a button?

Here's my commitment. I'll be setting aside this time each week and creating a complete work (usually a hat) in that time, and sharing it here. Stay tuned!

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