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26 January 2013

Focusing on Life Week 4: Create Art

"Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating.
You are creating your next moment.
That is what's real."
~Sara Paddison


I am participating in a weekly photography challenge called Focus on Life hosted by Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime.  

I have a mug on my desk that says, "Do something creative Every Day." It is a credo that I live by. So I was very excited to read the prompt for this week: Create Art.

But here it is Saturday, and I am admitting defeat.

I actually did nothing creative this week.

Okay. That isn't entirely true.

I am frantically trying to design a piece for Halcraft/Michaels for a last minute assignment this month and it is turning out horrible. Sort of like Pocahontas-octopi meets hobo chic. Later today I will be tearing it apart and hoping like heck that something will rise from the ashes of this charred pile of ugly.

But that isn't exactly creating art, as Miss Sally prompted us. I guess I would define creating art as doing something that is just created for the sheer joy of creating, perhaps in a medium that I have never worked before, getting my hands dirty creating glorious messes.

Truth be told, it was all I could do to cruise on auto-pilot this week. Or maybe this month. You may have noticed a profound lack of posting from me this week. I only post when I have something to say, and I guess creating with words has eluded me, too. And truth be told, I had a bit of a gloriously messy meltdown last night. In my car. On the way to pick up my daughter from dance and head to see the basketball team play, missing my son's few moments on the court completely, while wrestling with the overwhelming annual sales tax prep.

It took a long time for my chest to unclench last night. I even tried wine, and that failed, too. But I did wake up with a renewed sense of calm. Remember last week when I felt so blissfully relaxed? I have added a few knots but the good news is that I will be back for a massage on the 7th which can't come soon enough now.

But you didn't come here to listen to me whine.

I joined in Kerry Bogert's Aspire to Wire eCourse. There is nothing that Miss Kerry does that I wouldn't want to be a part of. She inspires me in so many directions, not the least of which is jewelry design. It is a 30 day eCourse that is on something like Day #21. I have been following along, reading all the instructions, jotting notes on how I will make the projects my own. But I have yet to pick up a tool, a spool of wire, a bead and make something. Miss Kerry is working so hard bringing us the freshest, most creative projects, so I feel like a bit of a fail on this front. But at least I can come back to it when my head is in the right place. I fear that if I tried right now my wire would get all tangled and I would break my tools and it wouldn't be good.

One of my goals this year is to learn something new. Heck. That is my goal every year. But this year I thought that I would pull some books off the shelf, dust them of and teach myself one project or variation from each of them. I have about 100 books in my resource library so this in itself was a bit daunting. Every time I see a new one I can't help myself. I have to have it. And I find that it doesn't matter what the subject matter is, even if it is something I have never worked with or might never tackle, I do find something of inspiration in it. I never use a tutorial in a book or publication verbatim. I am always spinning my own twists and turns.

I happen to have a lot of books about working with metal. And it seems that every class that I take has a bent toward metalworking. So I decided to pull off 12 or so books and publications that I have admired but never used that focused on metal. And I have paged through and pre-selected a project or two that will get me going. January may be all but over, but I will make good on this idea to make art for the rest of this year.


I could have just skipped this week, but as I told Miss Sally, the planning for creating and researching for me is part of the art. I know that I will be a bit sheepish to post this amidst all the great art that I know will be shown on The Studio Sublime blog this week. But I also want to be faithful to doing the challenges no matter how challenging they may be. Who would have thought that the command to 'create art' would be the hardest for me?

But maybe today is the day. I am headed to Hobby Lobby this morning to pick up some materials to practice for the Project Day class I am doing using shrink plastic for the middle school my daughter attends. So maybe I will get my fingers messy after all.

Please go to The Studio Sublime to see all the other participants in this week's Focusing On Life.


26 comments:

Stacie said...

What an inspiring post regarding the ebb and flow of creativity...I was in a major ebb a couple of months ago, but like you write, I have surrounded myself with many books of inspiration and pull them out when I am in need of a spark. And the books don't necessarily have to be about jewelry either...hope you are able to unclench this weekend..maybe spilling it here on your blog will release that pent up frustration and will clear you for a fab day of designing your project...sending you my jewelry muses today!

Michelle Mach said...

Oh, how this post resonates with me! Just the other day I came across materials I bought at a B&B class and still have not opened. It feels like a broken promise to myself to tease myself with new ideas in classes or books and then not do the follow through. I've signed up for a writing class in February. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to do a better job of rising to the occasion and really putting my heart into it.

Beti Horvath said...

"...the planning for creating and researching for me is part of the art." There you go! Sit back and relax. The art will come.

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

I believe that when we get stuck it is our body's way of saying slow down. I see myself in so much that you say. I too joined Kerry's Aspire to Wire class and have not done one project but I am being inspired to get back to making jewelry. You are soaking in ideas right now for the next big thing....believe it!

SummersStudio said...

Ah, I know that lack of creative flow all too well right now. It kind of stinks doesn't it. But I think approaching it your way with pulling out books and looking towards working through some projects is a wonderful way to fire up the creative engine. Heck, that's doing something creative right now. I'm looking forward to seeing how you go.

Meeling said...

We all have days/weeks like that - it will come when it's ready. Well written post!

(I'm #41 this week)

A Half-Baked Notion said...

I've seen a lot of "art" being blogged about, Erin, but what has struck me is how many bloggers are having plain old fun with this week's challenge. I've mostly been tempted to run out and buy colouring books... wheeee!

Shel said...

Erin, I honestly don't see how you do all you do, and with such grace, too!! I think the 'thought factor' as I call it, is art with in itself, so yes, your planning is art and your photo of those books is great! Way to go!!

Patty Woodland said...

"Art" is personal and ephemeral. Your photograph of the books is gorgeous. It drew me into your post.

Patti Van said...

I love how you write - I really do. I think we all go through periodic times where we do not feel a single spark of creativity. But as someone on here already commented, your plate is so full. It's hard to let creativity creep in when there is just no room for it! I have most of the books in that picture - if nothing else, sometimes just "looking at the pictures" can be inspiring, too. Oh - and Kerry's class is truly the best e-class I have ever taken! I love it and will refer back to it many times! Hope you have a more relaxing weekend!

Alicia said...

This is, indeed, your art this week: your own words. We tend to be so hard on ourselves - but sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack and just be happy! Glad you pulled your books out - I hope you'll start getting busy at making more beauties; and then you'll share with us :)

I sure hope Kerry is going to offer this class again - it sounds fabulous and every week I am reminded how sorry I am to have missed it! Enjoy it - and enjoy the massage too :)

Pearl and Pebble said...

Don't be too hard on yourself Erin, you are a dynamo. Sometimes what we create is a little mental space so that new inspiration can fester:)

A Polymer Penchant said...

Oh seriously now! the thoughtfulness of your planning, is a total art. Your words, always artful, I hear you. You did promise Al you would get all re-knotted... I have every confidence you will wrangle that "Pocahonas-octopi" (side note, I want to go create a Pocahontas octopi right this minute!) and I whole heartedly am right there with you on Kerry's course

Mary K. McGraw said...

I have the same addiction to art & craft books as you. I have not been brave enough to count how many I own. I do have most of the ones in your photo. This week I bought a knitting book. I knit maybe one scarf a year. But it had some great techniques I hadn't seen anywhere else, so had to have it.

And your writing is definitely an art form. Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

What a great selection of books. I would love to see all 100! I too feel like I didn't fully complete the challenge. When I think of art, I think of paints, crayons, mixed media etc. put to paper/canvas. I have been really anxious to create photo note cards, so I decided this week was the perfect opportunity to dive into that creative goal. Plus my husband told me he considered my note cards works of art! :)

Alice said...

Erin, I can't imagine you making anything that could be considered a charred pile of ugly! But I do know how it is to be without inspiration. Just remember, this too will pass....and hopefully quickly. Take time to relax so your brain can kick into gear and you'll be back to your normal wonderful creative self in no time!

I love your pile of books and see a few that I have on my own burgeoning shelves. There they sit, all dusty and waiting to used.

Take care!!!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Deep, calming breaths! Life happens, doesn't it? And you already do so much. You're right that research is part of the process of creating art. I doubt that many of us are going to be able to post all 52 weeks and you know what? Life will go on!

Tanya said...

Erin, I am so sorry you had a hard week. It all seems to come in bursts, though, doesn't it? Months go by with nothing and BOOM, everything at once.

I know you will get your groove back. You seem to create art every day and with every blog post. You won't let it leave you for long.

Those books are awesome, by the way. I have some of those and the others are on my wish list. I may just have to peek at a few of them tonight. :)

Annette said...

It's a tough place to be, when you want to create but aren't able to. When so much is going on, you just seize up inside. Your muse will come back and I believe you will be ready for her!

Becky Pancake said...

You can't force the muse. She will come out when she is ready. Planning is a good part of what art is, so I think the steps you took are art. I too have most of those books and they do inspire me to create my own designs.

Marlene Cupo said...

So enjoyed your post, and as many others have said "Been there, done that" With the endless creativity in you, I am sure you will be back at it very soon.

Sally Russick said...

First off I would of loved to see the Pocahontas-octopi meets hobo chic piece, sounds very interesting! I hope that when your mind clears that the components and beads will come together!
As for your post itself; you, me and probably the majority of the people joining in each week are in creative crisis in one part of their life or another. I think that we sometimes get our hands in to many projects at once and then the muse runs for the hills and nothing gets done. Take a DEEP breath and focus on the first thing that needs to get done, forget about the rest for right now!! Thank you for CREATING such a beautiful post that resonates with so many of us!

Cindy said...

Hello Erin - your post strikes a chord with me as well. I skipped this week when I really should have joined it - I felt that the topic didn't speak to me because I wasn't planning to create anything "new" to me, but I actually had a busy week creating none the less. I've decided not to be hard on myself and just join in when the prompts work with my life and when I have the time. Your stack of jewelry books look like mine! They sure come in handy when questions arise or when you're looking for inspiration!

Kerry said...

Thank you for your kind words, Erin. Inspiration comes when the time is right.

Lola said...

Every time you so beautifully express yourself through your writing, you share your art with us. Defeat you say? I beg to differ! =)

Wendy said...

I like your challenge to yourself to make something from each book. I have the same kind of addiction to craft books, I have to have them!

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