Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That Creative Place

Do you remember how important your high school yearbook was? At the end of the year, it was critical to make sure all not my friends signed the pages. Heaven forbid they didn't get that chance to mark up all the white space. I might forget them forever over the summer. I have not gone back to those pages very often over the years. I still think about all those signatures though. There was one that still stands out today. A good friend of mine wrote, "I am at a creative low." and signed his name. I guess it stands out because I understand that feeling. How many times have you been called upon to be witty, clever, or profound. It is a hard thing to do on the spot. I am much better at developing ideas over time. I think most of us are that way.

I think I have told you I keep several journals around to jot things down. My ghosts, or ideas as they run rampant through my head. Just last night at our quilt guild meeting, a friend of mine was talking about all the crazy ideas that run through her head and how quilting gives her a chance to channel them into something productive. I understood completely.

How do we develop these fleeting glimpses into something usable and productive? How do we make sense of all the craziness? I have found that I have more ideas flowing when I am doing the most mundane activities. Driving any distance will bring out an amazing array. Exercising is also a good way or riding my motorcycle. Most recently, I have been paper piecing points. It must be the repetitiveness of the task at hand.

I am working on what my mother would call a "Stealth Project". I can't give you much detail right now other than it involves quite a bit of paper piecing and an incredible numnber of points. Each block is taking much longer than I had anticipated, but there is no sense in hurrying. I'll just make more mistakes and have to take it all out again. The bonus has been the myriad of ideas I have been thinking through as each pointy section goes together. I don't think I can turn them all into quilts, but I certainly have been able to contemplate the viability of each as a quilt design.
Going back to my good friend having a creative low, it is hard to have exactly the right thing to say at the right moment. I keep filling those journal pages to help me when the need arises. If I'm really stuck, maybe I could go get on the treadmill or take the motorcycle out for a spin (Not in January though). The best idea is to go back through the pages and look for an idea that just needs a little refinement.

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