So what are you going to do with all these studies? How is it going to make your work any different? Is your current style going to evolve into something new?
There they are again. These pesky questions never cease to interrupt my thoughts. As soon as I gain a few minutes of no-pressure mind wandering then they appear again.
I’ve been studying “stitched drawing” and very often, I get confronted by these questions demanding that I articulate a plan for my wanderings and explorations. Truth is, part of me just enjoys the wanderings and cannot be bothered about how it all fits into a grand scheme. Yet another part of me wants to make decisions about tomorrow NOW and formulate plans on how I’m going to incorporate my discoveries into my general style of work NOW.
Playing, adventure, exploration – are really fun, aren’t they? Our need as adults, to work rather than play most certainly didn’t come about during childhood. Because children are very comfortable playing.
So at what point in a person’s life do we stop relishing the simple joys of being a child to feeling the responsibility of being an adult? I’m guessing somewhere right at the border of childhood and adulthood – adolescence (that should make you better understand your adolescent now ). Suddenly such words like “responsibility”, “duty” and “work” start to take on a new meaning.
Allowing one’s self to play with no intention of creating anything useful is at the heart of creativity. It is during the period of play that discoveries are made. Though this is hard on the psyche of an adult, it is in the childlike play that the true artist, writer, photographer in us comes alive. And Pablo Picasso’s quote “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”, succinctly articulates this.
Mind Games Begin at Adulthood
Somewhere in adulthood, we start losing the very thing that makes us creative. Then when we realize how much of that we’ve lost, we spend the rest of our lives trying to capture it back. I wonder what is that makes us adults in a hurry to answer questions, to discover patterns, to formulate plans. Could it be because an adult has discovered that time is not limitless, while a child has no sense of time? Or could it be that society’s expectations of adults rob them of child-like creativity?
Whatever the reasons are, these challenges exist. I get interrupted by my own thoughts or by the questions of other adults to make a decision about where my explorations will lead.
In this “Creative People Series”, Patricia Corbett painted several studies and not until she got to 50 pieces did she start to scratch the surface of something meaningful and probably novel. Going by Patricia’s numbers, I could well get to the end of this challenge (making 52 pieces) without discovering anything new. Does that bother me? Absolutely not! I choose to focus on the fun I’m having, not the mind games.
So next time those thoughts come back demanding answers again, I’ll push them back where they belong and carry on as I’ve done in the past. I’m just going to continue playing and hopefully in a few years…… or more …….(or maybe much sooner), I’ll learn something of importance.
What unanswered questions, doubts, and mind games seem to interrupt you from doing your thing? How are you dealing with them? I’ll love to hear your stories.
Just this morning a friend asked whether I was beginning to focus in a specific area of quilting. I happily said ‘no’. Just want to keep trying new things and observing the world more deeply. What about creating a ‘place’ to ‘file’ those thoughts that interrupt? I’m going to take that to my dreams tonight!
Thanks Maureen for sharing your story. Filing inspiration is a really good practice. And some questions do lead to inspiration.