Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. I encourage you to go look at people's stories of creative block and their cures for it (there are a few pages of comments, so dig a little). Talking about the diffuculties of making should be part of creative blogs, don't you think? I mean it can't be all wine and finished projects. Everyone has a dark corner or a box or a garbage can full of failed projects and honestly it is those projects we should be taking photos of and blogging about, because that's where good ideas hide.
This is an exerpt of a beautiful speech on creativity and making by Charlie Kaufman. This video makes it both easier to cope with our creative selves and harder at the same time. Watch, then watch again.
I haven't been down in my studio for a good three months. Three months! You could call it creativity block or you could call it my own personal soul sucking, fear mongering, mental fog inducing, self-esteem deflating, psychosis making machine. Not to put too fine a point on it or anything.
I try not to ask myself why I tape flowers and leaves on the wall, or make my kids' undies, or crochet cozies for our ottoman, because there is no satisfying answer. But questions do creep in: why not make something less ridiculous? why not make something that is actually profitable? why waste your time making silly things to show the internet? why do this when so many people do it better? why not use that expensive education of yours? Once the questions start, they don't stop, and they become debilitating. Soul sucking now seems a more appropriate term than creativity block, don't you think?
But making things, be it underwear, tools, flying suits, computer programs, or whatever, is what humans do. Our survival once depended on our ability to solve problems creatively. Now that drive is part of who we are and when the urge to make things goes unfulfilled we feel less human.
So I'm trying, trying to make things again, trying to feel human again. I know I hit these creative brick walls yearly and slam into them repeatedly until I find a ladder, but this time the ladder has been hard to find. I cleaned up my studio yesterday--even slapped some paint on the wall--hoping the ladder was there somewhere. Does this happen to you (hit a wall, let the sewing machine gather dust, avoid even thinking about making)? How do you get past it?
Wow, August really got away from me. I'm sorry I didn't check in here more often! The month was just crammed full of summer:
swimming whenever and wherever we could,
having our first lemonade (and tattoo!) stand,
playing games on too hot days (games mama made!),
and riding roller coasters for the first time!
How was your summer? Over too fast? Too ridiculously hot? Busy? Lazy? I want to hear from all of you! I've missed being here and I'm glad to be back.
I never seem to remember to buy sidewalk chalk, but we always have the ingredients on hand for chalk paint. Making chalk paint is super easy; drawing with chalk paint takes a bit of practice.
Our first attempt turned out mostly colorful blobs, but the second time was a success. I was doodling quilt squares [sewing nerd!] and my kids wanted to learn how to make them too. They told me their log cabins had roofs, obviously.
- muffin tin
- corn starch
- food coloring (the cheapy kind, not the gel kind)
- Put one tablespoon of corn starch in each muffin tin cup.
- Mix in a tablespoon of water (or a smidge more) into each cup.
- Put one drop of food coloring in each cup.
- Mix well.
- Grab a paint brush and go outside!
Be warned, fingers and toes will get painted.
But other cool stuff will be painted too!
Making hula hoops is surprisingly simple and cheap to boot: some polyurethane pipe, a connector, and duct tape. Done.
I scanned some random directions quickly when I was in the hardware store, but there are many good tutorials for making hula hoops out there. This video by Elizabeth Mitchel--who is awesome by the way--tells you how it's done.