Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sleeplessness.

1.
I've been having a really hard time going to sleep at night this week. I know a couple of nights, the problem was a cup of coffee and a cup of tea, respectively, but I also get this way when I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head, or when I feel like I'm on the cusp of something, be it a cold or a paradigm shift.

2.
I've been thinking a lot about creativity for a couple of months now. I am seeing that it's like anything else worth doing for yourself--you have to push yourself into the flow despite the resistance.

I've seen myself as creative for quite a few years now, but seldom have I felt it to be WHO I am. It has never pervaded my life...rather, I have tiny to moderate bursts here and there, always in the proper format. I feel like maybe there's an ocean hiding in me and I'm trying to access it through a straw stuck in a brick wall.

I read several blogs by scrappers and paper crafters who seem to have art pervading their entire lives, from the stuff they hang on their walls to the shoes they put on their feet. They are who I think of as artists--people who live in creative parts of the country (West Coast, especially), who are younger and hipper and way thinner than I could ever be. I think of artists as free-spirited, and I have never been that.

3.
Maybe it's easier for people who grew up in artistic, creative environments. My mom is creative with a sewing machine; my dad is creative with gardens, but those are practical expressions, rooted in necessity at some point, if not in the present. Creating for the joy of it, along with questioning--which I see as perhaps the one absolute requirement for creativity--not things that anyone I knew ever seemed to do. And since I never got to see creative joy modeled for me, I never got to see the other part which would have been even more helpful for me: creative discipline.

Because I don't kid myself. I know that I am lacking in discipline...in the ability to make myself do that which I know will help me grow.

4.
I have a handful of issues of Somerset Studio and Legacy magazines, which are both magazines about paper arts and where they can take you. The artists are just that--artists, and pretty serious about what they do. I was never interested in the style or the message of these mags...until a year or two ago, when I picked up an issue here, and an issue there, and somehow, through reading and re-reading over a series of months, came to the realization that these people's works and their stories and the way they were presented--this is all really speaking to me now. I'm not sure what that means. I'm not a collage artist and I dont have room to store a million art pieces. I don't know how to use gesso!

5.
I made my submissions for the Fiskars insert last weekend, and of the six projects I made, they asked for five. I am so pleased about that!

But, I have to confess, the creating part was not exciting. I didn't feel challenged. I've been getting the designer e-mails for upcoming issues of magazines that I submitted to a LOT two years ago...and I'm just not feeling interested. Part of me thinks I just need to push myself, and part of me wonders if I've moved past that part of my creative life. But if I have, what part of my life am I in now?

Something's brewing, I can tell. I'm just not sure what. But I still want to cling to what I've done in the past, because it made me happy and I got paid for it--poorly and irregularly, yes--but still! I want the recognition and I want to be a designer.

I'm just not sure how to get that anymore.

6.
What I think maybe needs to happen is for me to look at all of my life with a creative eye, not just the parts I've set aside. And to really open the door and let who I am join up with that creator part of me.

I used to read self-help books a lot 12 or 14 years ago, when I was working my way through a major depressive episode--my first and worst. I've gotten rid of most of them, because there was a lot of New Age-y mumbo-jumbo running through that movement and a lot of it just stopped being relevant for me.

But I did keep a couple of the best books, and one that I pulled off my shelf the other night is called Finding Joy by Charlotte David Kasl. I started reading it a little at a time, and I'm so glad I kept it. It's such a simple book, but reading it is like remembering all the things you used to know about how to treat yourself and how to get through life and enjoy it at the same time. It's helping me, to go back in time as I read the book and think about where I was then and how it's different from where I am now. But the issues are still the same--ack.

7 comments:

BonnieRose said...

what an introspective post.
love all you shared.
you sound like such a wonderful person.Wish you were my best friend down the street.. we'd hang out all the time!
i loved your post!

Jessica B. said...

Yesterday, I ordered a workbook titled "The Artist's Way". Have you heard of it? It's supposed to really bring out your inner creativity with daily exercises over a 12 week course. It has awesome reviews at Amazon! I'm hoping this will help me overcome some of my issues - which are similar to yours. I want some recognition, darn it! Among other things...

Whatever is brewing... I hope it tastes good in the end!

Jessica B. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dynamomomof2 said...

incredible post thank you so much for sharing and inspiring me.

Margi said...

You have a really good point about looking at the whole of your life with a creative eye. I think we can get railroaded in our thinking about what is and isn't 'creative' and don't feel bad about those ladies who are creative from their hats down to their tippy-toes... it's nice to have an empty wall somewhere in your house ;-)

Mimi said...

What a fascinating post, Janelle. I so agree, scrapbooking for me is a struggle to push past the internal "I'm not creative" script.

I'm on the West Coast - I'm so unhip, unartistic, undecorated and not thin.

beth said...

it's time for lunch!!!
i'm so there...meet me!