Wednesday, November 12, 2014

getting over myself

Thank you all for your comments on my post about a dedicated creative space last week, both thoughtful and perfectly to the point. The vote was unanimous, and I agree. I am going to keep my time on Tuesdays in the shop.

Yesterday found me working on a quick project for one of my classes, this time on fingerless mitts knit flat. The KISS principle continues to elude me, but just one simple pattern seemed too... I don't know. Too little? Too easy? I have come up with three different patterns, so students can choose their level of difficulty. The basic idea is simple, just knit it flat and seam it up the thumb side, leaving a hole for the thumb. My hope is that students can see the possibilities that different stitches present on the same basic background, and not be intimidated by a little patterning. I'll post them once I get all three done and find three hand models! That class starts next week, so I need to get them finished as soon as possible. As usual.

I have reflected a lot lately on my process of designing, both in my head during the quiet time in the shop, and in a great telephone conversation with a new designing friend. It is hard to know, at least for me, when I have hit that sweet spot on a design and it does what it should do. I suppose the first part of the equation is figuring out exactly what the design should do, and then work backwards from there. I tend to have more success with a design when I take that more logical, practical route, than when I throw things willy-nilly against a wall to see what sticks. The latter has been my modus operandi with designing for the last year or so, and it has been less than successful.

The other part of the problem is that I still resist thinking of myself as a creative person. When I was a small child, I had a rich imagination and enjoyed all sorts of creative pursuits. One by one I allowed them to fall away, as I turned to what I perceived to be more "valuable" practical endeavors. Unfortunately, I caved to what this article about creativity explains so well: creativity is not seen as a positive by the vast majority, including me most of the time. I continue to question and doubt the validity of this work, and this line of thinking is most definitely not helpful.

First change in thinking: view myself as creative. 
Second: consider this as a positive thing. 
Third: recognize that practicality has its place in creative pursuits, too.

1 comment:

  1. We are all creative! It's just that we don't all exercise our creativity in the same way. Some people are creative in making spreadsheets, or building things with Legos. Others can create complex meals, or paint pictures, or use words in new ways. Consider my husband. He doesn't think of himself as being creative, but the way he uses words is, um, interesting and non-conventional. For example. I let him try some tonic water once. He said, "ARGH! This is disgusting! It tastes like the devil pissed in a cup and said, 'Here, try this." I find this string of words to be creative. I don't know how he comes up with half the stuff he says, lol. Letting yourself have the time to ponder new pattern ideas or yarn combinations will give you deeper insight into how your own creativity works. You deserve the time to explore the things you love :D

    Many people think of me as a creative person, and I identify with this. Part of what the article addressed is true. I've always felt like an outsider and that people didn't understand me. Also, people have always categorized me as "weird," and though it hurt me when I was young, I became used to being weird and unique. Once you stop caring about other's perceptions of you, it's possible to reach a higher level of "you-ness." I think this also comes naturally with the ageing process when you realize that time is too precious to spend doing things others think you should do. Keep on going. You will change your thinking about yourself. You've already taken the first steps.