Creativity Challenges


Imagine me with a look of despair, I'm wilting from the heatwave that hasn't really even started.  My hair has gone wild with the humidity.  Truly I strive to not wish a season away but what I dislike most about summer is the heat and humidity.  We've only started summer!  Oh look, me grumbling away. 

While I talk about my creativity challenges I'll be sharing with you some new garden photos.  I find them very pretty to look at inside a cool AC house.


My watercoloring has been challenging.  I've been frustrated with so many aspects and my knee gut response is to not paint.  How sad.  Every stroke, every wrong color choice is a learning opportunity.  I know that and yet every single thing I paint I want to look perfect.  Being a perfectionist is not much fun. 

At the end of a painting session I sit and think about what have I learned.  Sometimes this helps me center or balance my thoughts, my internal dialogue and yes the harsh criticisms.  This simple habit keeps me focusing on something positive. 


I could pull out many many knitting projects that aren't perfect, don't fit the way I want especially ones from many years ago.  My very first sweater I knit as a teen is riddled with mis-measuring and shoddy seaming.  I was young and new at knitting so when I finished the sweater I was thrilled I HAVE A SWEATER!  I made it!  Me. 

I have been knitting for more than 40 years (gulp).  I have decades of a learning curve, muscle memory and knowledge.  My first pair of socks I knitted in the early 1990's were so big they didn't fit my husband.  I remember how happy I was that I knit a pair of socks for the first time.

You see, there are many facets to a given craft.  I measured my first projects with 'look what I completed'.  Much later I tweaked the gauge, the yarns, the needles used.  I learned about fitting garments and better ways to execute a stitch design.


So my pep talk to myself about creativity challenges in watercoloring will go thusly:

'You did it!  you painted a picture!  You sat down, composed a scene and tried your best to combine colors and manage water control.  You've learned how to lift color (how cool is that).'

My other creativity challenge for myself is to let go.  Let go of expectations and assumptions.  I'll report back to you on how well I do this.

Home is where it's at!

My son has been home all week after having his Lasik surgery on Monday.  I've enjoyed having him here and all the chatting we've been doing. I was talking to my husband this morning and declared that all next week I'm not cooking since I cooked every single day this week. 



While on our Cape May vacation I found the sweetest coasters that are plant illustrated.  I've been looking the past six months to replace my rooster set. 


This week has had many other challenges and I've found that what helps me the most is sitting down with my knitting.  I feel calm and relaxed.  Everyone in the world should knit and then the world would be perfect.


How do you overcome creativity challenges?  What dialogue runs in your head?  Share with me in the comments, I'd love to hear you.

Comments

  1. I so agree with you. If everyone played with yarn the world would be a better place. Glad yo had a wonderful time with your son. Enjoy your knitting.

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  2. sadly the dialog that runs in my head is the same as yours ... maybe that should make both of feel better ... or not! so glad your son is staying with you this week while he heals. Lasik is a miracle!

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  3. Letting go of expectations can work miracles! Not that I manage to do it myself very often, but I'm always gleefully happy when I do. Even if it takes you 40 years to paint watercolors in a way that you're happy with, look at the fun and learning you'll have along the way.

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  4. Writing is the craft where I struggle at times. The inner critic is hard to deal with. It is hard to let go of the expectation that everything needs to be done perfectly. I try to remember to find joy in the process. I found this quote somewhere recently, "Writing is about perfect imperfection." Isn't the muscle memory of years of knitting glorious? I love when I just know that a pattern and yarn is working well together.

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  5. I too am a perfectionist. Sometimes I learn from my past efforts and sometimes I just give up. Not the best way to learn and grow. I like that you are sticking with your watercolor. Your self evaluation is difficult to do. We should all be able to fan the flames of our successes while noting our growth rather than elevating the mistakes. There have been times when I have left a project or a pursuit for a while (knitting frustrated me at first) only to return to it years later. I still have yet to learn the finer points of fit for knitting, but maybe someday.

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  6. My biggest struggle is comparison. I try to look at the work of others for inspiration, but it always turns for the bad. Most of the times it undermines my confidence and often I stop trying to do what I was doing because I'm just not as good as they are. And sometimes it's just really frustrating that other people are having more succes/likes/followers/sales while what they do is not that different from what I do. I'm working on this, but it's hard.

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  7. I have found that sewing has provided a wonderful creative outlet for me. I am getting better at extrapolating what is in my minds eye to a garment. But, I agree - it is a process, sometimes a very long process. Sometimes, setting something aside for a bit helps me reorganize my thoughts and calms my frustration - and when I go back, I am much more successful in my attempt!

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  8. I'm glad that your son is recovering well and that you are enjoying having him there.

    I am learning (after 63 years) that everything does not have to be perfect all of the time. I still struggle, but I'm getting better about it. Fortunately, when I don't have my crafting mojo, I can usually still enjoy reading.

    Have a good weekend.

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  9. Letting go of expectations and perfection can be so freeing! And as others have said, you may not always be pleased with what you are doing or have created, but the road there and the joy encountered along the way is what counts! Have a fabulous weekend (in spite of the weather).

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  10. I find the humor in my creative endeavors that are not so perfect. Some of my drawings make me laugh so hard. They really are that comical and I’m ok with it. Some I look back on and think that doesn’t look so bad. I know some people would look at them harshly or deem them a waste of time. I don’t really care, I do them for me. I love trying to draw and paint. I’m glad your the electricity cooperated for the surgery!

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  11. It would be wonderful if the whole world knit! On perfectionism, I frequently wish I was more of a perfectionist. I tend to have the 'it's good enough' attitude while I'm creating something... then after it's finished I'm not thrilled with it because I didn't take the time to make it right. Even when I'm making the 'it's good enough' decision and that little voice in the back of my head is telling me that maybe it's not.... I never listen. Btw, I love how well your shawl and cowl play together in your bag.

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  12. Recently I heard someone say on a podcast that term failure doesn’t need to exist. See it as ‘practicing’. I thought that was a wonderful way of reframing the inner voice that can be so critical.

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  13. I have learnt that the joy is in the creating and not in the final result. I have started painting or more drawing of late and finding it difficult when comparing myself to others so now I don't. Hope all is well with you.

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  14. I feel like you are just writing my own blog for me. The heat and humidity isn't helping anything, that I'm sure about.

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  15. I can get very very critical of my knitting when I am finished. Sometimes I want to cry. Mistakes cry out to me , and I can only see them, not the correct parts. Usually I put it aside for a bit. Later, I can see that I've been too hard on myself. I think the thing that gets underway skin the most is when I knit a hat and the band is too loose. I can't seem to get the fit correct often enough. And I've knit hats for years. Hats are useful and they get lost and you always can use a new one, but I really have to find a better way to knit them. Maybe if I stick to oe weight for a while I'lll finally succeed

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  16. Karen, you know I share the perfection gene with you. That, and also an innate curiosity and desire to learn EVERY craft there is! I am terrible about comparing myself to others, and find that Instagram can sometimes make me feel discouraged; there seem to be so many people who are so good about creating every day! I have at times unfollowed certain artists because instead of inspiring me I felt despair at my seemingly lack of commitment. I think your watercolors are wonderful, and already show so much of your own personality and style. They are charming and I hope you continue! xoxo

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  17. I like your new coasters. I understand your frustration with your painting. I tried to start brush lettering but in reality haven't given it my 100% and left it wayward as I think my lettering sucks. Can you check out some books from the library or maybe even take a class to get more perspective on the craft? Otherwise, I say take a break from your painting. It helps me to be a multi-crafter.

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