Friday, January 21, 2011

Why fear creativity??

Oops, I did it again...
I've gone over a week without a blog post...

I'm sorry! =-(

I've been recuperating from the hectic completion of my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project which was due last Saturday and I was determined to have it postmarked the day before the due date...until I found out they changed the date to accommodate what has been a lot of bad weather in New York!

Well, it's completed and submitted and that is the important thing!

 The back and front cover of my submitted sketchbook - my theme was "your name here"...

I've also been simmering over something I came across last week that I want to share with you here...

In a blog post from last week, Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style posed the question:

He posted videos on his blog and began a conversation with one of friends and cohorts in style, Debra Rapoports, to begin a discussion of this important question. Now, some of you might ask:

What do style and creativity have in common?

I'll tell you:


Debra really hit the mark with her statement that creativity is all about expression and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I also agree with her that this culture really does fear creativity and makes it hard for people to embrace their creative urges.

However, there is also a question that seems to stop people in their tracks on the path to creativity:

What if it's not good enough?

I'll tell you:


Okay, this is not much of an art page, but it says something true about me that others might relate to...and that was the beginning of how I approached my theme...

Honestly, where do you people get the notion that the first attempt at painting, writing, photography, dance, music, etc has to be "The Best Thing Ever Created in the Whole History of Creating"??!?

  • do you think the first paintings by Rembrandt were masterpieces?
  • do you think the first writings of Charles Dickens were superb?
  • do you think the first photos taken by Ansel Adams were breathtaking?
  • do you think the first dances choreographed by Martha Graham were stunning?
  • do you think the first compositions made by Mozart were brilliant?

Okay, maybe in the case of Mozart they may have been brilliant first compositions considering his genius, but you must know that he began to play piano at the tender age of FOUR YEARS and that is the missing piece of creative brilliance - many of the greats began creating at a young age and DID NOT STOP. This is the part of the creative equation that many people do not grasp because all we ever see is the final product...

A page with a fun fold out containing a thoughtful quote...

 Maya Angelou knows what she is talking about:
"We delight in the beauty of the Butterfly, but rarely admit the changes is has gone through to achieve that Beauty"

I do try to show projects in progress but when I'm in the thick of creating, it can be hard to remember to grab the camera and start documenting the process! But do not for one minute think that anything I make is an easy process, nor do I expect GREATNESS with everything I create...

I DO expect to get better and better with each and every creation since it always affords me the opportunity to practice and use skills I have honed over many years and I CAN expect to get better with more practice and experience...after all, the old riddle is true:

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, PRACTICE!

One of a series of statements or vows throughout my sketchbook - if you agree with the statement or take the vow, sign "your name here"...

If you are concerned that your first attempt at creativity will not be great, when can you expect it to be great if you don't even start, let alone start practicing??

Really, you have to start at the beginning, whether you like it or not, but the sooner you start and the more you practice, the better you will get, I promise you =-)

If you are reading this blog and you are keeping yourself from creating something because you are afraid that it won't be good enough, will you please ask yourself this question:

"Who am I making this for?"

I hope your answer will be:

"I'm making it for ME!"

Then, I hope you will please start creating that thing you have been dreaming of in your head, but if you need an extra nudge:

You have my permission to start creating and above all, to start PLAYING!

If you agree with anything I have written here today, sign "your name here"! ;)

If you'd like to see more images from my sketchbook, you can find them on my Flickr page with notes about several of the pages I created...


willywagtail said...

Cherrie agrees!

Kathryn Hansen said...

i like your permission slip page!

best of luck with your sketchbook submission!!

slommler said...

I totally agree!!