Creativity. It is a word whose meaning we understand. It is something we are all born with and we carry the freedom of expressing our creativity with us for a few years. But over time, the feeling of being creative dissipates and eventually it is limited to those who consider themselves artists. The rest of us move through life - doing what we do - and leaving the real creativity to the children and the artists.
I recently participated in an Instagram challenge called "The 100 Day Project" that was started by a woman named Julie Cameron. The invitation looked like this:
I thought this statement was pretty brilliant - the idea resonated with me and I decided - on whim - to take the challenge. My idea was to plan a series of small hand weavings that would be documented like this: pencil drawings; in-progress photos of the weaving process; the finished product - installed in a would-be setting.
The first thing I noticed was that once I sat myself down and started making little drawings of my weaving ideas, one idea rolled into the next. Instead of not being able to think of things I wanted to weave, I had ideas coming so fast I could not draw them quickly enough.
And as I made my drawings - all in a very cute little notebook - I realized that my drawing skills (marginal at best) began to improve. I moved my pencils from a drawer to a bin on my desk so they were always within reach. I got more comfortable handling the pencils, blending the colors and creating effects that looked more woven than drawn. And - I carried my notebook with me everywhere.
I made my daily posts - sometimes single photos, sometimes a montage - but always showing the process - a drawing, an in-progress shot or the finished product.
As the I moved through the 100 days, the ideas kept coming. I was drawing and weaving and photographing and posting during all my off hours. ( I do - after all - have a full time job! ) But the amazing thing - the thing I had forgotten is that the more you create, the more you create - if you know what I mean. It becomes an exponential process.
My final project was a wedding gift for a friend and colleague. This involved taking my skills one step further in the quest to rediscover my creativity. I wanted to make a set of two pillows and in order to do so, I had to source inserts and fabric for pillow backs and I had to get out the sewing machine and brush up on a whole separate expertise.
I am proud that I was able to stick to The 100 Day Project. I learned something about myself and I feel as though I got back in touch with my creativity in the process. The "Thin Red Line" pillows marked the end of 100 days - but I am still drawing and weaving and photographing and posting. You can follow progress on Instagram: TextilesPlusColor.