Monday, November 4, 2013

Weighing the choices creativity roadblocks 6

Do you have trouble making choices about your quilts? Does the decision making period that comes with any original design upset you? Do you think "real" artists just know what to do?

These are a few questions when deciding if decision-making is one of your roadblocks to creativity.

If you have problems making choices, is this a personality characteristic or is it isolated to your craft? I believe the source determines the solution here.

 If it's part of your personality, then allow yourself to see many or all of the choices before deciding which one to pursue. For example, if you must choose a border fabric, pull out all the possibilities from your stash, then try them out one by one, eliminating ones til you come up with the few that would work. One will seem best, many will be fine as well, maybe not the best but also fine. Acknowledge the choices, then narrow them down one by one until you reach a number that will all work if chosen. There is not always a right one.

Remember, making original work is challenging as there are no guidelines, no one has been there before to draw out a pattern for you OR able to judge you for your personal choices. If you are making your own pattern, then by definition it will be right. So there, critics!!

If you only have trouble making choices in your artwork, not in general, then maybe you don't trust your abilities as much as you trust others. Maybe you think there is a perfect choice and you just can't find it. Maybe you need to learn a new technique or skill to make the art look like it does in your mind's eye. If you dither a while, that's not only okay but preferable in some circumstances, as a perfect fabric might not be in the stores yet, or the technique you seek hasn't been mastered yet. It's okay to let a project simmer a while on the back burner.
The problem comes in to play if you never finish anything because you can't make the choices needed.

Often there just is no perfect choice, there are acceptable choices, maybe better ones, but no right one til you are content. I'd like to go one further, and say even if you finish a quilt, and look at it critically seeing what displeases you, it's okay to note the problem areas, and put it away, maybe even giving it to someone who doesn't know it isn't perfect and loves it, and learn from that piece. You won't make that mistake again, you'll come closer to your goal next time. Go ahead and quilt, there will always be more fabric, more ideas, more patterns to try, another chance to quilt it better.

I say, allow some time to weigh the choices, then just make it. Love it or learn from it.


  1. Love it or learn from it--- that's why there's a Poured Out 2 quilt for me, not just a Poured Out quilt. I sometimes do way too much "sit and stare time" as I make my choices. Samples, test pieces and working in a series help me move forward.

  2. Very interesting reading! I think for many of us we have too many things we want to create and lots of choices! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  3. You said it perfectly! I'm printing this one out for the journals (and I bet you're surprised/relieved at the brevity of this comment!)