Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Defining your creative self #1

I brought up one of my pieces of art to illustrate today's blogpost.
I am an artist. I am a quilter. I am a writer. I am the sum of my history and interests and plans for the future.What you do for a living is often different from what your avocation or passion is. I am a recovering social worker who helped children survive. Now I am a working, consumed, art maker who loves fiber.

Art now consumes most of my waking hours and a few dreams. How was I creative BQ (before quilting)?

Despite the world trying to make me into an obedient student, daughter, girl, person,
 I believe I was always creative.
Creative people are sometimes perceived as being...  different.

 I wrote a list of the ways I was creative as a child this morning. In 2 minutes I had a list of 30 ways I was creative from childhood until I discovered original quilts. I'll share that list another time, shall I?

Today I am considering the general concept of living a creative life and wondered about you, my blog friends. How were you creative before quilting entered your life? Did you grow up using your creativity?

 As a child I was always quietly imagining stories, writing plays, turning old mismatched jewelry into speaking entities  with personalities who lived in cities made from towels. I melted crayons and ran the colors together. I spent a good amount of time alone making stuff, but also wanting to play with friends.

Even then it was a balance of alone time to imagine and create VS the need to be with friends. Then, as now, my friends didn't always get the creative side of me. Going through the psychology program in university, I was a volunteer for extra credit, test-taker. The grad student analyzing the results was often surprised that I scored highly in opposite elements. I explained it depended on the situation... I needed to be alone to create, but am also extroverted, and love to be around people. 

Expressing your original self or making original art,  is a drive, and isn't always understood by others who prefer to blend in. That choice is valid too, just not my choice.

Are you an artist who also likes to be around others?  Have you found a group to fit into? What's that like?


  1. I don't really like to create with other people, I'm much happier working on my own. But I am lucky enough to have several craft loving friends who I really appreciate. And like you, I've always had the urge to be creative - writing and drawing mainly when I was young. But I'm not sure I believe creative people are so different. I feel everybody has the ability to be creative, which can be expressed in so many different ways, and is obviously not the same as being artistic for example. All the young children I've ever come into contact with show so much creativity in their play. But I think very often, rather than being nurtured this creativity is squashed, one way or another, either at home or school and then is not always found again in adulthood. A huge shame because I believe being creative is such an important part of being a happy human. We live in a time where mental illness is incredibly common and I think rediscovering our creativity is such a great way to counter this. Sorry, not a short, snappy comment!

    1. I absolutely agree that creativity is in all of us. I was thinking of so many of my acquaintances who make art, and feel slightly different than the general population. They often feel like outsiders. Thanks so much for the thoughtful response

    2. I started young, making clothes for my Barbie's and troll dolls. Then finished some of my Mom's embroidered pillow cases. Grandma taught me to knit, and I was self taught in macrame. All thru high school I made batik, sand candles, card weaving, (1970's) tie dye, and learned to hand piece from Roberta Horton when she first taught quilting at Albany High Adult Ed. I was about 15years old in a class full of adults. I made many king size "trip around the world quilts", cutting squares one at a time with scissors! Then I spent 10 years making a LARGE doll house and all the furnishings, then discovered rotary cutting and "Quilt in Day" There has been no stopping me since!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO CREATE!!

  2. Hi LeeAnna,
    A great, thought provoking post to start the day!
    Did you ever melt crayons detween waxpaper and cut them out to make Fall leaves? Fill a milk carton with ice cubes and pour melted parafin wax coloured with melted crayons over them, let the wax harden, peel away the milk carton, do this part over the sink! (don't forget the candle wick before adding the wax)?
    As a kid I was always creating! We used what we had, now it's called recycling! I learned to sew at school though, so that I knew the "right" way to do things when a test came! I've been creative in the kitchen since....forever! Made tea biscuits for a Brownie badge! After persuing a dream job that had to be left behind I tried a few different things. Even worked in a fabric store for a year and a half before quilting came into my life!
    Creativity is now also enjoyed in the garden!
    There's lots we can talk about! Take this conversation further over coffee and dessert!
    Take care,

  3. I never did the ice cube crayon thing... Wish you were closer so we could try a few creative activities in MY garden... it needs something...

  4. I don't consider myself an artist, however I'm definitely creative. I've always loved to write and to make anything with my hands. I've tried it all and decided I don't like the messy crafts (paint, clay, etc.), I prefer the "dry" crafts (sewing, knitting, jewelery making, etc.).

    I'm lucky to have amassed a large group of friends who love to quilt. But sometimes I do need a little quiet time if I'm trying to accomplish something more difficult.

  5. I love this post. I may feature it on my blog on it's own in the near future. In the meantime, thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursday!