Just finished reading a book on creativity by Questlove called Creative Quest. If you don’t know, Questlove is a founding member of the band Roots and is also the music director on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He’s also one of those artists who seems to have an infinite amount of ideas, energy, and talent. I could be fuming about the injustice of it all (no fair!), but, heck, he’s generous in his support of other artists and his willingness to share credit. And he works darn hard. So, pick up his book and enjoy his insights, learn from his creative struggles, and soak up the scoop on some famous musicians and other celeb friends.
One (of many) takeaways: “Deciding what you’re not before you decide what you are lets you stand strong in our own category.” This boinged me on the head because most of the time I can’t decide what creative outlet I really, really want to pursue. I get distracted by different forms of expression–crochet, embroidery, textile arts, collage, digital painting–well, you get the idea. The only one of these I consider myself good at is crochet, and I will always have some kind of crochet project underway. But I often get sidetracked by the above-mentioned and blindly plunge ahead buying thread, Sharpies, fabric paint, downloading apps, laying (or is it lying?) awake putting projects together in my head when I should be sleeping, etc. It’s a real problem! I’m proof that being unskilled and uninformed is not always a deterrent to taking up something new. Luckily, I’m not interested in race car driving or skydiving.
My current crochet project is a “multi-fiber” scarf for a member show at our local contemporary arts organization. I’m using Malabrigo Machita superwash merino wool, color 881LLUVIAS (beautiful tonal fiber in purples, blues, and greens with a bit of pumpkin thrown in.) This is a fun project because of the fabulous yarn quality and the ever-changing colors that glide across my crochet hook. Panels of this wool are alternated with stainless steel/wool thread (Lion Brand), a not so fun yarn, though I’m happy to report that I’m much more skilled at using the stainless steel/wool thread than when I first started a couple of years ago. It’s a little temperamental, and learning to work slowly and carefully will help one avoid an emotional meltdown triggered by puzzling, undoable knots and snarls, especially if you have to rip out a row or two.
Because I was recently introduced to the Sketchbook app, I thought it would be fun to work out a rough plan for this project even though I had already started and am generally averse to planning. So, shown below is the little sketch I worked up. As you can see, I haven’t mastered all the tools and how to use the color palette, but it was a fun distraction and gave my tired crochet thumb a therapeutic break. You may notice I didn’t color in the whole thing. It sometimes happens that I lose interest in the middle of something, but I’ll get back to it. I promise.
Below is a picture of the actual project. The colors still aren’t exactly true to life, but it’s the best I can do with the iPad and indoor lighting. The finished piece will be embellished with some felted wool circles in varying sizes and colors. Still need to pick those out, arrange them on the piece, and stitch them on. Oh, and maybe I should embroider some of them first, and…STOP. This is when I have to say “Slow down, Buttercup, you’re in pretty deep already.” And, BTW, this is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. I’ve asked for a deadline extension, so, fingers crossed, because there is absolutely no way this will be done! (Why am I blogging instead of working, a smart person might ask. Hell, that’s a very good question!)
I’ll leave you with some beautiful music that I discovered this morning via one of my favorite bloggers–Swiss Miss. It’s kept me motivated all morning despite a gray and rainy day just outside the window.
Who aren’t you? You may discover as I did that we spend so much time creating an identity and solidifying our ego based on who we are that figuring out who we aren’t is a challenge. Give it a try, though. I’m pretty sure you’ll learn something new. (BTW, I am NOT a woodworker, a seamstress, or quilter. Any activity where precision matters is not for me!) I’m just happy to be imprecise, free-floating, mistake-prone me!