Remember that post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I was having an off-week, but realized that off-weeks generally precede really fruitful periods? Well, I called it — I am feeling really, really great! I had thought that I might be all exhausted and apathetic after the FabMo exhibit, but it’s the opposite that has proven true! Seeing everyone else’s amazing creations has inspired me to create even more, and I’m feeling really excited about it. I have noticed that every now and then I am lucky enough to get into a mood of total inspiration, when the ideas just flow like crazy and everything seems possible; that’s how I feel right now, and I love it!
It’s really remarkable, the difference between feeling inspired to create, and just creating because I have to. They do both have merit, and are equally necessary. But my mindset during each phase is just so palpably different from the other, just like expanding and contracting in yoga (which I have written about before). We contract when we feel unsure, when we feel unsteady, whenever there is any fear involved, and the contracting can help us keep our balance. But we only grow when we expand, when we set fear aside and let our energetic joy and curiosity take over instead. And we really do need both. Contraction is excellent for day-in, day-out practice; it helps us feel safe, it gives us a chance to check our alignment and take things slowly; it’s the way we warm up and try things out and get stronger and more sure. Then, when we’re ready, the groundwork is already there for big, expansive, beautiful growth that can take us by delighted surprise — or just come as the natural next step in the process!
So this is how I’m feeling about my crafting right now. If I hadn’t put in the several diligent weeks of practice, I wouldn’t feel confident and excited enough to try new sewing projects now. But since I do have those weeks of hard work under my belt, I am totally eager to play: to experiment, to try out new directions, to stretch and see what I can do. It’s a highly enjoyable feeling and one that’s especially welcome after the nose-to-grindstone work of the past few weeks.
Every serious artist knows this: that we must spend most of our time just working away with a grumbling, self-critical eye, and that those periods of exalted inspiration will come only rarely and stay only briefly. But when they do, it’s just such a grand feeling!!
Oh… and my positive craft-fair experience has emboldened me to share with you just one more of my creations. Since February, I have been maintaining a private art blog that I’ve been using to track my creative achievements and progress on a near-daily basis. I now open this up to you for your perusal. I suspect that for most people, it won’t be a very interesting read because I really do use it as a personal work log, but if you’re at all interested in (a) what I do all day, (b) the day-to-day life of a beginning artist, (c) the creative process, or (d) what I write when nobody’s watching* ;), you might find something there to hold your attention! The art blog also contains my thoughts on the craft fair.
*It’s not completely unfiltered, but it is considerably less filtered than this journal!