The Creative Itch
(Do they make a cream for that?)
My father and brother are intensely gifted artists- they can draw just about anything (they are killer teammates at Pictionary!), figure out design layouts at the drop of a hat, and so on. For years, I’ve been insanely jealous of their abilities, especially my brother who can fix just about anything ( he once fixed a VCR with a part from a remote control car!!) My aunt has become incredibly involved with photography and takes some of most amazing images, so much that people are buying them now.
All of this makes me very aware of my lack of creativity. I know I write on the blog and for other freelance projects and that is an expression of creativity, but I’m talking more about artistic creations. I did try photography in college and while I enjoyed some parts of it, I always felt like I wasn’t being “artsy” enough and finding things that were compelling enough.
And then of course, in my day job as a curator, I am responsible for creating an entire exhibition. But that is a collaborative process with an exhibit designer so it’s not all my own creation either. I come up with concept and write the entire thing, pick the objects, etc. but the end product is not purely my brain child.
I have tried my hand at knitting and counted cross stitch, but didn’t do so great with that. I never really excelled at drawing ( you should see some of the doozy things I make on Draw Something!). Scrapbooking took a level of patience and preciseness that I don’t have the interest in, plus to be honest, any time I walk into Michael’s for inspiration and ideas all I walk out with is a bit of perspiration from the anxiety and overwhelming nature of the place.
I keep thinking about this notion of being creative as something I need to find my way with because I know it is an important outlet for me- I feel like I need to be creating something. I make things in the kitchen and for many chefs, that is their art form, but it doesn’t feel like enough for me. But is that because I don’t do it with the frequency that it could be considered my creative outlet?
I read and hear so much about people who have this great hobby/side job of doing something artistic- graphic design, selling paintings or photographs, etc. that I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m missing something. Would creating a piece of art be the key into my true creative side that would allow me to even further tap into my writing abilities and motivate me to want to do that all the time? Could making a piece of art find me that escape I need from the noise that’s in my head?
There is an art museum right down the street from where I work that offers so many amazing art classes- I know a lot of people who have taken them that give the place rave reviews. There is also a local adult education place that has fairly affordable art class options. I look at the listings for both so many times- taking an art class is on my 30 x 30 list, in fact. Last fall, I went to paint pottery with a college girlfriend in New Hampshire and loved it- I felt so relaxed and enjoyed every moment of it. I found a spot locally to do it, wrote down the address on a post-it in my planner– and yet, six months later, I’ve yet to go.
But I have this desire to create and make something. I know I don’t do it because I’m afraid of failure or not liking something after having made the investment in it. I have a bag of knitting stuff that I’ve not touched since the fall, for example. My sensible, practical brain is telling me not to try anything new because I can’t afford it, but the creative side is practically bursting to come out. I think about what kind of art I want to make more often than not. I’ll convince myself just to get started with a coloring book and crayons bought at the dollar store to feel the relief, but then I talk myself out of spending money on something so frivolous.
I’m not sure how to break this back and forth in my head about how to even start. This is one time in life I wish I could be less practical and let my free-spirit come through because I know she’s in there somewhere- she’s practically yelling at me to get out.