A few weeks ago, I discovered a most inspiring, insightful, impactful podcast called A Beautiful Anarchy. It’s for people the author, photographer David duChemin, calls “everyday creators” but I believe that the wisdom emanating from this podcast will apply equally well to anyone who does or wants to do anything they consider important. This podcast cuts straight to the nitty-gritty of the struggle creatives have just simply creating; all the wars we fight with ourselves over it as if making stuff, which comes natural to us from childhood, is the most difficult thing to do in life. Listening to this podcast has made me see that, yes, I am and have always been a creative and that the struggle is a ridiculous waste of my brainpower and the precious moments of my life.
I have always felt I was meant to be an artist but somehow was never sure what I was supposed to make. I thought to be called an artist, you had to know what kind of artist you are, in advance; therefore, since I don’t know, I must not be an artist. I’m referring to visual art here, not the performing arts (I’ve devoted much of my life to those).
I am, most certainly, a creative. For someone who has never known what to make, I’ve actually managed to make quite a bit: I’ve upcycled and refashioned clothing into new clothing and/or jewelry creations; I’ve made dance costumes out of scraps and findings; the curtains in my home studio I made from scrap fabric and the ones in my bedroom are two sets of curtains sewn together to make new curtains; I’ve made pieces, now framed, out of buttons and jewelry and fabric and clay; wall hangings; plant hangers; an anniversary collage for my husband out of all the cards he’s given me over the years, plus a cut-out-wolf-thingie he always kept on the wall in his cubicle; and I’m sure a bunch of other things are around this house that I made. But I never knew what I should make. Mm-hmm.
In my last post, Life on the Outside, I lamented that the world seems about ready to return to “normal” but that I don’t want to return with it. Part of my not wanting to go back is my love of art and the pull it’s always had on me. I’ve made things all my life but never acknowledged myself as a maker and now that I’m beyond middle age, I’ve been pining over the idea that I don’t have as long to live as I’ve already lived and I don’t want to leave this life not having thrown myself wholeheartedly into making. Someone said: “There are two kinds of writers: those who write and those who talk about writing.” Well, I had pretty much resigned myself to believing that I am that type of creator that talks about creating but never actually creates. Until I stopped pining and looked around and realized I have always done just that. I guess I was waiting to receive my artist card in the mail.
So this is a new road I’m going to travel.
Rather, I’m going to travel the road I’ve always traveled but this time I’m going to acknowledge that I’m traveling it by treating it as a journey worth taking to a place I love to go.
Just reading over a prior paragraph confirms for me that I have a thing for fabrics. I love their textures, their flexibility, their ability to join up with other objects to create whole new creations. I’ve decided to semi-retire and spend more time, planned time, disciplined time, exploring this love and making on purpose, just for the joy of making. It’s important to me and I don’t want to just do it on the fly anymore.
Art is beautiful. Fabrics and textures are beautiful. Touching and molding and creating new things is beautiful. And that’s what I’m going to do.
I came across a fun term recently: “naive art.” It’s a real thing. Here’s a definition I found for the term: “Art by people who don’t know what they’re doing.” That’s me!!!
Let’s get down to it!