Saturday, November 04, 2006

Art Is About Making Connections, Not Distinctions

I miss being creative. Back when I was in school creativity was practically shoved down my throat. There were sewing and pattern making classes, design classes, historic costume projects, papers, research, tear-sheets, and illustration. I remember when I got to my 3rd year in fashion design and opened to a random page in Vogue and finally UNDERSTOOD what Tom Ford was trying to do. It was a big day. There was a time when turning in my inspiration notebook every 2 weeks was mandatory and there had better be something in it when my professor took a look. Once reading fashion magazines was actually homework, not just some light reading in the bathtub. I had to do an entire project comparing current fashion to historic influences, and I LOVED it. I wrote about how a tunic length top was inspired by medieval menswear, and how an entire Ralph Lauren spread was directly inspired by 16th century England. Why am I not in research?

My time in school made me realize for the first time that every creative process is connected. I say for the first time because it will hit me every now and then like it is a brand new concept. A few months ago it was layers. I was working on a textile collage and I was teaching myself to understand how the layers talked to each other. It was amazing how the colors and textures played together. And the same time My Handsome Man was talking about character development for a book in his head- all of the background. All of those layers. And then I bought a CD of Haydn symphonies and again, it was all layers.

Lately I have been forgetting to be creative, and I think it is part of why I get so stressed out. When I'm in a project, not just looking at it but living it, I forget the worries and the tensions of the day. Usually this happens when I'm writing or doing Sudoku puzzles (addict!), sewing or drawing, anything that takes up a whole concentrated section of my brain. When I was a teenager I would go through phases of writing, reading, sewing, viola, knitting, spinning... whatever it was, I was usually only focused on one thing for weeks at a time. Then I'd move on to something else. Now I supposed it feels like work takes up all of that energy, but that's not how it should be. What I do isn't really creative anyway, I think I just use it as an excuse to sit on the couch and watch TV.

I can't ignore the creativity, just like I can't ignore the daily walks. It is a part of me, and it's a part that has to be honored and respected, or I get grouchy and feel out of sorts. Nobody likes me when I'm like that- especially me.

Walked today! YAY!

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