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The “D” Word

May 6, 2014 , In: General, Inspiration, Studio
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In yesterday’s post, the very awesome Louise Goodchild asked a terrific question: “What do you do to kick start your creativity if your muse
has done a vanishing act?”

Several versions of this question have been rattling around in my head since my business partner Lisa gave a presentation to the San Antonio Glass Art Guild on a similar issue a couple of weeks ago. How do we motivate ourselves? What’s the difference between people who long to make a creative life and those who actually do? How on earth do some people make dozens of gorgeous components or pieces in a weekend while others of us spend the same amount of time with the jewelry equivalent of a writer’s blank page? How is it that some makers manage to become unique and recognizable artists while others struggle to find the “it” that speaks to and about them?

Beautiful ceramic components by Karen Totten
Rebecca Payne’s leather feathers – yum!
Gorgeous ceramic components in progress by Diana Ptaszynski
It isn’t that they’re more talented (sorry ladies!) – though they are indeed extraordinarily talented. It boils down to discipline – they sit down and do the work, whether they feel like it or not.

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do
that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.

– Pearl S. Buck

Ouch. There have been lots of times I’ve chosen a movie or a nap over pushing through and doing something productive at my bench, because I didn’t “feel it” that day. What did I miss by not requiring a measure of discipline from myself?

You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be.
Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff
to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about
yourself.

– Frederic Terral

I’ve been in a funk – both personally and creatively – for several months, and I wrote about it recently on my blog. But this recurring question about the “how” of creativity has jolted me into looking at it in a different way: I can’t expect to be creative if I’m not creating.
(Insert “I coulda had a V-8” headslap here.)
Let me put it another way:
So, my answer to yesterday’s question?
Go make something.
Until next time –

Francesca Watson

Francesca Watson got bit by the jewelry-making bug in 2008, when she and a few girlfriends took a simple stringing class at a local bead shop. Now, she is co-owner of The Makery, a working and teaching studio and gallery in the Texas Hill Country outside San Antonio where Francesca creates and teaches metals, wire and enameling full time, and indulges an emerging interest in mixed media. She and her husband Nick have been married since 1989 and have one grown daughter.
  1. Reply

    I think we all at some time use the excuse that "I'm not as good / talented / gifted as others" to avoid justify our lack of creating.
    I am so guilty of only creating when I'm in the mood. This is such a good kick in the pants for me.
    thanks for sharing this.
    I have to go create now.

    • Reply

      Good for you, Deb! Go create and tell those "not good enough" voices in your head to shut up! 🙂

  2. Reply

    I needed to hear this today more than anything, I think. And I most definitely needed to be reminded to create for the sake of learning… instead of selling. Thank you so much for this post. Sincerely.

  3. Reply

    I often blame my family for my lack of work. I typically need solid blocks of time. I rarely have solid blocks of uninterrupted time as I have to chauffeur or deal with something that needs to be done or cook dinner or whatever. However, I find the more I work, the more satisfying and creative my work is.

    Two books I recommend reading: Do the Work by and also The War of Art. Both by Steven Pressfield.

    • Reply

      Exactly – work more, more satisfaction, more creativity. I'll look for those books!

  4. Reply

    Well, didn't that just come right when I need to hear it? Thanks doll!

  5. Reply

    Sometimes I do something simple in the studio-jump rings, ear wires…something I know I will need and just beginning a simple process will kick start the "real" work! Thanks for the post…

    • Reply

      Yup – me too. Sometimes just stringing a few beads is enough, or making some simple wire components. Whatever it takes! Just do it! (Apologies to Nike.)

  6. Reply

    This is an inspiring post Francesca.

  7. Reply

    We writers have an acronym BiCFoK, our recipe for success: Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.

    • Reply

      Susan, I love that! What would that be for jewelers? Maybe BiCHoM (Butt in Chair, Hands on Metal)? Or, BiCHoT (Butt in Chair, Hands on Tools)?

  8. Reply

    I totally needed this post! Thank you so much.

  9. Reply

    Haha, I've chosen the nap many times too! Sometimes I really do need it, but a lot of the time it is like you say, I'm just not feeling the urge. I have on occasion (but not often), made myself do it anyway, and usually (except when I actually was too fatigued) the urge would come once I had started working on something. The physical and mental exercise of it would wake me up. I need to suck it up more often, thanks for the reminder!

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