The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How is YOUR creative compass?

I went to a lecture today about creativity not knowing what to expect. There was a good chance it was going to be a lot of blah, blah, blah, heady, boring, esoteric kind of stuff. I couldn't really tell from the description. I was somewhat skeptical, but I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did. The guest lecturer was Kathy Kasuwa, a very credentialed and talented fiber artist.

Title: Hidden Garden (11” x 8”)
Kathy explained that after doing decades of studying and research, she has devised a moving wheel similar to a color wheel for artists. Her wheel is designed to help unblock your creativity! Yeah Kathy! Who can't use that. We all get blocked. I know all too well. It happens to me all the time. As I have said before, often times I have so many ideas for projects or experiments that I just can't seem to get started. They make sense in my head but who knows because I can't get out of my own way to try them out. I go thru periods where I am bombarded day and night. I can't shut if off. It actually keeps me awake all night. I scribble notes and sketches in sketchbooks, but still, there are so many ideas rolling around in there. It's paralyzing. I can't seem to just pick one and start working on it. I don't agonize over it. I just feel paralyzed. Most of the time I'll turn to something unfinished to divert my attention and help to ignore the thoughts. It's good. I stop the brain noise and get something completed. It's a win-win. But. .  then the noise starts right back up again. Happily tho, it generally gives me the relief I need. Now I can keep the momentum going and pull out an idea and go to work. Even better, sometimes I start 3 or 4 pieces at once. Pretty smart huh. I know how to trick myself!

Anyway, back to Kathy, she talked about left brain and right brain and how and why we get blocked for so many reasons. Sometimes for not feeling worthy or sometimes fear of failure or the myriad of other negative speak that we all have. Being able to be introspective and learn who we are and what makes us tick really helps our forward movement.

Title: Flight of Fancy (14” x 11”)
Everything she said reinforced what I have felt and said for years. She just has a more scientific and succinct way of saying it. I liked it. The audience was into it too. This was a very creative and talented group and they were riveted. That's always a good sign.

Kathy and I agree that you don't have to be educated in art to be creative. You don't have to have a degree in art to be creative. You just need to have the desire and a starting point. As we all age, we evolve. . . in many ways. Creativity is just one of them. You will find as I did, that you will move quickly from your starting point to a place you really want to be. I had to get some ideas and experience under my belt and build on my old skills with new ones. As I did that new ideas and areas of interest opened up to me. I was invited into groups or just joined some without knowing anyone. . So, I evolved. I went from being too shy to say much to anyone and never showing my work, convinced that it wasn't good enough and didn't measure up to everyone elses, to jumping right in the conversation and more readily showing what I've done. I still hold back on that a bit, but not because I care if anyone else likes my work. Now it's just important that I feel good about it. Knowing it's the best you can do at the time is a peaceful place to be. I went from thinking that I was creating work to get accolades from others and that would validate my day to day existence, to creating work to please myself. If others like it I am thrilled. If they don't, I understand that it is not personal but personal taste.

So what I took away from this lecture is this:
  • Prepare yourself. Gather your thoughts and ideas for what to do next. If it doesn't come to you right away, don't worry about it. There's no pressure.
  • Choose how you would like to move forward. Don't let obstacles get in your way.
  • Feel the excitement for what you are about to do and jump right in. Enjoy the process.
  • Then create it and show it off!
This post does not scratch the surface of what Kathy talked about today. I strongly suggest that if you have an opportunity to see her work, attend a lecture or workshop that you do it. She is a lovely person, very accessible and just oozes talent that seems so effortless. Oh, did I mention that the work she brought to show was spectacular? Well it was. She is going to send me some images that I can share with you as well as create a website herself. So keep coming back for more info about Kathy Zasuwa. I know you will fall in love with every single piece of her work . . . I did.

 Below are 2 images of Kathy's weaving:
Title: Bridges & Ladders (68” x 57”)
Supplemental warp & weft inlay
copper, wool, silk, cotton, rayon, metallic
Title: Sea Sway (20” x 48”)
Supplemental warp & weft inlay
wool, silk, metallic, rayon, cotton

All images are copyrighted © by Kathy Zasuwa.

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