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12 Secrets: Chapter 2

March 12, 2009

Personal Attractions

Challenge: Capture personal attractions, possibly in a daily collage.

Nature: Love to walk. (Not so much about nature.)

Taking Time: I keep a notebook—collect words, info, ideas, thoughts; not doing. Still not sitting down and being present to work.

Sanctuary: Tried this; over and over. It has not worked. I think it still comes back to clutter: every space I designate and claim, becomes cluttered, and I have to start over again. I guess in addition to being in the middle of removing clutter, changing my habits are a factor.

Creative Rituals: A way to transition to art time. Lately, after tucking my kids, just sitting and watching television for awhile is working. However, it is a long transition period (often a couple of hours), so I am still working on this. Maybe incorporating incense and tea in the after tucking time; maybe a snack for reviving energy to keep going. Keeping the kitchen table clean after meals, and available to work has been a huge help.

Challenge: Creative Style Inventory

1. when did my creative awakening occur?
I think when I was in middle school, about 13 years old. I was in a need to create, working through depression.

2. what talents do I have, naturally?
I am a split analytical-creative person, functioning more on the analytical side right now. Natural talents: Organizing, extreme attention to Detail, Design for function; Editor.

3. which elements (fire, water, wood, air) draw me?
I have no idea. As a leo, I assume that I am connected to fire energy, but I am not independently conscious of this type of connection.

4. where and when do I create?
Squeezed in the day with the kids (sort of), and evenings I attempt to work but am often tired.

where and when do I wish to create?
During the day, if I have help with the kids, and evening (before I am too tired).

5. what activates my creative energy? ideas.
what drains it? clutter. kids.

6. do I use creative rituals?
Not yet. Ideas: walk, television wind-down time, incense.

7. does nature influence my creativity?

8. what has been my greatest creative hurdle so far?
Energy and Clutter.

9. what time of day am I most receptive to inspiration?
Any time. I get ideas all the time.


Artist Talk: Linnea Spransy

February 18, 2009

The Art Department here at the University of Missouri-Columbia has started a lecture series on Wednesday evenings. They are intended to be educational talks for the students, and open to the community. Tonight, Linnea Spransy, an artist in Kansas City, Missouri, spoke, and I loved her talk. She talked about her process, growth in graduate school and more.

12 Secrets: Chapter 1 (continued)

January 27, 2009

I drafted this last week, during Chapter 2, and am now catching up and getting this posted (week 3, Chapter 3). Note: This is wordy, so here is a list of the sections in today’s blog (they have subheadings for identification), so you can jump to or skip parts as needed. (Who knows, I may appreciate this in the future.) (Yup, this is my analytical side!):
• Introduction—thanks, about comments
• Chapter 1—supplementing my original post, additional thoughts/comments on my history and present influences.
• Blogging—style/format, purpose


There are wonderful and incredible creatives in this group. I want to thank those who have contributed comments—it means a lot. I am still getting my feet under me, so I have just been trying to make time for art every day, and skimming others’ blogs. As I get more settled, I will make time to read more blogs and contribute comments.

Chapter 1:

History. I have always been a creative. (I learned as an adult that I am a split analytical/creative person.) Discouragements: Growing up with the attitude in my family that “art is fine, as long as you have a ‘real’ job.” Also, something about art class in sixth grade. I did not draw well—a face, for example. It must have been something about that lack of ability to draw. It might have been something internal. It is possible my sixth grade art teacher made suggestions/comments regarding my art, that I took in a negative way, but I do not remember anything like that. I vaguely remember my sixth grade art teacher asking me later why I did not continue taking art classes—and it surprised me. I guess at that point I thought I was not a good artist because I could not draw realistically. I have tucked away and not shown a few pieces that I thought people would think were weird. This “art is not important” attitude, and clutter (i.e., too much stuff), have contributed to my shutting down. (On the bright side, having had too much stuff throughout my life, I have become a great organizer and skilled at making more stuff fit in a space and grouping things for functionality!) My life history, especially stuff, interactions with others as I grew up and my propensity for language (which I get from my parents), have all made me a great organizer and editor, and influences my interests relating to art (and my personal commentary on the world through my art), specifically, processes (how things function—activities, as well as forms, documents) and perception/perspective.

Chapter 1:

History (cont). It occurred to me during the Chap 2 week that it would be great to gather all of the old art I have made (that I still have) and look it over (and put as much as I can online). That is my next project on this journey.

Chapter 1:

Present. Now I have wonderful support: family, friends. I still have to overcome the old, disabling habit of shutting down. That is the brick wall that I have come against. I think by removing the clutter, I am removing the bricks, hence removing the wall that is in my way, that I cannot get around.

On blogging

Style—I have decided to avoid contractions. Using them is conversational and I often type them out of habit (so I expect I will miss them sometimes in editing). It just seems more appropriate for something I am putting out to the world, in writing, to not use them. I also have a minimalist writing/editing style, so I avoid periods in abbreviations and do not use commas before “and” and “or” in items in a series.

More on blogging

The other thing I have been considering about blogging is the purpose. (I figure others may assume the following, already, but I wanted to work it out for myself, here, in words.) What I am writing is about me, certainly, but not just about me; and while I am the center of my universe <grin>, I am certainly not the center of your universe and when you read my blog, you want something of interest to you. (Like marketing, it is not all about the business and who they are, but about the customer and satisfying their needs. Note: I am not functioning as a business here, at least not until I have some art to sell!) Well, hopefully, I can satisfy both worlds. So here is my take on how I will approach this blog: I am using this a springboard for my creativity. That is my “about me” part and more importantly, my motivation. I plan to write about things like process, and to show the things I create. In this way, if these things are of interest or use to you, then that is part about you. (Am I being painfully plain and obvious? Hopefully not: It seems like sometimes people skip over the basics, and it feels important to start my blog by putting this out to the world.) I think if I get wordy, and cover multiple topics, I will add a note about sections at the beginning, so you can skip over any parts that are not of interest or use.


January 10, 2009

My first exposure to blogging. The impetus for starting this blog is my struggle to create again, to be a creative again, and the Next Chapter book blogging group, which is beginning a journey through the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: a portable mentor by Gail McMeekin.

I am a creative who has been shut down for a long time: Overwhelmed by clutter and taking on too much. My husband and I are deep into decluttering right now, which is challenging to coordinate with quality time for our kids. It is an exhausting balancing act. Yet, we are accomplishing so much and it is wonderful. I am using this cleaning energy, as well as Creative Every Day, the Next Chapter, the e-mail group for the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction and related participation, as motivation, and to learn from and experience other wonderful, creative people. I have been beginning for awhile, and this is a new beginning :)____

What do I do? As a visual artist, I create in many ways, except realistic painting. Collage, sculpture, beadwork, book design/making, coloring and photography (the old-fashioned kind—black and white, develop own film and prints; I especially love making photograms). I also want to further explore encaustic and altered books. When our home is more functional, I will design furniture, window coverings and more, that I have had in mind for a long time. I have started creative journaling and still trying for creation time every day. I am also a designer, editor and organizer. These things overlap with my artistic self. As an editor, I edit space and content for my art, as well as words and text for publication. As a designer and organizer, I am interested in how things function, and processes. How to make things fit, work well and be enjoyed aesthetically.

That summarizes my beginning. If you have comments, I would love to see them. As I am new to blogging, I am reviewing all comments, and may only post some comments. Note: If you visit this page again, and it looks different, it probably is, because I am still editing heavily as I get the hang of this. I look forward to connecting with other creatives and sharing this journey to accomplishing more creative energy!

Be well.