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Stretching my Creativity

Is creativity something that comes naturally to you, or did you have to develop it?

Most children are creative.  My siblings and I were great at playing pretend.  Maybe it’s because we had such a large yard and woods to play in, but I can still remember most of the stories we made up.

As I grew older, creativity fell by the wayside.  In high school, I struggled with being creative; especially in art class when we were given very little directive and could create “anything.” My best drawings were those of architecture and rooms.  I enjoyed drawing spaces and still-life’s, but shied away from people or animals.  I wasn’t imaginative, and drew just the things I could see.

Until I got to college, I don’t think I had ever been in a position where creativity was truly required of me.  First, I met Brenda, my first term drawing instructor.
Brenda taught us to look for inspiration in everything.  This is a lesson I still carry with me today.  If you pay attention and look closely at things, you may find beauty in the unexpected.
 
At the beginning of Brenda’s class, she gave us an assignment no one felt they could complete: 150 sketches due by the end of the term.  11 weeks!  It was daunting for me to find that many things to sketch.  Eventually, my creativity was spurred and I began paying more attention to things around me.  I drew items all over my house, pictures of my friends, things I saw outdoors, and even places I had been to in France the previous year.
One of my 150 sketches: The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
This picture was drawn from a photograph I took.
After our first term and the foundations of design had been laid, we dug deeper.  Our assignments became more difficult, and our creativity was stretched further.  I designed a clock out of PVC which I later gave to my Dad.  In lighting, I made a custom “Mardi Gras” fixture with masks, beads, and color-changing LEDs.  At the time, I know I struggled to come up with ideas and create something unique.  I’m sure I even complained about it.  When the projects were completed, I was proud of myself.  

Now I long for assignments like those.  I feel like I don’t have the initiative to be creative.  Life is so busy and my time is taken up with the kids and taking care of the house.  When I get the opportunity to be creative, it’s like taking a breath of fresh air.  I should probably force myself to do something big {like 150 sketches}, but I know I don’t have the time to do that.  I’m thinking about something on a smaller scale.  

I’m issuing a challenge to myself:Do something creative every day for One Week.

I don’t think it matters what it is, just as long as it gets me to look at things differently.  For example, I might try a new recipe.  I might pull out that sketchbook and do a few sketches.  I might make a craft with my kiddos, or create a custom art print.

I’ll be posting my creative attempts as I complete them.  I can’t promise they’ll be extraordinary, but I’m hoping that it gets me back into the habit of creative thinking.

Wish me luck, and join me if you want!!




Happy Designing! -Cherie

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