Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Case of the Creative Overachiever

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. I know you hear me. You're probably one of us: all the A-type artists out there. You have yet to meet a creative outlet or medium you can live without. That 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby or Michael's, you need it every week. Always some collection of art or textile supplies that needs a little filling out. And don't get me going on joining up. It was bad enough when classes came in the form of adult ed at the local high school or community center, maybe the yearly convention of your preferred art form --quilters, beaders, painters, multimedia dabblers--come to town, and there goes a week and a week's pay!

But nowadays, what's a starving artist to do, when the computer that faces you down every morning starts whispering your name: "'s a pattern for that thing you always wanted, here's a challenge that's been designed just for you, here's a class by that renowned teacher (and there might never be another!), a book you must read, ten new blogs to follow...heck, Cheryl, the world is waiting for you to write a blog!"

I started this current endeavor just a few weeks ago with a schedule and all good intentions, and already I'm falling behind. So sue me! I'm drawing and painting and sewing so fast and furiously, I don't have time to write about it. Even on my one day off last week from the relentless schedule I've created, I started a new project in yet another of my favorite past times, bead weaving. (And even now I can hear the sound of those tiny glass voices calling me!)

Thousands of tiny glass beads will some day be a bracelet.

These large glass rhinestones are called rivolis. I'm sewing
them into bezels of tiny glass beads.

So it's any given day...And Wow!...all the picture taking and scanning and uploading; naming and tagging and commenting and replying to comments. I can hear my blood pressure rising. I can feel my left brain taking over my right brain, and.. Ouch!...squeezing the creative joy right out of me. Must breath! Must slow down! Must update my Etsy Store. After all, the holiday shopping rush has begun this week and there are unlisted items to be added.

Whoa, horsey! What we need is balance here. The opportunities are so great to learn and interact and practice our skills, but the payback is the loss of uninterrupted time for real creativity to flourish. Real art is not just another task accomplished, or is it? Maybe being too leisurely all these years didn't help either, didn't encourage me to gain the necessary skills that having nose to the grindstone seems to produce. I have gotten the impression from my recent reading of Danny Gregory's "An Illustrated Life" that talent is only a small part of the equation; that putting in the daily work is what brings about the confidence to get the goods out from the creative place and into existence. Six weeks ago I didn't have a flikr account, and now I have a "photostream" of some thirty-six items, some of them even good, all of them a step closer to real art.

Week two of sketching class: leaves

Week four of sketching class: flowers

Week five of sketching class: shoes

This is the final week of my sketching class with Jane. Time to pull out the Moleskine sketchbook I bought for Melly's class last August and used only that one time. Time to take a deep breath, set aside the frenzy, and accept my artistic destiny. I'm going to draw and paint! And maybe do a little beading as well. Or start a new sweater? What about the quilt in the closet...


  1. LOL! I am so glad I am not the only one! Wishing you a "peaceful" Thanksgiving doing whatever your heart desires. Your drawings/watercolors are wonderful.

  2. Love your bezeled rivolis. Haven't tried that yet...still focused on the drawing and painting. If I get the beads out, it'll be all obsessive beading again...but you know how that goes already! Your studio, or your whole house, maybe, might be like mine, with all the supplies there ready for whatever activity strikes the fancy at a moment's notice. Never enough hours!

  3. Geez! I never tire of blogging! And you have an Etsy shop, I don't. The Comfy Clogs? You painted the shininess!