February 26, 2010

Oh Creative One! My son finds maths difficult just now. He wants stories and words and adventures and if we do homework and I ask, “4 + 2?” He replies, “I’m hungry,” or “First tell me about pterodactyls,” or “Is it bath time?” So, I now tell a story. “Four of your friends are pretending to be diplodocus and two more of your friends want to play with you. How many children will be playing?” After a few qualifications, “The two friends will be Emma and Conner. And, Emma wants to be a parasopholus who is lonely. Conner wants to be a t-rex….” this goes over better. We get to the answer, I get an insight as to who matters to him, and we have the best time doing maths in a jurassic landscape.

Distractible Creative One. You have a weakness. You and I both know that there is a weakness in your creativity. But let’s get over equating “weakness” as a bad thing. I think if you try to work with your weakness, you might find your work goes somewhere very interesting. See you Monday.


More Mythical Creatures

February 25, 2010

Oh Creative One! I am an American Idol fan. I’m not a “reality tv” fan, but I am an American Idol/ X factor fan. The theme this week was “defining moment.” Like “starving artists,” I also find “defining moments” unrealistic. If you listen to these guys, there is so very much practice that goes into defining moments. And, what’s more, these “moments” often do not fully define the artist. No heavens open. Money does not rain down on them. It’s a bit like mistaking a wedding for a marriage.

Patient Creative One, keep at it. Don’t let society’s belief in fleeting and ill-defined “defining moments” rule your creative life. You are here for a reason. You must practice. You must wake every day and choose to respect the artist that you are.


February 24, 2010

Oh Creative One! I don’t buy that myth that one must starve for one’s art. Not a bit. It’s unrealistic and unbecoming. In my world, starving artists whine about food all the time and are not self-sufficient. I want you to support yourself. I want you to go to your boring job. I want you to pay your bills with the most efficient and paid work you can find. I want you to work secure in the knowledge that you have a strong secret life beyond all of those fluorescent lights.

Hard-working Creative One! Create when you can. Know that the beauties that come whispering to you will return when you are ready to reply with your own wonders. Have faith that you will create after the bills are paid. If it is important enough, I know you will.

The Call

February 23, 2010

Oh Creative One! I still have that top-ten list bee in my bonnet. I think another reason that list bugged me is that most of the tips were made from the assumption that you want cash off your art. Of course, I would love to make cash off my work! But that is so very far away from the question at hand for most artists. How do I nurture my newborn project? How do I raise it right before I trust it will find its way in the world?

Strong Creative One. Cash will come later along with criticism. Don’t over-expose your newborn piece to “tips” and outsiders before it is ready. How do you know when it’s ready? When it stops calling your name when you shower, or make breakfast, or walk the dog, or get bored at work…

Do It Yourself…

February 22, 2010

Oh Creative One! The newspaper ruffled my feathers this weekend with a list of “top ten things to do” if you are a writer by “top ten writers.” Whatever. Each top ten list was different. One even mentioned “writing every morning.” BAH! If I wrote every morning my kids would go unfed and unclothed before dashing off to school not to mention the unsightly mess or the unsafe mood I’d be in without sleep.

Cherished Creative One, remember. Remember, remember, remember. This is your story. Yours alone. It should only look like your story and it should not look exactly like anyone else’s. Explore the tools that have worked for others. Try them on for size. If they help, keep them. If not, put them safely away until you change as an artist and maybe need a new tool to create. Remember, this story is yours and it is a lovely one and it cannot be written by strangers.

Off Topic

February 19, 2010

Oh Creative One! I had a story about synesthesia. It is a condition where one’s body melds the senses. Colors have texture, sounds have smells, words have temperature and color. But today, after my two-year-old daughter told a tall tale, I changed my mind. Today, after her tall story, my husband asked her “Do you like exaggeration?” As a two-year-old would do, she asked, “Why?” She asked, “What zagagation?”

Brilliant Creative One! There is one thing missing when you look at a painting, or listen to a story, listen to music you are not performing. As the consumer you are not DOING the ACT. Be kind to those who appreciate your work. Find that bit of exaggeration that helps them feel the way you do when you create. Beautiful, strong, other-wordly…

Left Out

February 18, 2010

Oh Creative One! Many of Vermeer’s paintings are done in front of windows with concrete evidence of the natural light he used to paint. I often wonder what is on the other side of the window? Children shouting? A delivery off a horse-drawn wagon? Lovers kissing secretly? It is fascinating, what is IN a picture or play or story or poem or sculpture and what is left OUT.

Curious Creative One! What is IN your work? What have you unknowingly left OUT? Should it remain on the outskirts? Cast a shadow? Perhaps you should invite it in, apologize for hurting its feelings, leaving it out in the cold like that…

…wherever you are.

February 17, 2010

Oh Creative One! Proprioception refers to your body’s ability to know where it is in space. Your cerebellum collects loads of information at any one given moment; your balance, the weight on your foot, the air against your skin…I could go on. The cerebellum asks your body, “Where are you?” and your body says, “Here I am!”

Aware Creative One! Do you know where your current piece is in space? What is next to it? How fast is it moving? What informs your work, but hasn’t made it to the page or stage? Have you asked, “Where are you?” and have you heeded its reply?

Belly Button

February 16, 2010

Oh Creative One! Apparently, most belly buttons do not have nerves. In fact, medical professionals are taught, “Belly buttons do not have nerves.” Mine does. No one believed me. Ultrasound exams when heavily pregnant were uncomfortable and no one listened when I said, “Stop! My belly buttons has nerves!” No one believed me until I was in labor with my daughter and the nurse had a nerve-y belly button too. She put monitors and blankets in the right place and never touched my uncomfortably nerve-y belly button. What a difference it makes to have someone listen to me.

Attentive Creative One, listen to your work. Each piece is wired a bit differently. Each has secrets unique to its creation. You can discover them and keep them in your pocket as your own or pass them on to dear friends. But first, you must listen.


February 15, 2010

Oh Creative One! I worked with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing for 15 years before I started my family. A father, who was Deaf since birth, decided to get a cochlear implant at the same time that his 1 year old daughter got hers. He was surprised at what had sound; his car’s windshield wipers. He was even more surprised at what did not have a sound; the sun. How could something so warm and brilliant not have a sound? Why get an implant if there wasn’t even a sound for the sun to have?

Delightful Creative One! I’m so happy to see you again. I wonder what you find unjust? The sun’s lack of sound? That words do not have a taste? You cannot feel love under your fingertips like old cashmere? Do tell.