Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Creativity is a Process of Trying Things Out



Just a little while ago, I was having a conversation on Facebook about creativity.  Many people think they are not creative.  I disagree.  I think we are all creative.  I think it is part of what it is to be human.  Of course, we are not all creative in the same way.  Some are creative problem solvers in terms of human relations or in terms of fixing things, etc.  Some are creative in terms of arts and crafts. 

I think we often conflate creativity with talent.  Talent seems to be a particular resonance with a particular medium - like singing or drawing or athletics, etc.  Creativity is the process of thinking outside the box, of making associations and connections, leading to new ways of seeing things.  If we are lucky enough to find our talent (mine seems to be stringing beads and making knots), we can use our creativity to develop that talent.  But, first we must learn all the elements of our medium.  For me, it was learning all the knots and how they interact with each other and with beads. 

Then, it is just trying things.  Some of those things will work and some will not...or they will not work in the way we imagined.  But, with each thing we try, we learn something.  Then, we can use what we learned for the next project.  If we are afraid of making mistakes or failing, we block our creativity - So don't be afraid to make mistakes.  You should see my box of mistakes!

Case in point - I recently wanted to try some things with a necklace.  First I wanted to try a slightly different knotting scheme for "knotting in the round" as in my Tubular design.  And, I wanted to try mounting the cords on glass rings...like this:


It was okay, but not quite what I had in mind.  My husband tells me I was dissatisfied only because the necklace did not turn out quite like my mental image.  He may have a point.  I then decided to try another way of adding focal beads...like this:


I liked this much better.  So, I decided this would be an experimental necklace and continued to try some things...like how to finish a segment of tubular knotting with a glass ring (I think I can use this in a bangle bracelet to give it a near seamless finish), and how to keep it tight with a 10mm glass round followed by two alternating half-hitches.  Then, a few more 10mm glass rounds separated by alternating half-hitches for an interesting and flexible transition...


to tie offs of alternating half-hitches ending in tassels...like this:


All in all, once I made another necklace using what I had learned and got some distance from this necklace, I was able to appreciate this one more.  Sure, it did not turn out exactly the way I had envisioned and it has a few irregularities, but I still think it turned out pretty cool. 

And as for that second necklace,...



...the things I learned worked out quite well I think.  Although, I made a couple of mistakes and one new thing I tried did not work out quite well (in terms of structure).  Still, I am happy with it and I do believe I will keep it for myself.  

Then, I made matching earrings for both necklaces:



I have listed the Black and Gold Necklace and Earrings at my ArtFire shop.

I am planning on writing up a tutorial for the finalized necklace design along with the earrings and a bracelet (once I get one made and work out the details). 

Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood