Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Creative Interests Assessment- How to.....

My creative interests run deep and wide. There are many tasks that my creative space has to accomodate effieciently and effectively. The first step in assessing your needs is to look at what your creative activities are. 

Now, we are not stagnant creatures, being the creative that we are, so there may be areas to explore and discover. It is important to give some thought to what these aspirations are. 

There are also activities in which we partake more often than others. Some activities may be seasonal. (or it may be wise to consider seasonal activities for trying to fit it all in) 

This is the beginning of sorting it all out. If there is overwhelm in the area of creativity, this may be a good starting point. Everything will build from this exercise. 

The first thing to do is to sit down and make a list of what your creative interests are. What do you always find time to do to express your creativity? What do you wish you had time for? What do you wish you had space for? 

This activity has a few advantages. It will show you:

  1. What you are currently doing
  2. What you are wanting to do
  3. What inspires you?

In the discovery of what you are currently doing, you can then assess. How is that working. What gets in your way? Do you have limited time? Do you need to dedicate a permanent space to your creative expression? Or is your creative expression portable? Hand sewing? Drawing? Digital and computer creativity? 

Are you satisfied with the amount of time you are able to spend on your creativity? 

Do you enjoy solitary creating or working with others? Do you have creative playdates? 

Would you like to? 

Personally  for me, I prefer to create by myself, however, when learning a new skill or for very short projects, I enjoy working with others. I find it stimulates ideas to pursue in those quiet meditative moments when creating by myself. 

In having creative playdates, I would like to gather some of my essential materials and supplies if I am going to another location. So one of my goals in setting up my creative space is to know my essentials and easily locate them to take with me and easily return them to their permanent location upon my return. 

There are some activities that I do that are portable. I enjoy curling up on the sofa in my living room and working on a small project or a portion of a larger project. Hand sewing, drawing and some computer creativity are some of those activities. 

Other activities require a workspace that is dedicated to their execution. Cutting things out. My cutting tools and mats are downstairs. Painting is another activity that requires its own location. I want it to be near a water source for easy clean up and quick access for any messes. Near an operable window is also an important feature for the painting area, unless, I reserve the oils and other techniques that require ventilation for summer and outdoor painting. 

Here is a list of my creative activities. It is not all inclusive, but based on the current exercise, it is what I have so far. The exercise lists are evolving. Keep them as a running list. You may feel like we are redoing the same exercise, but my goal here is to have you look at your habits, your space and your current creativity from many different angles. 

You won’t feel like you have to eliminate anything, however, if you choose to, by doing the exercises in their order, you will clearly see, which things in your space and in your mind are just taking up space. 

My Current Creative Interests

  1. Creative Interests
    1. Sewing
      1. Apparel
      2. Home Decorating
      3. Quilting
      4. Miscellaneous craft
    2. Drawing
      1. Pencil
      2. Pen
      3. Calligraphy
    3. Painting
      1. Decorative
      2. Faux
    4. Jewelry Making
    5. Printmaking
    6. Bookbinding
    7. Pattern Drafting
    8. Weaving
    9. Fabric Dying
    10. Mixed Media & Paper Arts
    11. Tile/Tile making & Mosaics
    12. Digital & Computer Media
    13. Needlework

Now, I have not been able to work all of these activities into my schedule, some I haven’t done since college, while others, I have never tried, but find an interest in. 

How did I get here? Well, before throwing anything away, I did a mental and physical scan of what I actually have. Short of going through every box and tote, I looked to my bookcases and my magazine shelves. 

I clearly love to be inspired! There are two large bookcases in my living room of books that inspire me. Art books, technique books, style books, it truly is a unique collection. 
They are used not only for inspiration, but also for reference. 

Magazines are also something that apparently, I collect. They multiply. There is something so relaxing, leisurly turning the pages, especially if the paper is of good quality and the photography exquisite! So, I have an abundance of magazines AND magazine photos. They inspire an emotion, a feeling, the colors, the shapes, the compositions, all take me somewhere. The journey is then expressed in an interior space or a garment or a drawing. 

Another source is to review what types of patterns you have collected over the years, which ones have you done more than once? Which ones are you so excited to get started on? 

The goal here is to just look at what you have and pay attention to what brings you joy. What excites you. Forget about questions of, where am I going to do this? When am I going to do this? How am I going to do this? Just pay attention to your deepest self. Allow yourself to want it in this moment. 

If you truly are not moved by the mere thought of something, then you know, you need not take up the physical or mental space of it any longer. Make a mental note of this, as well. When you get to the physical, doing part of it, you will have a road map of exactly what to do. 

Don't forget, Shelly's Design Studio has a new website! There are weekly changes made there as well, and ... there is a blog page!

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