Thursday, 22 September 2016

how to grow your creativity last one!

So here we are at the end of our #how to grow your creativity series!  I hope you have enjoyed the journey and that my series has contributed positively to your creative journey.  Please feel free to share in the comments or the link up.

This week I wanted to talk about how we can sustain and nurture creativity in a work setting.  When I began quilting many moons ago, I never dreamt for a minute I would actually make an income from it.  If you had said to me I would have projects and patterns published and be teaching patchwork, well I would have laughed manically.  

However, here I am.  I work as a quilter.   Opportunities have arisen that did not exist when I began quilting.  
When you work in a creative field you are still faced with creative lapses and losses of your "sewjo".  When I quilted for a hobby, this was annoying, but not dire because I wasn't really working to deadlines or commissions.  Now I am faced with deadlines and briefs and need to try to sustain my creativity.

So here are the ways I try to maintain my creativity so that I can create on a regular basis.  I did not start off this way.  It has been and continues to be a journey of self discovery and growth.  

  • I try to approach quilting as my job now.  Not a boring job but one I love.  A passion.  Something I just need to do.  I wouldn't be a quilter if I didn't love it.  We have all heard of "do what you love" and I can honestly say that I do!  I love teaching, I love writing, I love making quilts.   I  have worked hard to get to where I am just now.  It didn't all just fall into my lap.  It has been and still is a journey.  One of success, failure, knock backs, rejection, elation, and joy.  A mixed bag.  

  • This means that I need to continue to put the work in.  By having a working day and a to do list, I expect to create and get the work done.    There are the days, of course, I just have no motivation, my sewjo has gone, or I am just being plain lazy.  Sometimes I can take a day off and just use it to do something completely different.  However, more often than not I need to work because of an imminent deadline.  This is where the point below comes into play. 
  • I need to ensure that I turn up at my desk and am ready to get some work done.  More often than not my creativity turns up along the way and off we go.  Even on the days I am not feeling it.  I can switch tasks and focus on say a different project, or just the pattern writing or preparing class notes.  By changing task this means I am still getting the work done in one way or another and when my sewjo reappears(which it always does) then I am ready to get going!

    • I work from home and those of us that do, know how hard that can be.  Self discipline is not a strength of mine, but I am learning.  I need to make the best use of those school hours when the kids are off learning.  

    • Distractions can be a personal pain.  The housework is all around me, always needing done.  So I usually try and get a few bare minimum  tasks out the way after the school run.  This frees up some head space a little for the work ahead.  I am way too easily distracted by social media and web surfing too.  So I try to allocate space in my day for specific tasks.  For example, in the morning my head is always clearer.  This is the best time for me to write patterns and blog posts.  I can then get on with practical sewing and cutting work as the day goes on. 
    • It can also be helpful to get out for a walk during the day.  I am in the house most of the day apart from when I am teaching.  I talk to myself and the dog A LOT.  I need to do a 20 min walk to school and back to collect Emma.  Most days I can't be bothered but I kind of try to view it as essential.  Obviously it is a bit of exercise which I definitely need  but also the fresh air, human contact, and sights and sounds refresh me and give me a chance to go over my work for the day (or sometimes lack of) in my head. 
    • Lastly please try not to compare!  I do this all the time.  I look at all the awesome, talented people around me and often think "I am not good enough".  It is really hard not to do this.  I get that.  With Pinterest, Instagram and such like everywhere it is a constant battle.  I need to tell myself that I do not know someones creative journey.  I only know my own and I need to remember that we are all at different stages.  You are exactly where you should be at this time.  You will be where you should be another 10 years from now.  We need to en(joy) where we are at now.  I don't want to lose the joy I get from quilting and creating by comparing.  I certainly don't want you to lose that too.  We are a community built on ages of tradition and mutual support and we should treasure it. 

    So there you go!  My thoughts on how to nurture your creativity if it is your job.  Please feel free to share your own thoughts, tips and such like in the comments here, on the link up or on Instagram using the hashtag #howtogrowyourcreativity. 
    I will draw the fabric giveaway next Thursday to allow anyone joining the conversation this week to enter.  
    Collette x


    1. Thanks so much for such an inspirational series! Having recently lost the routine, fresh air and social contacts of walking the children to school (they now go to secondary school on the bus) I feel my creative journey is changing a lot. I am working to evolve my creative work to suit this new phase, and your series has been great in guiding some aspects of it!

      1. Oh Sandra I am so glad to hear that the series has been inspiring and helpful to you. I have one who gets the bus to secondary and it will be interesting to see how my day changes once my daughter embarks on that journey too x

    2. A great post Collette. Honest and well-written. I too am in the business side of creativity. This poses it's issues for me, as so often I just want to make but then the other side of me realises that I'm meant to be paying the bills at least for the studio. A constant conflict which does have the power to stop me making altogether. I don't want that to happen, so I tend to take time out. Slow down. Breathe in the air and the sun if it's about. This morning was a good example on the dog walk. When I get to a sunny patch and no-one is walking around me, I just stopped and faced the sun and breathed it in. Those moments of stillness and energy from the sun are life-giving to me and re-inspire me to keep moving on, not only with the dog walk (as they need to move to a new batch of grass to eat!) but also in the creative sense.

      The internet does take me away from my focus too, so it can be a killer in some respects but in others it confirms to me that others love what I love and have the same issues and teach me ways of dealing with them.


      1. Thanks Diane! You are so right about the conflict side of things. It can have the power to make us stop. I find nature and the outdoors personally very restorative. Especially the coast and the sea. Oh and the internet is a definite issue! But I agree, it does confirm that there is a community of like minded individuals out there who are supportive! xx thanks for taking the time to share x

    3. Great post. Your series has given me food for thought - so much so I've not only sewed but I'm about to go blog!

      1. just read your blog post and am so happy to have given someone somewhere a little food for thought! xx


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