The Measure of Measure

As I sat down to type this I felt the familiar guilt of having done NOTHING in my sketchbook since my last post two weeks’ ago.  “But you have!” my inner voice tells me. I’d forgotten I’d drawn some character sketches for my Craftsy Expressive Picture Book Characters course, trying to figure out how to make an animal look upset.  But I’ve been asleep a few times since then.  And I’m so used to berating myself for not doing any drawing, that I don’t make a point of revelling when I do.

And this doesn’t take into account other creative things I’ve been doing during the last two weeks.  Mr C and I have started to design our front garden, which is currently a 12x6m patch of gravel, with no foliage.  I’ve also started to adjust a worn-once dress so I’ll wear it more often, and had to create stuff for work.  And although I added a few doodles to my character design sketchbook, that’s not the point.

Creativity can manifest itself in many ways, through words, images, ideas, conversations, and clothes, for example.  So, we shouldn’t use just one method to measure our creativity by, if at all.  The quality of our creative journey is probably a far better indicator of the progress we’re making, than the number of steps (pages/projects) we’ve taken to get there.

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Dream Believer (2)

Have you ever asked the universe for advice, or taken guidance from a dream?

It’s not something I’d ever thought of doing until I learned that ‘it’ had guided successful watercolourist Anna Mason back into art after a long hiatus.  And last week I justified my own reasons for asking for myself.

I was sceptical at first, conscious that I might inadvertently seek out the ‘answers’ I was hoping for.  But with nothing to lose, on two consecutive nights I asked the universe to shine a light on my future path.  And on two consecutive days, it did.

For example, on day one, the model for my weekly life-drawing class was the life-model I drew at art college over ten years’ ago, but haven’t seen since.  Maybe it was just a coincidence.  Yet it was the first time he’d been booked by that class, and I myself had missed loads of them (including the previous three weeks).  There were other hints, and I’m still receiving encouragement.  However, they all were, and still are, pointing me in the same direction.  And who am I to argue with the universe?

It seems I am on the right path, but I may need to adjust my compass.

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From Chaos to Calm

Three things I’ve learned this week:

  • Feng Shui helps you plan your creative space more creatively
  • Decluttering is much easier when you take things out of context
  • Completely rethinking how you use large and small spaces is re-energising

Over the last two weeks I have rearranged my studio space twice.  Well, most of it.

I hadn’t stepped into my studio for weeks, except to open/close the curtains and dump stuff on my desk, and I didn’t have the energy or drive to do anything about it.  My headspace felt cluttered too, and I started to question what life would feel like if I gave up my art altogether.

Then this blog post from Anna Mason popped into my inbox. And a little research into Feng Shui for creative spaces took me to this gem of a post on Rogue Habits.  It’s a work in progress, but here’s my new studio layout:

Studio Calm

I was unsure about pushing my desk up to a wall, but the move to Abundance and Prosperity promised more of an adventure than infinite self-discovery in Wisdom and Self-Awareness.  Plus, the view of our back garden was a distraction when my desk was in the middle of the floor.  I’m now sitting in the most Eastern (and auspicious) point of our home, and there’s a mirror on my desk so I can see opportunity (and Mr C) approach.  There’s still lots of clutter to deal with (currently residing in our living room) but I’m already feeling brighter and creative ideas keep popping into my head.

I’m still not sure whether I believe in Feng Shui, but if it works, who am I to judge?

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Where Are They Now?

April isn’t typically the time of year most people think about setting New Year Resolutions.  But with a spring birthday, it’s a perfect time for me to reflect and set my goals for the next year of my life.

For the past year I set out to: i) overhaul my wardrobe, and ii) become prolifically creative.  However, as I write this on the eve of my blog’s first birthday, it’s difficult to pinpoint any significant changes I’ve made to achieve either.

Wardrobe Architect

My wardrobe is (slowly) improving.  Having changed a few shirt buttons, I’ve made some progress.  I still have about half-a-rail of mending/adjusting awaiting my attention.  However, reminding myself of my passion for sewing seems to have flicked the right internal switch; I’ve since finished a couple of ‘difficult’ projects.  But my real passion is for dressmaking, and I’m a sucker for a nice sewing pattern.  So hopefully I’ll get to make some new clothes for myself rather than just making do and mending the pieces I can’t bear to part with.

Prolific Creativity

When I set this goal last year I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to achieve.  Roll forward a few months and I decided that, for me, prolific creativity meant more than drawing for ten minutes every day.  Having attempted several drawing challenges since last April, I’ve learned that there’s more to this than turning up to the page and making a few choice marks.  I want my own journey to have a purpose, and when I choose my next ‘first’ step, the next ‘second’ one will naturally follow.

So, all that’s left to say is ‘Happy Birthday, Filbert & Smudge’, and ‘Cheers!’ to year number 2!

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