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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Logo Logic: Pathfinder

I won!  I actually won!  (Woo hoo!)

So, what now?  My long wait is over and I’m no longer frozen to the spot.  But I’m still feeling the cold through my feet.  It’s at this point I realise I’m going in the right direction, but I’m approaching it in the wrong way.  I make small, progressive steps, then pause to look around me, even looking backwards.  I’m hesitating about the next step, unsure of when to move.  I feel off-balance, unsteady, like I need some additional support.  Can I do this?  Turning back feels like a choice, but that would only get me back to the start, and all those previous steps wouldn’t count.

My path is made of stepping stones.  They have natural pauses and when you go too slowly you lose your flow.  If you hesitate at the wrong moment, you stumble into the water, and your feet get cold and wet.

It’s far better to take quick, successive steps.  That way you build momentum, and your sure-footedness increases with every stride.

Lesson 4: Hesitate on a path of stepping stones and you risk losing your balance.  Keep a smooth, steady pace until you reach the other side, and only then pause for breath, reflect back and prepare for the next one.

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Logo Logic: Breathing Space

I began this series explaining how my long-standing self-doubt almost triggered creative freeze.

The leap from brief to beginning can be huge, ginormous, even.  I might pretend I’m researching a project, kidding myself that this constitutes Step 1 when I’m really hunting hypotheses instead of conducting the experiment.  However, when I feel my faith resurface, the leap to Step 2 can be sooooo much easier.

With this particular project, once I’d got the creative cogs turning in my brain my journey looked a little more achievable.  And researching the topic of diversity and inclusion rather than the logo design process was a better use of my time.

I spent four nights working on my idea, fiddling with it to make sure it was just right.  But even after I’d entered it into the competition I continued to worry about it, and sought the opinion of others.  Past experience left me doubting my own judgement, and I was back in limbo.  Now I’ve had a chance to step back from it I can celebrate making a start and finishing it too.  Whether or not I won isn’t so important.

Lesson 2: Give yourself and your creative project space to breathe, from beginning to end.  You’ll learn to trust your own judgement rather than relying on the opinions of others.

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