We’ve adjusted our month-long theme to: “Why Creativity Matters – The Act of Creating” for this blog and welcome guest Author Kate Golding to share her insights into the act of creating.
I ask myself the question, what would I do without my imagination? What a horrendous thought. I have always had a wild imagination and I have realized especially now during the pandemic, what true comfort my imagination brings to me. I would be lost without it. Being able to fill times of solitude or stress with creative ideas feels like one of the best gifts in life.
Entering into my creative zone does not necessarily mean drawing or making something, it can be something private and restorative for myself. Some people don’t necessarily see themselves as creative but I believe it is possible for everyone to tap into their creative imagination. Ideas that exist in our minds are there for our own uninterrupted joy, free from the critique of anyone else. Is it art? It doesn’t matter! If our imagination feels empty or unproductive, maybe we can make choices in our day to help us enter that world. During this period of intense stress and international upheaval, it is very easy to be chained to the news and scroll endlessly on social media and our minds can become saturated with fast moving thoughts and overwhelm. It has at times felt difficult to avoid. I find personally the best way to combat this is to go for a walk outdoors, pick up an inspiring book or maybe to make something practical with my hands. Nurturing creativity feels more important than ever.
It is also incredibly rewarding and therapeutic to take ideas and inspiration and to make something physical. I do not consider myself a crafter, but I do like working in an analogue way, working with physical materials and elements. I am a surface pattern and wallpaper designer, meaning I like to create designs and motifs which can be repeated across the surface of just about anything. I like to create all of my designs by hand, working with fine line pen, brush and indian ink on transparencies on a light table. In the future I may decide to create designs on a tablet but right now I love the tactile quality of working with these physical materials. When you move away from the computer and create work with your hands, something special happens. Not only do you experience it as the artist, but also the end viewer sees the handmade quality and your human touch in whatever you make.
When being creative and making something, I pour my heart and soul into it. For me, part of my intent when creating a design is to share with the viewer, the joy or the feeling I felt when I first experienced the inspiration. I hope to capture the essence of a place or a subject and hopefully translate my emotion into the design itself. It is easy to go down a path of wanting your work to be more polished and perfect, but I think it might be the imperfections which can make it more special. I love how people say, “dance like no ones watching”. Maybe too we could apply this to our creativity, making things for the pure joy of it and not worrying so much about the finished product. As I work creatively for my income, I admit, this can be more challenging to balance!
I believe that the end viewer of the work will have a much better connection with the design, if the artwork is born from an authentic experience. Inspiration can be something lingering and lasting or it can be the most fleeting moment of joy. Some designs are born from spending a lot of time immersed in a place, gathering and jotting ideas and others might stem from something so ephemeral.
Modern life is often busy, stressful and sometimes isolating for a lot of people. We have so many tools to make life easier, quicker and more automated. I believe that in a world, which is moving so quickly to flatten and smooth everything for speed and ease, people are yearning for something more unique, personal and sensual. When you make personal, crafted works of art and you share them with the world, this emotional connection feeds through the maker to all of the people who get to experience the artwork, whether it is a surface pattern design, a knitted sweater, a painting or maybe an embroidery. Creating work which is rewarding to us and comes from the heart makes all of our lives better. We become healthier and the world becomes more rich, textured and meaningful.
Photo Credits: Johnny C.Y. Lam