This is a running blog, right? Oh how running ties into so many other elements of life for me (including motivate me to do other activites)… It stokes my engine, keeps the candle burning late into the night and re-ignites bright and early. It is while on runs that I visualize ideas I want to embody – to bring into being – without worry of for whom or what or when.
Two words have been abuzz in my head throughout the year, each materializing differently. They are: create, write.
I discovered earlier this year, in a discussion with a former boss, that creating is the thing that comes most natural to me. When I’m stressed or elated, down or hyper, what do I want to do? Create! Whether it’s cooking, painting, scribbling, fermenting, infusing, rearranging, it’s therapeutic, it’s satiating and when I’m truly in it, almost impossible to stop. I thrive on the act of making something – am getting used to the end product, but mostly just experience this animal that needs to build and make.
This inherent expression allowed me to reach depths and outward points I’d never been acquainted with until this year. I surrounded myself in years of art classes, checking out galleries and museums, hanging my pieces in smaller shows, giving works to family and friends, but never to the extent that I birthed in 2012. I had three art shows (The Holland Project – Hither & Thither, a Celebration of the Temporal, RAW Artists Reno Showcase – October, Artist of the month at Hub Coffee Company) was a featured artist in a live painting event for Toms Shoes at the Reno Whole Foods, and am in the process of creating a mural template for my parents’ upcoming cafe, Greatfull Gardens Cafe & Eatery.
Despite this proclivity, creating is not something I can do on command. It takes a certain energy, mostly unrelated to sleep or diet. Sadly, my social and exercise needs occasionally overtake my creative needs. Nonetheless, I am good at isolating myself to get in the zone and make something come of it.
However, there are more obstacles to this creative block. At times, I want to create but am so exhausted or preoccupied, I can barely move – I almost avoid my sketching utensils, without so much as glancing at my art and craft desk. It’s a self-induced guilt trip – easily avoided but I like having everything nearby so I can reach for it without digging in my garage or basement (eek!).
An example of this is after a full day of work. My weary brain grinds against my motionless hands and begs for exercise. Instead, I usually write some jarbly nonsense in my journal and start to read, then fall asleep. A lot of it (the lull) is my fault – trying to cram hundreds of things into one day – getting up at dawn, running, chucking out e-mails and paperwork and scrambling to work to end with a hasty return home to walk the dog and have quality time – so what’s left to create something?
What is the remedy for this?
As much as I panic about getting enough gifts completed for the holidays (I pride myself in years of making the majority of my gifts), at least it becomes part of my schedule during this time of year. I know if I don’t make something for the special people in my life, I will feel half-assed giving them some menial gift that I didn’t put any effort or thought into. At least with my small list, I have my creative work cut out for me for a month. I’ve become really excellent and doing new things so they can’t expect the same thing every year.
So then what? After Christmas, there are no shows on the books – YET. Does this mean I’ll stop? Not anymore. Although I am a deadline person, the feeling I experience when I am truly creating just for the sake of is irreplaceable. Just like running because it feels good – yoga because it deepens my comprehension of the moment – you get the picture.
Arguably, I’ll create more symbiotic pieces for a show – polish them a bit more, actually finish them. I work well with deadlines – respecting and adhering to them. That said, the hardest deadlines to keep are ones we place on ourselves – without consequence. Ultimately, I’ve already experienced the real consequence of not following through with pieces and that is just that.
As much emphasis I place on physical movement and exercise, this year I’ve gone leaps and bounds into what it means to give attention to my left brain’s needs – to explore that purpose that I muted for so long.