Hi Everyone–In my continuing dialog of Rules (Suggestions) to Creativity I would like to add #3 and #4. I’m giving these lots of thought, and I hope they are opening some doors for you.
#3. You must have some reflective time.
This is so hard for people, especially for those with younger families, because of family obligations. But it’s amazing how easy it is to find some time for yourself if you apply a little imagination. Don’t try the 1 hour bath, because children have no respect for that private time, as they will barge right into your nice warm bathroom with their requests (or at least, mine did). I found that my favorite time was after dinner. Amazingly, my entire family found other things that demanded their immediate attention right after dinner. So I would draw out the time I spent cleaning the kitchen. Let’s face it, its a mindless job that can be done with no thought. That became my precious, private time. My kitchen always sparkled, because I cleaned everything and anything that would extend these minutes of alone time, thus allowing my mind to design or think of new techniques. So, wherever you find private, reflective time, do so. Claim it as yours alone, for it is important for your creativity.
#4 You must have a connection with nature.
Actually, these two suggestions may work hand in hand. A date with Mother Nature can be some of the most creative moments you will experience. If you have followed my friend Kathleen Krucoff’s blog, she had a huge breakthrough on the night we watched the sunset over our Rocky Mountains. As a teen-ager growing up in the Southwest, I would ride a horse out into the desert, where you could see “for three days”, as my mother used to say. The wide open spaces of the mythic west impressed upon my mind a design aesthetic which is with me to this day. The enormous sky, the dry riverbeds, and canyons of this big country created a minimalism in my jewelry which has become my trademark, my style, which it is instantly recognizable by my friends and clients. Truthfully, I’ve always fought against it, constantly wanting to add pieces and “doodads” to my designs, but after years of trying, I have realized I cannot fight what was my first introduction into design…. and I have finally embraced it.
Also, as a jewelry artist, I have sought inspiration from other artists. I have gone to and participated in some of the huge shows on the East Coast, such as the Buyers’s Market of American Craft (The Rosen Show) in Philadelphia. With 200+ jewelers participating, you would think I would find inspiration there. Yet, not wanting to copy any other jeweler, and wanting my own style, I see that those shows are not as inspiring as a walk in the woods…looking at the shimmering aspen leaf as it moves in the wind, or watching a mountain stream trickle over smooth river rocks on its way to the sea. My good friend, Helen Driggs, recently spent an afternoon in a garden, experiencing the magnificent sculptures of Albert Paley, one of our favorite jewelers/sculptors. She came away with such tremendous insights which will forever remain embedded in her creative mind. So where ever you are, take a walk, spend an hour to look at the dapple of green of trees, the dazzle of a flame, see the splendor of the world in an amber sunrise. To paraphrase one of my favorite songs, The Colors of the Earth, which Jim Dale sings in the Broadway musical “Barnum”, ‘The colors of the earth will leave a shining light to show the way”. Look at shadows, or the patterns in the snow, or sand. You will become much more creative by looking out and up, than by going to a show to see what the other artists have created. Remember, Mother Nature could have created the Sistine Chapel with one hand tied behind her back, but instead she gave us the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, and the mighty rivers.
Enjoy the beauty of the earth. The inspiration is there for you to appreciate and embrace.
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