cm 03 by gina sekelsky studioThe Big Picture is where my manifesto gets personal.  I choose to create (manifesto, part 1!), but it's important to me to be intentional about what, when, why I create.  Sure I jump in sometimes, but my usual m-o is to consider the big picture first. When I wrote my original manifesto, I called this "not over-creating," as in I want to create, not over-create.   Creating means keeping meaningful scrapbooks for my kids. Not over-creating means not burdening my kids with a whole roomful of scrapbooks to store and maintain. Creating means spending time on the crafts I love: writing, stitching, baking.  Not over-creating means not spending all my time crafting so that I forget about the rest of life. Not to mention, the rest of life provides an awful lot of inspiration. William Carlos Williams (one of my top five art crushes) was a poet, but also a doctor. I like to think the doctor part was a wellspring of inspiration for his creative life. Creating means making my own clothes.  Not over-creating means trying to make the clothes I need and will wear.  A few years ago I pared down my closet significantly, keeping only the items that I felt I could truly be myself in.  It was pretty boring for the first year as I wore the same things over and over.  I'm gradually filling my closet with handmade pieces and second-hand finds. (It's not a very big closet!) Creating means trying new techniques and projects. Not over-creating means not using all the world’s resources for my own individual pleasure. Enter my idea journal here. (I can record an idea, sketch, jot notes, and not have to follow through on every inclination.)  And of course, using my scraps and repurposing old stuff into new.  And the revelation that just because I can make something myself doesn’t mean I have to make it. Supporting other artists feels just as good — sometimes even better — as making things myself. More than any other belief in my system, this is the one I revisit the most, the one I know separates me from a lot of creatives. When I want to start a new project, looking at the big picture helps me figure out if I should start it right away, sketch it in my idea journal, share the idea with someone else, or just abandon it altogether. When I first wrote about the restraints of “over-creating” on my blog in 2010, I wondered if anyone else would be on the same page. I seem to read over and over again that “it’s ok.” It’s ok to make lots of stuff! Sometimes I even wish I agreed, that I could easily give myself permission to do whatever I want. But it doesn’t work that way for me. When I wrote that first post in 2010 & so many readers “got it”, I was reassured to know I’m not alone. Thank you to everyone who let me know this idea resonated with you, too. I wonder how this notion will change as I age? Or if it’s just my story to live?
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One Response to My Creative Manifesto, revisited (part 3).

  1. Allison Bell says:

    I’ve been reading your DJP posts the last few days and THIS post, this one right here is the bomb. I have also spent the last several days cleaning out, organizing, and getting rid stuff in my craft (scrapbooking) area. I have culled it down to the minimum because I have been over-creating -or trying to- for years and what has happened, is this: I haven’t enjoyed it, I’ve lost the love I had for it, and I haven’t gotten anything accomplished…in years of trying. I’ve been trying to put it into words to friends that keep asking, “why are you getting rid of all of this?” when “I just don’t enjoy it anymore” isn’t enough. THIS post. This is what I am going to tell them. I GET IT! Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone!!

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