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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Creativity Rules?

I was really struck yesterday by Omega's comment (thanks, Omega). In talking of a teacher she had had, John Hicks, she said that 'of all the things he said to me one made the most impression. That is that for serious work one should conceive of the whole work - how it is going to be displayed included - before embarking on it. Of course it will change and develop, but thinking about all aspects of it should be involved in that development. '

I think, or at least I suspect, that there are two kinds of creative people. One type does the development before they make the work. The other type does the development afterwards. I find myself in the latter category. I truly admire the former, though. I just can't seem to manage to remember to do it. It's one of the reasons that I've never seriously considered a City and Guilds course. Though I have talked to other people with the same approach as me, who have...and they always sheepishly confess to making the work first, and then writing up the plan etc afterwards. So perhaps it's a genetic thing, rather than a learned approach! What kind of creative are you?

ps On the odd occasion where I do plan things, things 'gang agley', as the poet Robert Burns says. This particular piece was made for Quilting Arts self portrait project. When I finished it, there was the wail of the overstretched's a quarter inch too narrow - aaaargh!! But the feathers added the extra measurement (phew). Not that it was selected, but hey, you can't win 'em all.


Liz said...

I'm an afterwards and struggled with C&G for this reason... but I still enjoyed it. I still feel like I must sit down and do a design plan and everything before I start and whenever I do, I always get bogged down. I'm glad it's not just me. Doing the journal quilts really freed me from this.

Lynn said...

Count me in with the "afterwards" creatives. I, too, struggled with not only City and Guilds (and found it enjoyable just the same), but every paper I ever had to write in school when they made you turn in an outline was a nightmare. I'd have to write the paper and then extract the outline. Guess I'm from the "Pooh" school: "How do I know what I'm going to say until I hear myself say it?"

I'm driven by the impulse to create, which lends an energy and enthusiasm to the act of creating that morphs into a "high." Sure as I'm sitting here typing, if I were to start planning the piece first, all of that good "juice" would drain right away. But that's me. I know it's me and don't fight it.

My hat is off to those who can plan but I've also seen some get stuck in decision-making at the paper and pencil stage when my guess is if they had fabrics on a wall, the decision would get made for them. (I'm sure they could cite an example of how their method would serve me better too, though.)

arashi said...

This is good stuff Marion. I have always worked improvisationally. and the rules don[t work it's nice tgo hear that others had the same problems I had with C and G

Anonymous said...

Ahh - MArion, I'm both. I spend months planning it in my head, and then put paint to cloth. Way to cerebral for my own good, a friend says I'm behaving autistically ! But I plan the hell out of it, then do it. It seems I never have a "mistake" piece. Not that I'm always happy with the results.


Shirley Goodwin said...

I'm with you on the "afterwards", Marion. I have an idea of what I want to do, occasionally I even sketch a quilt, but inevitably, I make it up as I go along.

Shirley in New Zealand