creativity · Farm Life · Illustration · Photography · Uncategorized

Chasing Creativity

I’ve been putting some thought into the why’s and how’s of my creative endeavours lately. In the past year, outside of some home renovations, I did not really make time for any creativity whatsoever for a large part of the year. I was busy, stressed, and tired and could not find it in me to make the time for anything extra. I have five kids! Their activities! Church! Those activities, and the crossovers with the aforementioned! School, and the crossovers with both of the aforementioned! We were having a bit of a rough patch with work, and it was very stressful and meant that not only was I stressed about that but my husband was often absent. How could I fit in creativity?

This did not help at all. I am the type of person who, even if I have to force myself to find the time and get it started, thrives off of creativity. I had just forgotten that.

At some point in the year, I was on hold or waiting for something on my computer to load, I’m not entirely sure what, and I started doodling on a stray piece of paper. My kids were awed and impressed, and I was kind of shocked that they hadn’t even known I could draw. At one point my ability to draw had been considered virtually my sole employable trait! (I’m kidding, but my career route options in high school all revolved around the fact that I clearly flourished when I was handed a pen or pencil, whether that was drawing or writing.) Long story short, I felt inspired and I started picking up my pencil again, especially since drawing was something I could fit in my schedule in small doses here and there. This eventually morphed into my trading in reward miles for an iPad and moving over to digital art, much more portable many of the other things I was playing with.

At another point in the year, I had the opportunity to go to Straight Stitch Designs Maker’s Retreat. A large part of what appealed to me in that was that both Adrianna of Hey June Handmade and Delia of DeliaCreates were signed on as teachers. These ladies and I go back to when I actually could have been considered a blogger. Like, regularly posted blog posts, took and edited pictures, planned things out, received free items for myself and my followers. Back when I was ON{the laundry}LINE. Suffice to say it has been a minute.

I mentioned the idea in passing to my husband, expecting a hard no. Remember, this had been a rough work year. Much to my surprise he told me to go. (Then he wrote me a card saying it was a much deserved break, which makes me tear up even thinking about it now because that was pretty much the opposite of how I felt about it.) It was my first time travelling completely alone, normally having been accompanied by someone two or under with the exception of that one time Chris and I took a warm vacation together. I will once again make a long story short and say I went in expecting to come home feeling totally burnt out (raging introvert, enneagram 9, what up) and actually came home feeling totally uplifted and inspired. Cue more of me examining the what’s and why’s.

After a lot of thought, I’ve come back around to the exact thing I’ve known for so long and had completely disregarded. I feed off of being creative. (I also feed off of positive feedback to my creativity, but I’m a simple gal so even a ‘that’ll do, pig,’ a la the farmer from Babe will do me good.)

Being creative every day really helps me to thrive and feel energetic. A key aspect of that is to enjoy the process. If I can only be happy with a finished project, with a schedule like mine can be I will very rarely find joy in creativity. But if I can enjoy cutting out the pieces of a pattern, laying colours over a sketch, or even spending 5 minutes making a hair scrunchie for my daughters, I can be content and uplifted.

I strongly wish to continue to pursue some sort of creativity-based employment when I eventually rejoin the workforce. I’m playing with a few ideas and honing some skills right now, not entirely sure what that will look like for me or even if that will work out at all. So sometimes, I’m literally assigning myself drills and exercises. Simultaneously, though, I am reminding myself that I enjoy the process, I enjoy multiple streams of creativity, and it refreshes me to practice them. Often in this busier season of life – we have started out 2020 with some sort of after school or evening activity almost every day of the week between our various children – that means deliberately booking in time. Sometimes it’s sketching or crocheting at an arena or in the car. Today it’s writing a blog post in between laundry loads and meal prep steps. Yesterday it was editing some older photos and taking some newer ones while I probably should have been between laundry loads.

My next post I will go more in depth on some of my plans for 2020 and the various ways I plan to integrate pursuing creativity. I should warn you there is some very boring planning involved – things like meal planning and prep and avidly using a planner are absolutely essential to me personally if I want to be able to make creativity happen.

How important is creativity for you personally? What are some of the challenges you face and some of the ways you overcome them?