At a certain point on my journey down the road as a creative freelancer, I realized that my creative spark kind of fizzles out if I’m not purposeful about replenishing it. Don’t get me wrong, I get so much out of teaching and sewing new patterns. It’s a constant flow of good ideas, good energy and new ways of doing things. And that is revitalizing, it really is. I love it. But, if I don’t stop and stretch myself in new directions every once in a while, in a manner that is restorative, well, I kinda lose my mojo.
That is exactly why I jumped at the chance to take Amy Butler’s Color Story Workshop at the Montclair Art Museum last month. I’ve actually done this workshop before, when I was at The Makerie in Boulder a few years ago, so I already knew that it was magical. I realize it might seem silly or frivolous to take the same workshop twice but, you guys, Amy is an incredible human being. (She is also super tall, I mean seriously, I am 5 feet 6 inches and she towers over me.) It’s her spirit, though, it is so gorgeously generous it almost blows you away. She talks so honestly about her struggles with finding a creative path and she talks through her entire design process without holding back. It’s an inspiration to be around. After she talks and shows us slides from her travels, she lays out how those experiences brought her to some of her most well-known designs. Then we get to work and pull together fabric, images, scraps, ribbon, paper and other ephemera to make our own color inspiration boards.
It’s relaxing and challenging and, well, frankly amazing. I left exhausted to the core and so full of ideas about color and design and the creative road ahead. Guys, I’m striving for a creative life. On a good day that feels great and all that matters is that I know what I’m aiming to accomplish this year and I’m working toward those goals. On a bad day, it’s not so pretty; it’s a road full of doubt and vulnerability and uncertainty and the fear of failure. Sometimes I feel really decadent and privileged when I do workshops like this one. Truthfully, it is decadent and privileged. No doubt. It’s also integral to keeping me anywhere near anything like ‘on balance’ or even still riding the train on the tracks. Do you have a strategy for keeping yourself on the creative straight and narrow? Workshop? A group of friends? What’s your favorite approach for battling the blue meanies?
(Amy Butler and some of the amazing women in my workshop)
Good for you! Taking care of your creative self is so important. I completely understand. I have to fill the creative bucket from time to time, too. For me, it is often improv piecing that does the trick. I would love to take this workshop from Amy – it sounds amazing!
Melissa Q. says
Erin! You would love this workshop! Improv piecing is good for a recharge! It’s sort of meditative.
Daniela D says
I know how much you enjoyed the first workshop with Amy. So, so good that you are taking care of yourself creatively. I look to my awesome creative friends for inspiration (ahem, one of them is you!) and have done the workshop route. Sometimes, I drop everything and just sew with no plan…usually improv (like Erin!). That usually results in a recharge for me. So happy you had a great workshop!
Melissa Q. says
This is so interesting! I’d love to see the results of quiz on how creatives recharge. Improv is such a great balm for the creative soul, isn’t it!