Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On creativity and the impulse to "make something"

"I just want to make pretty things even if nobody cares".
Many of us have pinned that pictogram onto our boards or put them on our Facebook page.
It captures how we feel when people question our paper crafts hobby.

I've always felt this saying was a tad on the defensive side.
I make things that are pretty and I make things that are... complicated.
I'm proud of both.
I'm also proud to say I am creative- even if no one cares. Laughing!

When fellow scrapper Laura swung by my blog on Moday and commented she wished she could think outside the box more often I wanted to think about my reply.
Mostly I wanted to give encouragement.
And I wanted to say something that would help us both because many times I feel like I lack the creativity gene that so many scrap happy women seem to share.

This page marked a huge departure from the "norm" for me. I'm using pink.
I'm trying to keep things simple and the page thin enough to fit in my 12x12 scrapbook album
I haven't used since 2009. (!!!)  So while this isn' going to win any innovative design awards I love
 it and it's actually hanging over my desk as a reminder that I can and should stop using brown
and black in my pages so much! Plus? HELLO GREEN RIBBON! LOVE!
Materials: Cocoa Daisy September Kit, May arts Ribbon, Pink Paislee wood letters,
October Afternoon and Echo Park papers.
As I told Laura- the act of waking up in the morning and breathing can seem like a crazy out of the box act of pure creativity some days- especially when everything is going pear shape.
So the question is this:
Are you ready to own it?
Your creative talent and unique voice, I mean.
Can you, will you, stand by your impulses when everyone else is insisting "NOPE! That's not how you do that!"
It's a hard road to take.
If you have a lot of friends who also scrap or sew or share your creative pursuit, it can be even harder to stick to your very specific and interesting story.
But I happen to think it's the road you take- the trip- the adventure-
that actually matters.
So here is the advice I have Laura (who's blog: Who's This Chick? is CRAZY FULL of gorgeous scrapbook pages! Laura you OOZE creativity!)
I changed some parts up because I wrote it so fast I made a bunch of grammatical errors but it's basically the same thing.

I believe everyone is creative! Living life is a series of problems posed and overcome- how you solve that problem and how happy you are with your solution? THAT'S creativity!
I believe the key to personal creative development is being committed to your story. 
That doesn't mean spending thousands of dollars on scrap stuff. 
It doesn't mean taking tons of classes (although education is key).
It means constantly looking at the visual problems your pages pose and saying to yourself- how can I do this differently? 
How can I tell my unique story? 
Stick to scrapping exactly what you know, feel and love and TRUST me- you'll start seeing how creative you actually are.
I'm by no means an expert but I feel like I've come pretty far considering I stared scrapping in late 2009. I've never taken a class. I have no scrappy local friends- everything I do I learned from reading blogs online and thinking "What if I do THIS instead?"
I think my "creativity" isn't a talent but simply not being satisfied with my work and trying out new things.
What I try to do- even when I use sketches- is tell an authentically "me" story and try to do at least 2 things differently with each page- placing the elements of the sketch in different places, using colors I normally wouldn't use or materials I love that the sketch artist omitted.
Lastly, I think you could improve your feelings of creativity by just keeping a running journal of things you tried that you loved. Just noticing things like "I love this ribbon" or "I love pink and light blue together."  can lead to further exploration and a development of a unique style.
Do the same for things you love in other people's pages and you'll see how you'll develop your own "visual language" and start getting all kinds of ideas about what you want to do in your own work.
Swing back and lemme know if it worked!

So with that I'll share this weeks "Photo Inspiration":
A pattern on an "Old Navy" t-shirt- LOVE! Actually scrapping this now!
This is someone's front door! It's welded iron! LOVE the layering!
Will be trying this  (on paper) soon!
Magazines are a great source of inspiration!
Subscribe to at least 1 that isn't scrap or craft related. You don't  have to read it-
just look at the pretty pretty layouts!
I got in some trouble for taking this photo of the Muccia Prada exhibit at the
Metropolitan Museum- don't care- those colors and pattern combos are FABULOUS!
There are museums in your state- visit them!
What do you think makes for a creative person?
What do you do to spark your creativity?
Write it up below- I can always use more tips!!!

MuChOs SmOoChEs!


  1. Amen, sista! And that layout is stunning! Love the make me want to make something!

  2. Thanks again...yes I get intimated. But I am still having fun and trying new things. I do love some of the classes I've taken, though, as they've given me outlets and confidence to think differently.

  3. You are so very inspiring :) I love the way you write, your blogging style and your scrapbooking style truly give a person a feel of who you are - and that is your own person, a creative person!! Your layout is beautiful, by the way :)

  4. Very inspiring post! You are an amazing artist and writer and I appreciate all that you have taught me in the short time I've known you. You have been a very valuable scrappy friend!

    1. Wow Thank you Misty! Sorry I've been so distant- not emotionally but just plain hard to reach- working is kicking my booty!!! I am forcing myself to read a few blogs today to reconnect- yours is next.

  5. I love you!

    And this advice talks to me so much right now. I've been in a kid of funk that everyone seems to be progressing and yet I seem to be standing still - stagnating even, with my painting and mixed media. I know what I want to do just can't seem to get it out of my head.

    Such an inspirational post.

    I'll say it again... LOVE YOU!

    1. Aww Carmen- thank you- you are so encouraging! I've been thinking about writing something like this for months now but didn't really have the words till I tried to help another scrapper- funny how that works right?

  6. You know I love pink so this is right up my alley! Just when I start to use less pink you start using pink. I'm loving your design and the pictures are awesome and vibrant. Love your inspiring advice.

    1. I wouldn't say I'm getting into pink (smiling). The paper came with my DT kit from Cocoa Daisy so the challenge I posed myself was USE THIS- and I really like the page! The color is perfect- not to soft not too bright and the flowers from the October Afternoon kit were begging to be cut out and used separately. Swinging by your blog! Haven't been around in quite a while!

  7. Love this layout! And fabulous advice, I always need a good reminder!!!

  8. I think creativity is a place we can all visit within ourselves. I just think some of us visit a LOT more than others and have found that we place those visits high on our personal priority lists. I've reached a point where I place that visit with creativity right up there under family, friends, dog, and food. I need it more than cool shoes (and that is saying a lot.)

  9. I found you Michelle on the join button...and always look forward to your posts. Your aesthetic style of scrapping/crafting speaks to me...and enjoy reading your posts. This industry has been extremely commercialized and feel the creative "my own style" that comes through from you absorbs me into the art of creativity. Thank you for a wonderful post this afternoon ! Choose joy !

    1. So this is the best kind of compliment EVER- thank you so SO much! Looking you up tonight after I get home from work. I feel all zingy and ready to take on any challenge that comes my way. GRINNING!

  10. Awesome and inspiring post as always! I love that every time I come here I get surprised, motivated, and inspired! That is the type of thing that gives my creativity a spark! Oh, and lots of sleep and coffee too - HA!

  11. I think you laid out what every scrapper/creative/artist feels! I often find myself trying to make things trendy, then realize WHO CARES?? As long as I'm happy that's all that matters, right?? So great to find each other in "blog-land" as well as IG!

  12. totally agree that enjoying the creative part is so important. your pink page brought a smile to my face

  13. I love your sweet pink layout! So pretty!

    P/s: I think we all go through this phase in our creative journey.
    When I first started, I thought I was a _ and _ type of crafter and tried my best to fit into that mould. Many trials and errors later, I am just letting go and allowing myself to experiment. I may not have a clear-cut style but hey, I have fun no matter what I create. :)

  14. You, my friend, are one of the most iinspiring, original and spunky soul I've ever 'met'. for real. so don't let anyone take that away. I love you for being you. You're amazing. You're a good friend. and I treasure you.


Ok peeps lets CHAT! You tell me what you REALLY think and I PROMISE to keep it open minded here.