I recently discovered great example of artistic design and craftsmanship demonstrated in a line of clothing made in Nepal.
Tie dye shirt
ANOTHER tie dye shirt
The journey (albeit virtual) of discovery began with a simple tag. “MADE IN NEPAL” read the unassuming little tab hidden inside a friend’s fantastic hoodie. How hard could it be to find a beautiful, well made, exceedingly cool item of clothing, having been provided with the clue; MADE IN NEPAL? Actually, I could find them but only in wholesale lots (i.e. many, many, wait for it… many). After an extended, frustrating search for a retail option for these incredible works of art, (I only wanted ONE!) I resorted to purchasing a wholesale LOT. It was like Christmas morning when UPS delivered! Yes, I got my shirt. Ialso got a plethora of others, all different sizes and colors. No two alike..Please visithere to…ahem… share the wealth.
At some point, we’ve all viewed a makeover witnessed magical results. Admit it, you’ve envied the chosen. “Pick me! Pick me!” screamed your inner perceived plain self. I want to be transformed!
Here is a transformation of another sort. Wool to felt. Nature’s way, presumably, of consolidating, providing additional protection, another layer of warmth. A simple process, really, no special tools or skill required. The natural scales and kinks found on wool fibers twist, dance and ultimately marry to form the strongest of bonds when combined with water and friction.
(from this...........to this)
If only our own transformation could be so easily accomplished! A good scrubbing, a well-placed snip…
You know what they say about the road to hell…paved with good intentions.
When I embarked on this humbling experience of blogging, it was my intention to publish something that might possibly possess a smidgeon of value or interest or insight or inspiration - on a somewhat regular basis. I thought perhaps, just maybe, that by journaling creative missives I could somehow channel words into action. Brimming with enthusiasm and ideas I began. My zeal waned with how difficult the process quickly became. I felt (and feel) self-conscious. I gratefully allowed the business of life to supersede the commitment to write.
So I begin again. The creative process continues – of that I have no choice. Perhaps a change in the approach to writing about it should be considered. No pressure, no promises, less seriousness, less sticking to the script.
A rather spur-the-moment decision to take a break from the routine took us to a hike through the dunes along Lake Michigan’s northeast shore. The Siren’s call of Spring’s first glorious day proved too great to resist. (Those of you who live in climates that are tropically-challenged understand the effect of the first 60 degree day. Mix sunshine with a morsel of warmth and, like chocolate, it’s practically irresistible.)
What’s that have to do with creativity? Well, I’m getting to that.
A rare Saturday off from the paycheck-providing job provided an opportunity to catch up, get ahead or explore that latest creative whim that’s been swirling about. I was positively giddy with anticipation. However, when the day dawned spectacular, the creative agenda was ditched. I suddenly felt compelled, as if commanded to revel in the breeze and address a winter’s-worth of vitamin D deficiency.
After a day of wonderfully fresh air, exhilarating exercise and a simple change of scenery, the human spirit, the creative spirit is somehow refreshed, recharged and ready for action.
While approaching the end of a project recently, I found myself lapsing into a bit of a creative funk. What required mere hours to wrap up was turning into a succession of days. How could such initial passion turn to drudgery? A common occurrence, I think, with creative types.
What now? The owner of the creative gene is rarely allowed to rest, and heaven forbid, relax! So how do you kick-start the quest for inspiration? Try remembering that the world is not flat. Creatively-speaking, a flat world can be comfortable, at times cathartic, even necessary. However, the real rush (think; energy renewal) begins when you venture over that foreboding edge.
I recently faced my own fear of Death-by-Power-Tool and/or Fire by creating something I didn’t imagine remotely possible (by me). Ok, I enlisted an SFS (Skilled, Fearless Someone) to assist with the basics. (An SFS is an important component when you’re dealing with your own perceived mortality.) The result of the fear-facing serves as a dermabrasion for the creative spirit. Your newly awakened creative nerve-endings are tingling again. And that’s the point! Not necessarily finding a new passion but taking that positive, courageous step toward the preservation of your creative soul.
Someone posed the query recently “where do you create?” Being a literal thinker, I responded, “In my head, while I run”. Likely, that was not the anticipated response but I began thinking about the various places and methods we employ to get the creative juices flowing.
Where do we create?
Some of us have dedicated rooms, studios. Others carve out a small space at the kitchen table, sharing the real estate equally with a child’s homework and the salt and pepper shakers. A multitude of creating is accomplished cerebrally, virtually, with little concern for physical space.
Some creative types jump feet first into the bluest end with no conscious plan for swimming, others stand calmly near the diving board and think about it.
It matters not which type you are. Whether you’re a thinker or a jumper- just create the space. That space, be it virtual, physical or both is a most necessary ingredient in the creative roux.
...contrivances used to shape, form and finish a task...
I’m prone to surrendering to the premise that, if it weren’t for lack of a particular tool, I could surely create that true masterpiece. “If only I had a…”
As if the real reason for abandoning the piècederésistance was if but for a tool!
Truly creative people do not forsake the venture when the perfect apparatus is not readily at hand. They push forward like a marathoner at mile 21. Figure. It. Out. Do it! Write this statement fifty times on the blackboard.
The purest form of creativity often arrives as a result of NOT possessing the perfect tool, but of an improvisation, a manipulation of what’s available at that moment.
Did DaVinci just reach for a tube a cerulean blue? Do you suppose today’s surgical instruments were present at the first heart transplant? I think not. Yet somehow, the artist of the canvas and the artist in the operating room developed a solution on the spot. We must remember…
Perhaps, like me, your Grandmother kept one stashed away, making regular contributions as religiously she did to her savings account.
I look at this magical jar now, filled with bits of shell, bone and plastic that once faithfully served countless articles of clothing and wonder. Why were you rescued? Many are beguiling little numbers, easy to understand why they were granted reprieve. Others, well, no-nonsense guys whose job could only have been to provide security. The stories they could tell! I imagine the petite pearlies attending weddings of long lost relatives, dancing the night away. The clunky wooden gadgets enduring frigid temperatures while securing a thick woolen coat, covered in snow.
Every one of these has something to say. I should like to think that they would be happy venturing out into the world again after all those years in captivity. Now they find their way to various artsy things, hopefully creating rich new histories in a world a century removed from whence they came.