Friday, December 04, 2009

interacting with inspiration

inspiration. sometimes, when i'm around someone who is truly, thoroughly creative, i am filled with the most unbelievable sense of longing. you might think it would be envy, but it's not really, it's more of a deep longing to be so original myself. envy, as i see it, would mean that i would wish for them to be less creative and fabulous, but i definitely don't wish that.  i always wish just a bit of it would rub off on me.

but although i do a lot of different creative things, i feel like my own creativity is all derivative in some sense...a little piece of something from one place, another bit from over here, and here, all put together in some crazy mish-mash that's just echoes of the creativity i admired. i really despair that i can ever have original creative thoughts and even more, create any original works. for me it's all about homage on my part to the things that inspire.

but i'm beginning to tell that although i am often by myself when i'm making things, i have a need for interaction and collaboration. freelancing and working on my own will mean that i have to get better at finding ways of getting that input that i need from others. of course, the blogosphere is one way, but i think i need to find ways of hanging out in person on a regular basis with like-minded creative individuals.

last winter, when i joined the local art association, i thought that's what i would be getting, but that couldn't be further from the truth. it seems mostly to be a mailing list for the woman who is the chairman to send bragging emails about her own art. there must be a way, even in the at-times closed society i've chosen to live in...but what is it? more dinner parties? setting up a place where creative people come and hang out? taking courses (i'm starting weaving in january and i hope to find a bit of the interaction i crave)? what else can i do?

maybe i could just have one long, eternal blog camp?

any ideas are much appreciated.


sas said...

it cracks me up that you have this post immediately after you just utterly transformed a chair in the most gorgeous, creative way xxx

Unknown said...

reassuring to see that you, whose blog I read for creative inspiration, feel the way I do most the time.

its hard to find other creative people. They seem stuck like splinters of a 'creative tree' in their own little niches. One master knitter in a coffee shop knitting club. One over there in a literary club that meets monthly at a bookstore coffee shop. One who never leaves her house, but has a terrific blog. Others who meet in various craigslist groups. Maybe another frumpy middle ager whose scarf you totally dig.
I think you have to seek them out.

*jean* said...

oo you put it so well! that is exactly why i started blogging...i have some very dear friends but they just get the zombie look if i start babbling on about how i found that hand sanitizer makes the most amazing texture when you use it with your paints!! i know they love me but it's just not the same as pow wowing with other creative folks....

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

I'll start by saying your blog your photography, your art and your way of being in the world inspire in me that creative energy you describe and thank you for that!

It’s hard to find this life sometimes, and I think we have to really search it out.
I brought together a group of women I found interesting – some friends, some people I knew from work, mothers from my daughter’s school – some I knew well and some I didn’t. We got together to talk about one subject – i.e, balance, creativity, identity. We drank a lot of wine, and shared some varied perspectives. To call it a Salon feels rather grand, but the coming together of these varied perspectives helped me to feel more connected, alive, and thoughtful. Sounds a bit like the wonder of blog camp!

If you are feeling this way about the local arts group, other probably are, too – perhaps you can stage a coup?

d smith kaich jones said...

I find this to be one the most honest posts I've read here, and you are honest always. It is a problem, is it not? Those creative people are out there creating, and then recuperating from pouring their souls onto a piece of canvas or a sheet of paper. I'm sure I've told you my favorite Georgia O'Keeffe quote, but maybe not - when finally famous and old & wanting to be let alone, but of course on everyone's "to visit" list when they bounced through New Mexico, a person once told her that he (or she - I forget) was an artist also. To which Georgia replied "well, then, why aren't you home making art?".

And then there's this little nugget of craziness. I just had 3 paintings in a show in a downtown gallery. Didn't sell any, so picked them up Wednesday morning, only to see a poster advertising an artwalk tonight, Dec.4, through the downtown area. I was never made aware of this , but typical, typical, typical. You gotta be "in with the in crowd" in this town, or so I was thinking. Yesterday I received an email from the gallery advertising the artwalk - click here, it said, to see which artists will be showing their work. I clicked on the link and there was one of my paintings. Huh? says I to myself. A phone call to the gallery tells me that well, they didn't have the images from the artists who will be on the walk yet, so they just used others, was that okay? And so sorry they didn't inform us all that we could be considered. A joke. A gallery doomed to fail.

Art groups just seem to not work very well - I don't know what it is, but the day will come when I have my own gallery - I know exactly how it will look and I have real business experience and am organized so I can run the thing.

I wish you much success in finding your art posse - you will, it just takes a bit. Good luck, and above all, have fun with it!

:) Debi

Char said...

ahhh, well - that bites the woman seems to be that way. are there other local women that would be interested in what you have or do we all live miles and miles away? if you think there are some locally, then maybe put out an advert?

i seem to be stymied by the same thing since i've moved. here, 'art' is considered only finer arts (in their opinion) of painting, pottery, glasswork, etc that i do not have the access to do or the talent. plus, lessons seem to always be $100 for the whatever. i decided to try knitting or crochet and do not have a teacher. and all the knitting shops within 50 miles have closed. i'm vexed.

keep going to the supply places and talk to the owners and the patrons - maybe you can find a couple kindred spirits.

Char said...

another thought, are "meet-ups" just a USA thing or international? you could perhaps start a meet up group.

Just Jules said...

your picture drew me in. chilling yet beautiful

will said...

I've been around a lot of artists and legit craftsman for many years. Generally, people have their friends who are also artists - they do all the regular social stuff anyone does, but I can't recall anyone involved in organized clubs - that mostly for wannabes.

Then there are organizations with political value - for finding out about shows, grants, business - that kind of stuff. Here, there's no bonding, just finding ways to have your art shown.

The best collaborations often are when there's a bunch of artists or craftsmen, all with separate shops or studios, are neighbors in a big building. These places are usually in a part of town with low rents. Here they visit each other, make friends, trade ideas and such. Stuff like a guy who does metal work doing some welding for a guy making furniture - that kind of thing.

An Open Heart said...

The photo is amazing!

I suspect you may have cruised the ETSY forums or blog for collaborative avenues? and I suspect you've networked employees at local art or craft stores? And another reader suggested "meet-ups"...which are a great source for meeting like-minded people. And, how about contacting any local museums for information on local artists and contacting the artists directly?

Is there local college/university with an art deptartment you can hook up with?

I vote for a perpetual Blog Camp....especially when you get your new house!


An Open Heart said...

P.S. I personally think you have ooodles of creative engery that is individual to you...just look at the blue room, that is creative energy just bursting at the seems.

You know, collaboration can just be reading, looking at and drawing from another's creation...not copying or emulating, but absorbing their creative energy through their work.

But, I understand how you feel, I'm lucky enough to have a friend who I can collaborate on my jewelry with and my photography with, and, still I yearn for more....


Wanda said...

Oh, wow. This shot is gorgeous.

Suecae Sounds said...

That shot IS gorgeous. (I am the human echo).

I don't have the best of experiences working with others. But I am learning to get out there, and more importantly, learning to tell when I think that my work is being shown - but I not recieving credit.

Jess said...

Wow - that is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. Thanks for sifting through it and realizing these little things. I agree it is hard to find truly like minded people in the crafty world, which is strange because I'm sure there are tons out there! I love your blog and thoughts. I think you'll find exactly what you are looking for when you least expect it. Good luck! :)

Cyndy said...

L.O.V.E. the rose. I could go on and on (and you know I could) about what words popped into my mind with first sight, but for now will just say thanks.

I agree w/others that you should start something, inviting others to share their creativity, the way you think a group should run. Creative weekend get-aways are pretty popular here in the U.S., a promotional tool used by many B&Bs. You could pull this off easily and give & get what you are craving.

wv: saliwom. Don't have an immediate meaning, but I like the word already...

Steelers Girl said...

i can relate to your thoughts of "borrowing" others creativity. i often see something i like that someone has created and say to myself, "i can do that, and i think i will." I add my own perspective and voila. i am a bit embarrassed by it though. i think of it maybe as stealing intellectual property, but i don't copy their work, maybe just a technique or a base idea.

mel said...

I think I've given up hope of being capable of doing something that could be called "original"! I am not one of those people, an artist. But I am starting to enjoy (in a tiny way, because I'm making patterns) watching people use something I've done as their jumping off point... So my derivative creativity is a starting point for something else even (sometimes something MUCH cooler!) And I know they would do that with another pattern if they weren't doing it with mine - because that's the way their creativity works - and that inspires me too. Self-expression in any form is valuable - maybe it depends on the point on any given day? Just to get something out there (a feeling, a vision?), to create something beautiful made with skill, or to push our boundaries and actively try to find a new idea. Just thoughts.

I agree with a previous commenter I saw who suggested a coup of your local association! Or maybe a splinter group if you've met anyone there that you connect with. This is always a struggle for me as I crave interaction despite shyness - the blogosphere is a safe space for me, but I need it in person sometimes too, and that requires more bravery. I'm working on it!