Perhaps it’s undue pressure… or maybe just unneeded pressure… but whichever it is and whatever creates it, I put it on myself. I liken my creative process… or creative bursts to watching moss change over the course of a year.
There are times when moss flourishes. It’s on everything and no matter how hard you try, it’s doesn’t let go. Much like when I get an idea that can’t be stopped in the studio. I’ll go for days, weeks, sometimes months on it. Tons of new creations and new ideas churning out.
These periods result in piles of notes with future ideas. Pages of sketches just waiting to be transformed with wire, chain, beads and metal. Bags of new beads, dying to be strung up and worn. The only thing really stopping me when this happens is my day job and the need to eat and sleep (and sometimes a bowl of cereal can pass as lunch affording me more time for making… I didn’t say this was a nutritious time).
And there are times when the moss is there, but just a crispy, brown version of itself. Foot traffic on the sidewalk eventually wears it away, and where it flourished just months before, is but a memory at this point. Those pages of sketches and piles of notes still there, but left collecting dust. Bags of supplies will have to wait for the next rain, when the moss will come back… or the next burst of creative energy when I’ll find myself back at my studio bench, creating.
Sometimes you’ll find that moss growing in the strangest of places, when it’s dead everywhere else. Similar to when I get on my cooking tangents… or perhaps pull out my spinning wheel, or weekend trips to the mountains, deserts or coast lines pull me away from the studio. The creativity is still there, just thriving elsewhere.
In an attempt to stretch what I do in the studio, I accepted a challenge my husband recommended back in July of 2020 (or so, do we honestly remember when things occurred at any point April 2020 – June 2021… do we?). We were spending time on the porch, probably waiting for the smoker to finish some amazing chunk of beef or rack or ribs, likely with a drink in hand because, after all, drinks will either lead to great ideas or terrible ones, it’s a fine line (and often one too many margaritas) that defines the two.
“Why don’t you do a song series”
“I do songs, what do you mean?”
“An album song series… one design for each song off each album… chronologically”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, good idea but I was already eyeball deep in design ideas and that took a back seat. At least for me it did. He brought it up periodically, perhaps timed well when I’d get stuck on a hot seller that flew out the studio, but didn’t give me the opportunity to do new things.
It came up again in December and I landed on a plan. And by plan I mean I announced it on social media. Might have well signed a contract in blood… there was no backing out now.
And so it begins, I’ve hyped it, picked a hashtag (it’s what the cool kids do these days), recorded stories, posted teasers, and have my first 5 designs finished. Some songs fall right out of my head and into a design, piece of cake. Some take a bit more work. I curse the frustration that comes with the latter. Questioning why I put pressure on myself like this.
But I suppose with each finished piece, with each celebration over a brand new design, which each excited “HEY LOOK AT THIS” that I yell at my husband, I know I put pressure on myself to stretch what I do.
To keep from going stale.
Just to keep going.
2 thoughts on “Creative pressure”
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the series! I’m sure it’ll all turn out great. Just remember, we’re all our own worst critic. And props to your husband for the idea!
Thank you – I hope to have the first album I’m working on wrapped up this week to post… I’ll be sure they’ll show up wherever I can manage to share them 🙂