Overambitious creativity

No, really. I don’t mean this as negatively as it sounds. It’s more a statement of fact.

I am my own worst enemy. In no particular order, I can do the following things: marble paper, embroider, knit, sew, paint, draw, spin, stamp, print, glue, fold, bind books, illuminate, work leather, cook, play piano, play the ukulele, make jewelry, dance, and about six other things I can’t remember at the moment.

That sounds like a really impressive list, but it’s just a list. Out of the things on there, I can do maybe four well. I’m sort of okay at the rest, and will likely remain that way.

Why this sudden burst of self-inspection? Well, I was lucky enough to be able to attend TEDxAtlanta yesterday, and the theme of the talks was creativity. I was very interested in this particular subject because as you can probably tell, I consider myself to be a rather creative person. Anybody whose motto is “that’s too expensive, but I could probably make one myself” is a creative person. So I had something in common with each and every speaker up there on stage.

The one thing that I don’t have in common with them is focus. Focus is so important to creativity, because you can  be sort of good at a lot of things or really good at one or two things, and the people who are really good at one or two things are the people who do amazing work. It frustrates me sometimes that I do okay work, but nothing particularly amazing. I’ve had to reign myself in with the SCA, because I want to sew and embroider and dance and sing and bind books, and while I’m dividing my creative time among all those things, none of them ever see real progress.

Anyway, hearing India.Arie and Elizabeth Turk and Victoria Rowell and Armin Vit talk about the things they know best was really eye-opening. They all do astonishing things, because all their time goes into something focused. India makes music. Elizabeth makes sculptures. Victoria dances. Armin collates and comments on all of the best/worst design out there (and designs well, too).

So now, while I may not have great clothes to wear and I may not be the most prolific knitter ever, I think maybe I’m going to play some killer ukulele and make some bloody amazing books (but not all at the same time).


Incidentally, another talk was about alternative learning styles and folks with ADD, and Sally Hogshead talked about shortening attention spans, both subjects I feel are relevant to my current creative output.

About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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2 Responses to Overambitious creativity

  1. When I changed my name, I made a conscious decision to focus my research more tightly. I still do take field trips from time to time, but when there’s a choice, I tend toward my primary zone.

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