7.10.2011

Questions for Creatives

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. It assumes that today's writing is directed only toward those who confidently describe themselves as "creative," but are countless individuals who actually possess and exercise a great deal of creativity without ever recognizing in it. cough MOM cough. cough LIZ cough.

Therefore, whether or not you identify with this adjective, please keep reading. I have a few questions for you.

As one who is continuously striving to stretch my personal limits and break down the walls of my comfort zone--chiefly in design, but also in what I eat, what I read, what I listen to and where I travel--I find the ideas and opinions of others to be extremely helpful. Delving into the crazy twists and turns of another's brain is always an adventure. I may have gazed up at the clouds today and said they look like elephants; you, on the other hand, may have spotted the Pyramid of Khufu.

Cloud gazing and creating echoes in southern Kansas.

Out of genuine curiosity, I'd love to know:

  • Through what medium do you normally express yourself? Are you a writer? A painter? A baker? Or do you choose to dabble here and there as the mood strikes?
  • When you begin a new project, how do you choose to start? Do you plan it out first, mapping the steps and setting deadlines? Or do you dive in without more than a second thought? And either way, why?
  • How do you stay organized? Or do you even make the effort? Why or why not?

How do you focus?

I'm endlessly trying to stay more focused, more organized, more productive...but without fail, I end up getting stuck in ruts. As we all do, I suppose. Current ruts include Facebook, email and (this one's new) Google Analytics. Thanks a lot to Campfire Chic for that last one. This leaves so little time to finish the projects I've started that the days end up feeling more chaotic then ever. Which leads to frustration and lack of motivation, rather than increased creativity. Yaaaargh! Do you struggle with this cycle? And if so, what helps you to overcome it?

8 comments:

  1. I definitely struggle with that cycle! I hate falling into those creative black-holes. I tend to deal with ruts by making time to hit up a coffee shop for an hour, listen to my iPod, and doodle until my hand falls off. Really helps get the juices flowing again.

    I identify with the adjective "creative" on most good days. I get through a lot of artistic media, I have to say (dabbler? ). But, my hobbies of choice are mainly: drawing, writing, and photography.

    My personal projects usually begin on whims or inspired giggles. I rarely map anything personal out (which is probably why I have problems sticking to things). However, when I start a project for school or for a more organized group, I plan furiously. Unfortunately, I often come out the other side feeling like the planning taints the spontaneity of the project.

    Organization is... a problem. I am, however, getting better! I find that writing everything down/drawing everything in *one* notebook (instead of eight notebooks for different subjects) really helps. I also find that reading over what you've written every week or so is a great way to keep track of those fleeting thoughts.

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  2. Two things that sound very helpful: writing everything down in ONE notebook and reading over old pieces of writing. I tend to jot down lists and plans on random pieces of paper and Word documents--not very helpful in staying organized. Thanks for the perspective on that.

    Planning out a project makes me feel so grown up and practical! But yes, the problem then becomes staleness, which gets frustrating. Nice to know that others struggle with this balance, too.

    Oh, random PS -- your Johnnycakes from the other day looked de-li-cious. Wow.

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  3. My response was going to be a little long, so I made a post of it instead. Please check it out at:

    http://designmorsel.blogspot.com/2011/07/response-for-creative-management.html

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  4. I agree with one notebook for all ideas - and to keep it close by with a pen at ALL times. Right now I am really loving the Moleskine large unlined notebook.

    For motivation, I have started listening to the Daily Boost podcast everyday and I am finding it really helpful!

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  5. I am certainly a dabbler, from cooking (more about the flavor combos than the science of it) to crafts, drawing etc. (and those are often more about the color combos than technique). I can't actually plan out a project, because it is ALWAYS different in my head than what my hands will do, and I don't am incapable of following any kind of structured plan - I get too exited. Therefore, I have ideas that I build upon. This allows the perfectionist part of me to let go, and the creative part take over - allowing me to work within constraints I did not plan for, like running out of a material or it becoming "jonky". Being organized and being creative are two concepts that don't meet in my world, which means I have a lot of unfinished projects. But a year later I can have an "a-ha!" moment and have those creative juices flowing enough to finish the project (usually much different from the original concept). I love the idea of notebooks - I find sketches on envelopes, receipts, real notebooks... I just don't always have the "official idea binder" around me when stricken with an idea. I'll have to look for a smaller one - it had never occurred to me :)

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  6. Jenny -- sounds like our cooking styles are very much the same, though you may be better able to cope with messiness than I am :) I tend to become a bit unnerved without some plan of action, though I do think there's something to be said for the ability to just create on a whim.

    Design Morsels -- Response post in the works :)

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  7. Claire, the johnnycakes *were* delicious. Let me know if you'd like the recipe!

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  8. I would absolutely love the recipe :)

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