Everybody Draw Now

Soule Mama’s recent post really fits in to the Creative Prompt project. She also points to a NPR story (which, sadly, I missed) about drawing. Go and read all of Soule Mama’s post because it has a fantastic point of view.
clipped from www.soulemama.com

Keep Drawing!

I heard artist Mo Willems on NPR last night (Getting Adults to Draw). He observes that “people stop drawing when they decide they’re not good at it…[but] Nobody stops playing basketball once they realize they’re not going to be a professional.

Hear, Hear! Keep drawing!

He says, and I firmly believe, that in order for children to want to draw and to continue that into adulthood, they need to see the adults around them draw. They need adults to draw with them. No matter what our “skill-level” or whatever hang ups we may have about being – or not being – “an artist,” if we want our children to draw/paint/knit/sew/make, we must be doing it too. And really – what a wonderful assignment for us as parents, you know? Of benefit to us all…

  blog it

Creative Prompt #12: Source

Summary: new creative prompt for the week.

The word of the day the other day was ‘withdrawal’, which really spoke about going to a space where you can rejuvenate yourself. This reading made me think of a source of creativity and where that comes from. What is your source of creativity? How often do you draw on the source?

See the Creative Prompt page if you have questions about this project.

Post the specific URL or deep link where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted in the comments area of this post. It is an easy and good way to keep all the artwork together.

There is more creative goodness on the Creative Prompt Page.

Essay on Notebooks, Creativity and Podcast Influences

Summary: essay on art vs. craft and my rambling journey to find out my truth on this subject.

I have a notebook in my car. It is a spiralbound Strathmore sketchbook. I bought it about six months ago when I ran out of gas receipts on which to write directions, radio ad URLs and to do lists.

It is a bit of a sad sketchbook. Its promise isn’t really realized because it stays in the car. I don’t usually bring it into the house. It is a little bit bent from being jammed in the pocket of the driver’s side door. I don’t use colorful pens, pastels or pencils on the pages. I usually don’t sketch in it. I haven’t decorated the cover. It is utilitarian and serves a function

This sketchbook, by some strange twists in my mind, reminded me of an unsolicited “pep talk” someone gave me about being an artist at a recent art quilt gathering. The well intentioned person had just seen the Eye Spy quilt.

Finished top with borders
Finished top with borders

Somehow, this quilt was seminal for me. This very plain (as in non-artquilty) and ordinary quilt for The Child jolted me back into art quiltmaking.

I think I started writing this blog do just that – to record the process, to give myself some accountability and to inspire myself at a time when I was trying to build creativity into the few nooks and corners of a very full life and overstuffed schedule. I realized, that day, in showing the Eye Spy quilt that it worked!!! It took some time, but it worked!!!! In recording my process, I was ready to come back to working on some of my half finished art quilts.

At that gathering, I was trying to explain these feelings to the group and mentioned something I heard Wayne Thiebaud say when asked if he was an artist. His response was that he was a painter and that he would let history judge his work while he went on and painted every day. I love the fact that he has chosen to do his work and worry about what people think later.

Perhaps it isn’t humility; I don’t know the man personally, after all, but success that allows him to think that way?

In any case, my well meaning co-attendee said that I should say I am an artist and think of myself as an artist and then I would be an artist. She related her experience of doing the same thing and how it had changed her life.

I certainly want success with my quilts, but I don’t believe that by making stuff and saying *I* am an artist automatically makes *me* an artist. I don’t think that other people have to say that I am an artist to be an artist either. For me, it just doesn’t seem that easy.

Regardless of what I do I want to be happy. I am happy:

  • making my quilts
  • discussing and learning about art, design, creativity and quilts
  • making tote bags
  • layering paper and photos to make scrapbooks
  • responding to creative prompts
  • being inspired by other creative people
  • admiring the work of wonderful, creative podcasters and bloggers
  • etc.

Is this enough? For now, yes. Forever? Probably not. I am very cognizant of not wanting to ruin what I have by moving into being a professional artist. This is at the same time I am aware of the desire to expand what I do and publicizing it.

This whole discussion was brought to mind by a couple of episodes of the Creative Mom Podcast, to which I listened this morning. Amy has a very intellectual way of looking at her creativity, which I admire and think I share in some ways. I admire, as I have probably said many times, I am sure, her calm and even, yet enthusiastic tone.Her tone in itself is inspiring because of its poetry. Not literal poetry, but a poetic sound.

Art vs. Craft

In one of the podcasts, a mom Amy knows from schoolo asked her ( December 17, 2008 episode) after seeing her gauntlets, “are you one of those crafters?”

When I hear the word ‘crafter’ I think of plastic canvas and hot glue guns. Every tool and supply certainly has it’s place, but that is not me. I don’t think of myself as a crafter even though I live with the quintessential definition of craft: I want to surround myself and my daily life with practical, simple and beautifully useful items.

When I think of artist, I think of Wayne Thiebaud, Georgia O’Keefe, Michaelangelo, and Dorothea Lange. That is not me  either.

I wonder where I fit into this creative landscape of color and creativity? I don’t know so I guess I will continue what I am doing and follow in Wayne Thiebaud’s foosteps by letting history decide.