Creative Spark #21: Fear

This is another spark I don’t want to confront or acknowledge. Bloomston, however tackles that exact issue in the first paragraph of the spark by saying “Creativity is my own version of anti-anxiety meds**. It’s a self-made panacea and it is usually effective….You can’t stay stuck in your fear if you are already wandering to your next creative project. Creativity is hope. (pg.89).”

After reading the above, I have to confront what I know about my own creativity related fear:

  • I am not afraid of fabric, piecing, new techniques. Frustrated sometimes: yes; afraid: no.
  • I am not afraid of what my next project will be (have you seen my list?)
  • I might be afraid of finishing all my projects and not knowing what to do next.
  • I am afraid of not having time to finish all of my projects.
  • I am not afraid of fabric combinations or combining fabrics.
  • I am not afraid of running out of fabric (can you say design challenge?).
  • I am afraid of not having enough: enough fabric (stop laughing!), enough thread, the right ruler, enough pins, etc.

Yes, I have fears, but I combat them using many methods. “Being creative is the answer right now (pg.90).” I have a goal to sew or draw or do something every day. This is not a 2018 New Year’s Resolution. I have had that goal for a long time and I just keep chipping away. Creating patterns using the Zentangle method is a new way to try and achieve that goal. “Creativity takes courage. It takes courage to be who you are. It takes courage to step into the unknown, to dig around in your soul and see what you find, to follow your passion, to start something new (pg.90).”

Bloomston provides some ways to be brave. I am not sure bravery combats creative fear, but it is worth considering. She suggests cultivating “beginner’s mind or shoshin (pg.90).” I like this idea. When you are a beginner, you don’t know that you can’t do something. I resized some blocks in my first quilt, not knowing that beginners didn’t really do that. I also found a block in an issue of Quilter’s Newsletter than I wanted to include. There were no templates or anything, so I had to redraft the block and make the templates. Nobody told me I couldn’t, so I did it. I finished my quilt and while it is isn’t perfect, I did it and wasn’t afraid. I wholeheartedly agree with beginner’s mind. I have been thinking about that lately and wanting to embrace it, thus the Zentangle class. I don’t know if I can capture that mindset with quiltmaking. It is hard to forget what I already know.

I do know that each quilt presents a new challenge. Putting blocks or units together is always a challenge.

“Fake it ’til You Make it (pg.90)” is a phrase with which I agree. I often do not feel confident in certain situations. I act confident and that projects confidence to others. Bloomston has some examples from a Ted Talk about how posture changes the body, which are interesting and worth thinking about. I like the idea of power posing she discusses.

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.






**This is not making an judgments about the need for any kind of mental health medication. If you are struggling, please contact your doctor or ask a friend to contact your doctor.