"Creativity is not a talent. It's a way of operating."
A Study in Creativity: Watching Skillshare Classes While Cutting Out my new Fehr Trade Workout Patterns
I'm taking several great classes over on Skillshare. One of which is, Pass Go: Design your own Table Top Game taught by Grant Rodiek. It's really fascinating to step into the world of game mechanics from the limited scope of "card" or "table top"game. I love playing games, and could kick your butt at Texas Hold 'em, but haven't really gotten into the mechanics of them until recently. I feel like a door is just opening for me and I've a whole new world to explore, learn, and then play with. And, I'm learning from people who are doing this work right now that I might otherwise never meet. Thank you Skillshare!
Grant's Game Design class introduced me to John Cleese's speech on Creativity which I also found quite fascinating. I'm also studying, "How to Win the Internet: Writing for Sketch Comedy" by Marshall Rimmer. So, observing and listening to John Cleese's process for creativity is utterly captivating not just for thinking about game creation, but also in "How do I write something funny?" I've many moments I've made people laugh in my life, but rarely were they on purpose. And most often, I was teased until I cried. So, unlike my hilarious brother who spent his entire childhood telling and retelling bad jokes until one day he really was funny, I always got too serious and wanted everyone to like me instead of trying to find a way to make them laugh at me and not take it personally. I find it odd to begin the discovery process to funny now as an adult. But, here I am and it's NEVER too late to start.
For those who are interested, please take the 30 min to watch John Cleese talk about creativity. If you don't laugh, you're being too serious! His obsurdity is wonderful. I found listening to this while pattern drafting and cutting out my PB Jam Leggings pattern.
If you haven't seen Melissa's new patterns for workout or running gear, do check them out. I'm nearly done with the XYT top and will start sewing on my Valentine's inspired PB Jam Leggings tonight.
In the photo on the left, you may notice that I have several lines running vertically across the bust area. Why? Because I ran out of fabric and had to fudge to get the pieces to fit together. In hindsight, I should have just picked a different fabric for this piece instead of trying to fit several together. When I tried it on, the lines are SO visible when stretched across the bust. Hee hee... Kinda makes me laugh. But I learned what the results of my choice were and could decide to do or not do it again!
Skeletons, skeletons, skeletons! I love to draw cartoon skeletons doing funny things!! Are you inspired by day of the dead? By Halloween? And by silly skeletons? Ooo, ooo, I am! And that’s just what I ended up making this moon for the Little Alters project.
Kimberly Kostal is the recipient and I know how much she loves skeletons. In fact, last moon, she tried to make one for the alter for me, but got stuck. So, I was excited when inspiration began to strike. Little did I know, I’d hit some rough patches that would hold me back and delay my progress.
Below is the quick sketch I did of the skeleton I planned to create. I thought I'd be making a bah relief (think embossed or carved effect). But, my body and the universe had other plans and my idea totally changed. Or so I thought.
Do you find that when Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos time comes, you feel like the world has slowed to a near halt? This year I feel more in tune with the natural world. This means that my life is naturally turning introspective, the same way the earth is quieting for winter, and creating art is not as easy as other times of the year.
I’ve had ups and downs in health for much longer than I’d like now and am back on track to healing. But, sometimes, we need to pause and listen to our body, then change course. I’m learning to listen and honor the message, no matter how hard it is to hear. Spending time on health that I normally spend doing other things means less of those other things for now, including art.
After realizing I was going to attempt an art technique, the bah relief with paper clay, that I had never done, nor had any experience with (read neither failure or successes), I finally had to come to terms. I don’t like to work on techniques while on a deadline. I prefer to have tried, failed, succeeded, learned, and know how to do a technique before I attempt it under deadline. Otherwise, I’m a stressed out basket case. Not that bad really, but puts undue stress on my art and life and I need less right now.
I have tried techniques under pressure and time crunches and it can be very educational and huge inventions/breakthroughs can occur, but I’d rather save that for a different time/place than the alter project. You’d think one month was plenty of time. But for some reason, right now, my brain & emotional well being just need a bit less stress. So, I’m purposefully acknowledging and choosing the less stressful route. In future, I will try new techniques under deadline and will plan for it be a fun and enjoyable route. I've learned that planning helps make the journey fun and if you anticipate there will be unexpected turns, it is much more manageable.
Why not just draw & paint? Well, silly me, I thought that wouldn't be "enough". It wasn't grand enough, complex enough, blah blah - shut up critic in my head. Back to drawing I went. I found some ATC sized vellum / marker papers (heavier than cardstock) and re drew the original sketch. It's more fun to sketch an idea over an over (without expecting it to be exactly the same), because you begin to see what elements you consistently emphasize or remember.
After sketching Mr. Skelly Pants - who is actually a bit of a steampunk observer (he says, "Hmmm, yes... what is that I see" with the voice of a hefty walrus) - I grabbed all my water soluable crayons, pencils, and pastels and went to town coloring. Ooo boy, coloring between the lines! That was fun! You'll notice that I gave the feather a ton of color, but in the end it was a shiny purple. That was NOT on purpose. I was faking my way through, trying to to see what would happen. I think nicely though, the colors do come through a little and give the feathers and cap more depth.
After I watered it all down, it needed more still. I know! Twinkle H2O's! So, I painted the sky, the hat & feather, and a few other adornments in the wonderfully sparklie Twinkle H2O's. Now I'm really in LOVE!
Just above you'll see a miniature version of one of my skeleton designs that I carved into a stamp. I reduced it 50% and recarved it to create the one you see above left. But, it just didn't excite me for this month or on the mini canvas with paint above. Meh. And I was really diggin the water colors.
The down side of canvas was that it was just a smidge too thick to fit into the space. Oh I can fix that! With a blade, I went to town cutting off the folded corners of the canvas. Dangerous? Yes. Because the canvas could peel away over time. Washi tape to the rescue! Round the edges and 2 pull handles so the piece could be inserted into it's slot on the printer drawer and then easily removed. Grab a couple of bits of secure glue and mount that mini painting to it's canvas style frame. Voila!
Looking back at him now, I think he definitely has the dancing feel of the silly skeletons above, don't you?