As for the first topic, creativity can elude me sometimes, which I find startling because I consider it central to who I am. I’m not talking about the “right brain, left brain” mentality. That’s nine kinds of garbage. A person uses their whole brain from minute to minute. You are not robbed of a whole hemisphere of your brain just because you identify as creative or analytical. I am creative and believe it or not, I have a whole brain, you guys!
However, I work in an incredibly black and white, knee-deep in spreadsheets, ones and zeros tech job. It’s fine. I love a challenge, and most of the time, my job provides just that. Every few months however, Creativity and her brute squad, Inspiration and Imagination collectively dig their heels in, and the whole mechanism grinds to a halt.
Suddenly, I’m facing a monitor full of spreadsheets, and it is as if I’m looking at a TV screen full of static. A software developer tries to explain a concept to me, and all I can hear is “Uptown Funk” on repeat. I feel like a salmon swimming up stream. A salmon who is killer at mixing prints in her wardrobe when she goes to work at her desk job, but you guys, I’m totally a salmon.
Last weekend, I think I figured it out. And when I say, “I figured it out,” I mean I realized that all those times people gave me this advice, they were right. Just do the work. If you’re tired, if you’re feeling uninspired, if you’re worried you’ve lost it, just start moving. Move your pencil. Move your paint brush. Just start doing it. There will be hiccups, but results will come.
Last week, I was in full-blown salmon mode, twitching at being asked once again to sit at a desk for one more day (injustice!), especially when I have to sit directly
under the 2013 Polar Vortex under a vent and all they give me in return is a nice paycheck with benefits (jerks) when suddenly I thought, “you can sew. Make a snuggie.” That was all it took. It was the next day, walking through the fabric store that I could feel the spring reenter my step. My ideas started moving. And all because of a snuggie.
Creativity just wants to be entertained. She just wants to be invited to the party. She gets that your job requires her cousin who likes numbers and systems and processes, but when you come home, give her a minute. Let her dance around. Let her help you make a snuggie.
It seems to me you need to treat your brain like you treat any muscle. Keep it active. Keep it moving. Cross train! Make sure all areas of the brain get some attention because we aren’t meant to exercise our arms 24/7 when our legs are itching to run. We aren’t meant to dwell in numbers when a well-placed word can be so meaningful. Just like going to the gym for physical fitness, we need to carve out time to indulge the neglected parts of our brain.
I ended up not making a snuggie because I thought I owed it to my fashion design bachelors degree that my first sewing project in four years is something other than a snuggie. I made a fleece cape to wear in my office, and it was nonsensically easy to make while at the same time looking designed and cool. And on that note…
Coming soon to the blog: how to make a “better than a snuggie” fleece cape. And yes, that’s the official title.
And in regards to the second topic: You’re going to need wool socks for winter. Done.