The healing process of making stuff

The healing art of making stuff

This image belongs to pinwheeldesigns who sells a print version at . Please support her efforts: click on this image, which will take you to her website, where you can BUY one. I did. :-)

As I wrote in my last blog post, I re-initiated my daily walk and my creative un-blocking via The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. That’s a good start, but it isn’t enough until I actually resume making stuff. Making stuff is the key to recovery.  Many artists might assume this means diving right back into a “serious” painting, or a “serious” effort at maintaining a visual journal, or some other “serious” kind of artistic activity. It ain’t necessarily so.

About six months ago or so, I saw some beautifully decorated cakes on Facebook by Maha Muhammed in Manchester, England, proprietress of Arty Cakes. They are truly the most beautiful decorated cakes I’ve ever seen. The flowers look real, and is if they had blossomed right out of the surface of the cake. I felt I must learn to decorate cakes like that, so I could make edible flowers, too. So I bought $200 worth of Wilton cake decorating supplies, and made my first cake, in preparation for my daughter’s wedding. In October I made my first (and more than likely last) wedding cake for my daughter’s wedding. Both cakes were beautiful (though not even close to as beautiful as Arty Cakes). Mission accomplished. Sort of.

After the wedding cake, I started seeing pictures of beautiful, intricately carved pumpkins, and thought that I must carve some kind of beautiful, intricately carved pumpkin myself for Halloween.

And then I thought to myself, “WHY do I keep taking on these crafty, temporary, art projects?” The answer to that question lies in “art projects.” I was (and still am) suffering from art deprivation.

I have been unbalanced toward academic work and away from making stuff for too long, and it is injuring my mental health. I realized that with the pumpkin-carving craving. I didn’t really want to carve a pumpkin. I didn’t really want to decorate a cake. What I really want to do is get in my art studio and make stuff!

And that’s when the tumblers in my very tired brain started to shift, and I started rearranging things to get back in the studio, take the walks, work The Artist’s Way, get unblocked.

It’s working. I haven’t started a new painting (I can’t even get into my studio to draw right now–it is a wreck, and needs to be cleaned, sorted and organized). But while I was eating my dinner and watching Bones last night, I suddenly had the urge to get out some knitting that I started last winter and haven’t worked on since. Then I saw the image I’ve posted for you today, and I realized that I was right about the cake decorating and the pumpkin carving.

Here’s to surrendering to creative urges. It’s like the melting of glaciers. The more I say “yes” to every little creative urge and act on it, the more and faster the glacier melts; the closer I get to being able to actually get into and work in my studio.

If you are having creative urges, I urge you to surrender to them and go make stuff. I’m going to mend some pants right now. What are you going to do?


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