Welcome to the new Weekly Creativity Thread.
This week, a change of pace to look at the great joy of making a mess!
But making a mess isn't always something we have completely positive associations with. So this week's three questions are to explore your thoughts and experiences on, well, making a mess.
1. How often do you just let go, create freely, and inevitably make a mess? (It doesn't have to be a literal, physical mess, with paint and glue everywhere. If your main creative outlets are writing, or digital images, or gardening, or sketching, think about what the equivalent to this might be.)
2. What's the best thing about making a mess? How has it led to new avenues and breakthroughs in the past that you wouldn't have found if your work was always tightly controlled?
3. What stops you from making a mess more often?
Look forward to hearing your views. Feel free to share pictures of messes too! (That's not me in the photo above).
[image credit: Robert S Donovan]
1. How often do you just let go, create freely, and inevitably make a mess? Every time I go up to my studio, I make a mess. That's part of the game. Before I start a project, I clean up everything, put the glue, scissors, paint and other supplies where they belong, empty the trash can, sweep the floor, and make space on my table. Then, as I get busy and into my project, I know where my stuff is and I can create without having to look for things (because that's a sure way to break the flow as I look for things and start to feel progressively more frustrated). Then everything gets all upside down but once I'm well into my creating, it doesn't matter - because I'm in the flow. And I'm lucky to have my own space where I close the door and leave the mess as is and come back to it when I'm ready to continue to create or I'm ready to clean it up.
2. What's the best thing about making a mess? It's just part of the process, if one is constantly preoccupied with keeping everything clean, all that energy goes in the wrong direction. The left brain is trying to control the messy, happy, risk taking, fun loving, explorer, adventurer, child-like artist from the right-brain side. It reminds me of the little kids who lived next door when I was a child. Their mother sent them out to play dressed up in pretty dresses and white shoes and they were supposed to come back home still clean and with their shoes still white - How on earth can you have fun and stay clean at the same time? My brother and I had play clothes and old sneakers and it didn't matter if we came back full of mud. We just undressed at the door and go straight into the bathtub and voilà! And we had a great time. While we were having fun buiding sandcastles, the little girls would watch us play.... same thing as we tumbled down the grass hill in the summer. You have to decide whether you want to be squeeky clean and spotless and eternally frustrated or get dirty and have fun!
3. What stops you from making a mess more often? Nothing stops me from making a mess! I'm a real champion at that and because I have lots of room to create in - in fact between my husband and I - our whole house is like a big studio where we can make a mess. The house is far from spotless but we're not looking to win any House Beautiful contest! Anything that cramps my style, I avoid. And if there is a choice between cleaning the oven and going up to my studio because I feel inspired, there is no contest! the oven can wait. And anyway when I get rich I'll get a housekeeper, a cook and a gardener and I can just spend all my days romping about and stopping only when it's time to eat or go to bed (funny, that sounds exactly like what I did from the ages 0 to six!)
The B/w photo is my studio in 1991 when I lived in town and the other two are now - the before and in-progress photo... I haven't changed much I notice in the way I lay out my studio and how much of a mess I make as I'm creating.
(The photos are not in the right order but anyway...This is as I start working on a project - not too messy yet...) Second one is in 1991 and the third is my studio now before I start making a mess )
Claude Aimee, I love your replies!
What a wonderful example of an artist in full flow, knowing what works for her and making the most of that knowledge.
Your example of the children next door is great - "You have to decide whether you want to be squeeky clean and spotless and eternally frustrated or get dirty and have fun!"
This line pretty much sums up this whole topic!
Have you always been like this as an adult artist? Were there times when you were afraid of making a mess when you created your work?
I've never been afraid to make a mess - the only time I'm not having fun creating is if I try to create work to «fit in» or be part of a group or please certain viewers or be «a serious artist» - then it's like slipping into somebody else's squeaky clean, spotless clothes and preventing myself from having fun and getting dirty. I know that if I don't create to please me and stay real - I'll feel miserable and nothing will come out of it anyway.
There's much to be learned from that. So many of us could do with relaxing our seriousness muscles a little when we create!
Claude Aimee! love your messy areas!..........very inspiring! Love your enthusiasm and philosophy with creating and life..............rawk on!
My favorite part is the unexpected as a result of the messy.............
Dan, i constantly make a mess mainly with all the papers I get...letters, things in the mail, journals, notes on paper, collage pieces, notes. I seem to forever be sorting out my paper messes.
lots of love from susan
Susan, does that hold you back at all? Or do you simply see it as part of life?
as you know a lot of my life is ebb and flow going from too little to too much and passing in between occasionally. I am certainly better at managing my life than I used to be and I am constantly learning. I don't have clutter problems or organisation, mess problems that many people have so I am pleased about that. I am quite an organised person
lots of love from susan in australia
I'm organized too, Susan.
Q1. I make a mess, creating freely....letting go DAILY........where would be the fun if I didn't? I also like to play in the snow and run through rain puddles........or just dance down the road in the rain....(doesn't matter what the neighbors thinK!) .........doodling is all about play and messes for me..........it's such a wonderful multi-talented tool!
Q2. the best thing about making messes? ..(((((((((((frEEEdOM))))))))))))))
The avenues come from unexpected choices and associations..........the gifts that appear.
Q3. What stops me from making a mess more often............the time needed to clean up....so I can make more messes.............
I'm all with you here, rain puddles, dancing in the rain, just letting loose!
Having to clean up the mess is a real bummer... but then, we can start again- the eternal cycle of creation. Fun!
"the gifts that appear"... Lovely...
What's emerging in this thread is that we see making a mess and being free from rules imposed by others as pretty much the same thing.
I took a photo yesterday that was one of the most abstract I've yet taken. For a moment I caught myself thinking "Is this too abstract? Will people know what it is?" Then I smiled, and let go of what anyone in the future may or may not think, and took it anyway. I love the result, and I feel it's one of those "breakthrough" pieces that give us permission to go to a whole other level (or off at a whole other tangent).