Category Archives: creativity

Thinking about thinking

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For more forced perspective photos, click on the picture

For more forced perspective photos, click on the picture

This is a very cerebral post, so I will try to keep it short.

As a person who thinks a lot, I think lots of possibilities. I have ideas upon ideas and they pass through my mind quite fleetingly. This is happening to me all the time.  I think the goal, the steps, required materials, possible problems, possible outcomes, all in one foul swoop. I can break ideas down, but when I am thinking in general without concentrating on disciplining my thinking, I see it all at the same time. So generally, ideas come and go quickly because they have been attended to and are usually dismissed, because, well I can see a lot of possible problems before I start and my mind has moved on to the next idea.

Because of the way I think, I also see a lot of complexity in the world.  I can think of lots of bits and pieces that make up whole actions, so anything that I do not know how to do I see as difficult. I appreciate how demanding everyone’s jobs are. I empathise with people’s different life situations. If you give me a problem I can give you many explanations why that happened.  I can also justify anything because I see how different things are linked. As a teacher, I can create activities that are engaging, educational and manageable all at the same time, and often quite quickly off the top of my head. I can envisage change and how that may or may not succeed.  Of course, the actual result may not be the same, but in my mind I can think of the big picture. I actually do not like the tedious details, they weigh down on me as there are too many, and I see them all at the same time. I enjoy the ideas phase of a project and teasing out the plan of action. The actual doing is not so inspiring to me, so it is very hard to find hobbies that I enjoy from beginning to end.

Reflecting on this perspective that my mind naturally takes, I feel like I am being tricked. I feel like I am being tricked into thinking too much and almost sabotaging my action on difficult ideas that might be worth doing.

Is it not true, that doing would be a lot easier than my mind thinks it would?

I wonder why I have this thinking pattern, and is it good or bad?

Does this type of fast thinking hinder creativity or is it how creativity works in my mind?

Is my mind allowing me to see a lot of ideas and be selective on what I choose to do, or is it making me eliminate possibilities before I have even tried?

I do a lot of things but I always feel I could do more. I want to know how other people’s minds think and how they manage their idea processing. I also want to know whether processing too much thinking has played a part in exhausting my body to the point it is now chronically unwell.

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The creativity of Jean Paul Gaultier

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My artist’s date today went wonderfully. Even though I had a fair bit of pain, I pushed through it. I may pay for that later, but who knows?
I had an inspiring afternoon at the National Art Gallery in Melbourne. I did find out a lot about my own creative leanings along the way, so that was a success!
Here are some tempting snippets of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition (my new compact camera is out of its box). The creativity of this amazing man speaks for itself.

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Where is my creativity hiding?

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Matisse quoteWhen you have to spend a lot of time resting you end up with a lot of thinking time. Pain and fatigue means that your thoughts can be confused and untamed at times and, if you overthink ideas like me, your thoughts might go round and round, but lead nowhere. When my mind is all over the place I have been turning to easy pastimes while resting, like television and computer games and reading. However, I know I have a creative side so I thought I might be able to harness my thinking and channel it into more creative hobbies that may be a lot more mentally stimulating and rewarding. Story making, drawing, painting that sort of thing.

Having an illness leads to connecting more intimately with the inner self. Some people find that they are able to express this connection with their inner self through art, writing, photography, sewing, etc. This is what I want to do, but it seems that my motivation and creativity is lost as soon as I arrive home. Lately, as soon as I am home I crash to sleep and then I struggle to feel well thereafter. It is like because I want to use my creativity more, suddenly it is not ready and waiting, it is hiding from view. Further, days off at home when I am well rested, relaxed and interested in being creative and not catching up on jobs, are few and far between. I am capturing little bits of time here and there but it is just not enough effort. I am not getting the quality time to think of an idea, grab onto it and run with it. Right brain

I think I am creative enough. I know I used to be when I was younger. I show creativity at work, especially with thinking up teaching ideas. I am beginning to share my creativity when I create art examples for my students. I have such an urge to create art in my own art lessons, but I am not student, I am teacher, and that involves a lot of time doing management and assisting and not a lot of time doing making.

I have twittered from one idea to the other and not settled on anything very productive. There are things in my project box, but nothing is focused. I have used morning pages and now I can’t do them while I’m working, there’s not enough time to get ready of a morning (it takes me a long time).  I am ever so slowly working through what I like and what inspires me, the topics and materials. It feels as if I will never settle on an idea and get that motivation towards a project that I am seeking.

Tomorrow I am heading to the National Art Gallery in Melbourne. I am going to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition and will see what inspires me throughout the day. I will also take my new compact camera with me to have a practise with it’s settings.

You may be thinking, “Why are you not staying home tomorrow on your day off, you could work on it then?” I should be staying home, especially as I feel like I need to sleep. But, my car needs a service. It’s a month late actually. So, it’s a trip to the city for a car service. The redeeming factor is that the Subaru where I take my car give complimentary coffee and provide a shuttle bus into the city centre. It’s the small things that make all the difference.

Creativity lost (again)

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There is a lot of advice out there about unlocking creativity, breaking down the blockers, etc., and I’ve read some, it’s not currently working. I just keep falling through the hours until there is nothing to give except sit and feel tired. I have so many creative ideas throughout the day but then they pass.

These are my pathetic excuses:

I don’t want to start anything because then I have to commit to it and I can’t deal with commitment right now. Half the time I can’t concentrate enough to make a cup of tea without stuffing it up, so I don’t know how acting out creativity would go.

I think that my work won’t come out like I visualise it, with my mind so all over the place, so I don’t start.

No energy. That no energy thing really gets in the way of a lot of things.

No time. Actually, when I do have time, like at the end of the day, I have no energy and my ideas don’t seem so good anymore, even if I wrote them down. I think it will take me a really long time. I don’t seem to make the time- to prioritise a day for example.

What I did do tonight, that is good, is I read some more children’s books. They all have lovely illustrations and that is what I have been focusing on, how different types of illustrations are featured in picture books.  All these books are created by writer/illustrators. Three completely different styles of illustration…

1. Hasel and Rose

Written and illustrated by Caroline Magerl

(Scratchy, sketchy line pictures with watercolour)

Hasel and Rose

The author with her finished art for the book.

Caroline Magerl with her finished art for the book. Click here to go to the author’s website.

2. How long is a piece of String

Illustrated by Madeleine Meyer (no words)

(Black ink drawings with lots of cross hatching and pattern, with some bright coloured ink highlights and shading)

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3. Draw me a Star

Written and illustrated by Eric Carle

(Collage of painted papers cut into shapes)

Draw me a Star

Eric Carle at work painting. Click here to go to his author page.

Eric Carle at work painting.
Click here to go to his author page.