Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I Haven't Posted Recently, or Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

Creativity is a harsh mistress, at times. Sometimes it all flows smoothly, sometimes work is barely finished before a new idea springs forth. Indeed, often there is a jostling lineup of new "ooooh, I could do this with that" in my head and ideas fall by the wayside as they're superseded by more better bigger WOW stuff pushing up inside.

Then, there are fallow periods. Periods when not only do I not have ideas, I don't particularly fret about not having them. I used to worry about these times, thinking I'd lost my creative impulse, and that I'd never have another good idea again, but I've learned that I need a resting phase every once in awhile. Then when the urges get working, I'm more energized than if I'd tried to force something to come.

But I've rarely experienced what I'm going through now. A long stretch of really really BAD ideas. They all seem great when I start, of course. "Hey, that's neat, let's do that!" Then, either after a few stitches, or more regrettably, a good way toward a finished piece, I realize it's all gone pear-shaped. (A lovely Britishism, isn't it?)

And then I realize that not only does this thing not look good, it's not ever going to look good, no matter what I do to it. The latest lipstick-on-a-pig effort was some barrel-shaped hematite beads I tried to kumihimo, thinking "what if I used larger beads than normal", interspersed with some leopard jasper rounds in a spiral pattern. I mean, it seemed like a good idea at the time. But what I ended up with is a huge grey-black lump of magnetized hematite, the general shape and size of a year-old boa constrictor, only not so attractive.

It seems like everything I start lately goes this way. I've only finished one item, a fast and easy bracelet I've listed on Etsy, but as of now, it only has two views. Two! Sigh.  And I don't even like that one so much.

I had another project underway, a very long lariat with mixed green beads intended as the base for a wonderful tagua nut iguana bead I bought several years ago. Oddly, that one has evolved away from what I originally thought I might do, to the point where I don't even think the main focal will be used on it!  Usually when I work, I go with serendipitous urges to add or modify as I work, but lately all these urges seem to go astray and make things much worse instead of better.

And so everything seems to go these days. Bad ideas mutate into even worse ones. Good ideas stagnate or mutate out of recognition. I'll work through this, I know I will. I just hope it's soon. I'm getting tired of my choices being bad ones.

I am turning out a decent ornament cover for a gift, But even that took three failed tries to get it moderately right.  Maybe it's just winter, for such values of winter as we have here in Southern California.  I need some inspiration. Maybe a picture of a sea slug will cheer us all.