If you make things – any things – I’m sure you know the creative urge.
Without the urge, I guess we wouldn’t create very much at all, so I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but why does it frequently turn up at the most inopportune times?
My creative urge frequently shows up just as I’m dropping off to sleep, or more often for me, when I first wake up early in the morning (usually due to a visit from a cat). Once it arrives, it refuses to leave until something has been done – as does the cat, I might add… First you have to get awake – properly awake – you will NOT be going back to sleep for some time, if at all. Then you have to focus in on what the urge is and begin to refine it: what is it I want to create; what will it look like; what will it be made from; what colours will I use, what are its dimensions, what will the finishing touches be? These are just a handful of questions that must be answered – NOW! In these circumstances, I don’t usually take the process much further than developing a mental picture of what it is and deciding when I will create it, although I know other makers who would have to immediately write everything down, or even go and begin making it.
The other circumstance when I am most often struck with the urge, is when I have a million and one other things that I absolutely have to get done and have no spare time for ‘playing’. This was what happened this weekend when I was struck with the dreaded but essential urge.
Amongst several other pieces I’m finishing off, I am trying to finish an order from the lovely Jessica for 14 embroidered and embellished wool felt Christmas star ornaments to decorate her tree in her antiques booth in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Friday, I got together everything I needed and, in the mood for a little sparkle, I made up a little mood board from all my materials and took a photo:
Looking at the white felt and the iridescent sequins, I was reminded about a half thought out idea I’d had for an embroidery whilst cruising Pinterest. I had a stern word with myself and pushed the thought away, tidied away the mood board and got started on Jessica’s stars. When fully awake, the urge has to work harder to take control!
By the end of the day, I’d cut out all the star fronts, traced out the main elements of the designs, basted them to the fronts and completed the embroidery for half of them. By Saturday afternoon, those 7 were all embroidered and embellished:
But, during all that time, the Pinterest inspired embroidery idea was nagging away at the back of my mind. I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to play and would give way to the urge only when I’d finished Jessica’s stars, but that urge is an untameable beast and will not be denied! By Sunday morning, despite wanting quite badly to go for a morning walk in the woods, I found myself on the couch at 8am, surrounded by embroidery threads and with my inspiration picture in front of me. Here it is:
Isn’t Foxy lovely? After first seeing this picture, which was ages ago, I kept thinking about it and somewhere along the way through the cables in my mind, the image found itself on a white wool felt background and surrounded by iridescent sequins. So I stitched like a fool until lunch time (and lunch was late as a result) and finally created what the urge had driven me to create:
Somewhat amusingly, after all that angst and effort, I’m not really that happy with the result! It’s okay, but other than the colour, I think Foxy looks more like a Wolfy and the little line of sequins at the bottom that were intended to suggest a mound in the foreground, are more suggestive of a row of sequins sewn on a bit crooked than the intended mound… But this isn’t a bad thing! I’m not unhappy about it at all – I had an urge and surrendered to it. Sometimes it comes out good, sometimes not so good, just as long as I keep having the urges, that’s okay with me! 🙂