There has hardly been an art fair where I have found a piece of art made by someone else that I was willing to plunk down good money for. You know how we artsy types are. We see something and immediately think, “I could make that.” In fact, I will go so far as to say that we not only think we could make it, but were immediately calculating how we could sell some as well. But do we?
I have so many projects started that are hidden away in the deep dark recesses of my house, that even I don’t know where they are. Each and every supply was purchased with a feverish glee and a glowing visual of a long afternoon, crafting with my favorite tea cup.
Artsy folks have a different way of feeling about things. We get excited over scissors, crazy over crayons, and could lose our complete shit over a garage sale with drapery fabrics. So it goes without saying that no matter how much chenille we have vying for our attention, we will still get misty eyed at the opening of a new craft store.
Non-artsy muggles do not understand what happens when the magic takes over and the creative juices start flowing. It’s like being possessed. I remember one right minded person whining to me “You’re starting something else? Do you know how much crap you have in the closet already?” Hmpf!
I would just grin (mostly because it made him mad) and say, “I’m not in the mood to do THAT today.” It wasn’t a lie. All I wanted to do was knit, sew, or paint whatever it was that didn’t include what I had already started. I was not interested at all in a French knotted Christmas tree skirt or a mosaic tiled ashtray. I wasn’t trying to be wasteful. It was the joy of using my hands and working on a project that was my high. I think it’s similar to people who love to read when they crack open the book for the first time and smell.. well whatever it is THOSE people do.
I recently started thinking about my long lost projects, and even began working on a few of them again. Why would I spend so much time on something if I was never going to finish it? I was certainly able to finish them. I even thought I would finish them. So what was my issue? Then I started thinking about the creative process. Perhaps it’s not the bread I want to eat, but the kneading of the dough… maybe it’s not the flowers I wanted, but the digging in the dirt… and maybe it’s not a trim fit body I wanted… but the running on the treadmill… ok, let’s not go that far.
Then the blue light went off in aisle 7, the lightbulb in my head started to beam… I finally thought of something that made sense of all the bags and boxes of unfinished quilts and cross stitched bibs crammed in the crevices of the 3rd floor towel closet… I suddenly realized that it wasn’t the monogrammed bathroom tiles that made me happy… it was something so much bigger. It wasn’t the painted pots on my porch… and it wasn’t even the laminated Woman vs Wild bookmark that I started working on in 2012. It wasn’t the THING… it was the creating. The joy was in the DOING. Ah, I’m not a spend-a-holic. I’m a do-a-holic. Satisfied, I kicked a stray roll of raffia into the shoe rack and closed the door to my walk-in closet. I finally understood my demon. Your joy is not the flippin’ mountain, Deb, it’s the climb!