Last month, I ended my newsletter article by saying, “Let the creative journey begin!” But in truth, I have been on my creative journey for a very long time and I suspect that you have too. In 2007, I started a blog that I called “Creative Play.” My idea was to try something new each week, to play around in my studio and to post the results. My last project was a year-long weekly journal quilt project that I wrapped up the week after my daughter was born. She then became my study in creativity. I began to realize both that creativity is innate and that it is important, important enough to be a vital part of early life.
I appreciate now that “Creative Play” came about because I unconsciously realized that I was missing both creativity and play in my life. If I think back to the playing that I did as a child, I recognize that most of it was actually just pretend work. I created a library card catalogue for my children’s books. I played architect and drew floor plans at a TV tray desk that I set up in my room. I got a label maker for my 11th birthday and I loved it. I understand that there is creativity in each of these, but one of the things that I finally realized during the past year was that I forgot how to truly play a really long time ago. Relearning that and more importantly, believing that playing is really okay, was a major step in rediscovering my creativity.
One of the things that I have done this year, to bring about more play in my life, is to create a toy box for myself. Friends of ours from England generously hauled across an ocean a Fortnum & Mason hamper to us. Once the tea, biscuits, and jam were gone, I appropriated the hamper to be my toy chest and I filled it with art supplies. Now, when I am in the need of a little play time and want a change from my typical medium, I reach into it for some crayons or paints and I play.