At a recent quilt guild meeting, an artist brought her trunk show, her life's work. Her early quilts were exquisite fabric renderings of paintings. Someone finally told her to stop doing other people's work, so she started designing. She gave herself permission to stop copying and start creating. Her original quilts showed the growth, the risk-taking and the experimentation; they were stunning.
Not only did the quilts change, but the artist changed as she spoke. When she introduced the newer quilts, her body language showed a confidence, a completeness, an ownership of the piece. She was comfortable in her self-expression.
Meanwhile, the woman seated across from me spent the whole time intoning under her breath variations on the theme of "I'm not creative, I could never make that." What?!
I wanted to throttle her after 5 minutes of this and ask her if she ever tried to be creative.
Creativity starts with believing in yourself, being positive and making the attempt.
1. Observe your surroundings and your self. What interests you? Creativity is self-expression - know yourself.
2. Start small. Tweak a traditional pattern. Make it a little bit different, stretch it some. Keep stretching.
3. Practice. Sketch. Make things. Make mistakes. Keep doing.
2013, hand appliquéd and hand quilted, 10" x 10"
Some more good reading on creativity: http://zenhabits.net/pixar/