When I was a little girl, I drew all the time…mostly horses. I could look at a picture and duplicate it freehand. But, I never thought that I was creative, because I couldn’t make an accurate drawing of something that I just pictured in my mind. My drawings were not unique, original designs; therefore, I was not creative. So, I didn’t pursue art (Right brain). Instead, I went the science route (Left brain).
But, what I didn’t realize until now, is that I have always been creative; I just didn’t recognize it. I will call it…creativity incognito.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about creativity and what is involved with that process. On my last morning at the International Quilt Festival, I was sitting in the coffee shop drinking my coffee (and had had enough coffee by that time that I could be conversant!) when a 30 something young woman sat across from me. She is from east Texas and comes to the show every year. I asked what classes she was taking. “Oh, no classes! We just come to shop and look at the quilts”. She said that she really liked the more modern quilts and I readily agreed that they had some amazing modern quilts at the show. She enthusiastically told me about the book, “Modern Neutrals” by Amy Ellis and that she had already made 4 or 5 of the quilts in it. I told her that I have been working on some of my own modern designs and using EQ7 (quilt design program) and iDraw to design blocks and quilts. I was really surprised when this tech-savvy girl said “I could never do that!” I said “Quilting is a lot like cooking, start with a recipe and spice it up, change it up to suit your own taste.” Her reply was, “I always follow the recipe”.
I have been thinking about that conversation all week. I have a ton of cookbooks, and when making something new and really different, I start with a recipe that someone else has perfected…but even then, I may tweak it a bit. This ease in the kitchen comes from years of cooking (don’t want to tell you how many), learning techniques, knowing what ingredients go together well and just doing, i.e. experience and experimenting. I am now doing the same with my quilting: I don’t follow the recipe. Maybe I am creative!
In upcoming blog posts, I’ll explore more about the process of creativity and my creative journey.