sparking artistic creativity

I have been playing with stained glass and fused glass for over 20 years now, and it has taken me this long to start to tap into projects that I deem “artistic” rather than “crafty”.  That sounds like an awfully long time – let me qualify that by saying I have not been doing this full time, and it has been relegated to sparse spare time, between raising children and holding other jobs. It is in the past several years that I am devoting more time to this, and I hope that my sparkle vases and sculptures with driftwood are a few steps above the craft level.

There still are many times that I am stuck for an idea, and just want to produce something, anything. I still find it fun to do little, quick projects, like the “tiny treasures” featured in my side column. There are times when I work on a sculpture that is a vision in my mind, but the real thing falls dismally short.  I need the feeling of accomplishment I get by turning to a small project that I can complete professionally, looks cute, and can bring in a few dollars to buy more glass.

Then there are the times when I sidetrack completely, like this past week when I picked up some mortar and sand, dug up rocks from my yard, and tried creating a pedestal.  Note the use of the word “tried”, and lack of a photo here. Oh, I did it, and it stuck together, but it just wasn’t the vision that I had in my brain, or one I would like to show off. One of these days I am determined to get the materials to try the lanterns that I featured in June 20’s post. Experimenting with different media can spur creativity, and it’s fun.

Here is Beethoven describing his way of working: ‘I carry my thoughts with me for a long time, often for a very long time before writing them down … I change many things, discard others and try again until I am satisfied; then, in my head, I begin to elaborate the work … the underlying idea never deserts me. It rises, it grows. I hear and see the image in front of me from every angle.’ (Gruber & Wallace 1999) -from Robert Fisher’s keynote address at the ‘Teaching Qualities Initiative’ international conference 

Ben Burtt is the creator of  many science-fiction movie sound effects. By listening to the world, Burtt absorbed everyday “noises” as an inspiration for the vast array of sounds he would compile into movies such as the “Star Wars” series. Author Julie Burstein advises to “see what you always see – but see it in a different way.” -from James D’Arcangelo’s interview with Julie Burstein to discuss her new book, “Spark: How Creativity Works.”

What spurs your creativity?  How are you inspired?  Leave a comment . . .


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