Friday, December 23, 2011

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Have you heard of this new trend, "Ugly Christmas Sweater" parties?

I suppose the premise is that all those sweaters bedecked with patchwork snowmen, glitter ornaments, and fuzzy reindeer are rather tacky.  And since people getting into the holiday spirit seem to be compelled to purchase one or two.....well, we may as well embrace the Ugly!

There are actually online companies who specialize in these fashion "don'ts", and some have even added pants, hats, etc.  One enterprising woman from Maine began buying up all the "uglies" she could find in her local thrift shops, and she takes them to a new level of UGLY by embellishing them even more with fringe, glitter, pompoms, etc.  She was interviewed recently on Fox News and showed samples of her "finery" to all of America.  She says her business is thriving!

This crazy fad got me thinking about the reality that there isn't too much available in the way of truly beautiful Christmas apparel.  I began to visualize exquisite hand-painted silk jackets in rich colors and elegant designs.

Or, how about a simple top to wear with classic black skirts or pants?  Maybe a little festivity added with metallic paints and glitter?  (Applied sparingly, of course).

OK, the wheels of creativity are turning again in my brain!  What do you think of this concept?  Is there still a market for tasteful, wearable art?  
I want to experiment with this idea.  Would love your feedback. 

Until then, live creatively.... and have a Joyous Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Dilemma of the Creative Mind

The ideas jump around in the brain and they multiply into "much better" ideas.  And those ideas breed even more ideas.
It is dizzying- it can cause your mind to "shut down" as if on overload.

So we start writing them down, sketching them out.  Then we get to our workspace, excited and stimulated by these interesting concepts.  We cannot wait to begin creating them.

There are sooo many...where do I begin?  My workspace is splattered with unfinished pieces, distracting me away from all my new and wonderful ideas.  That overwhelmed feeling is rising up again, and my heart races just a little.  I can feel that familiar tension begin  in my temples.
What will I do???

Well, sometimes the frenzy of all of these ideas does paralyze me....and I accomplish nothing.
But here is what I've learned:  First, JUST START SOMETHING!  Pick up an unfinished piece, store the others away, and complete just that ONE.  There is nothing like a completed work to provide satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment.

Or,  store away ALL unfinished works.  Now that your work table is cleared, set up several sheets of paper (any kind will do), grab 2 paint colors, (Without too much thought).  If you cannot do this, just close your eyes and choose!  Now ,  BEGIN!  Apply paint to paper with abandon; use a foam brush, a crumpled paper towel, a foam stamp or sponge-  whatever is handy.

Play like a child, with no particular goal in mind.  (Sometimes difficult to do, I know, I know!)
Do not plan, do not plot, DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF.  Work quickly and loosely, knowing that there is no incorrect result to be attained.

Spend 15 to 30 minutes at this exercise, adding more papers and another paint color if you like.  When you are finished put them all aside to dry.
BTW, those crazy papers you just made will not be wasted; use them as background papers, "mosaic"
pieces, etc.  Overstamp them, scribble on them.  Tear them into pieces and glue them onto cardstock or canvas boards.  Don't discard them if you think they are unattractive or "unworthy."

I'll discuss the many ways to use these papers in another entry.
For my next post, I'll share another "creativity jump-start" with you.

Until then, live creatively!