Both commitments have left little time for creative endeavours, but I did manage to submit an entry into the exhibition 'Rain', held at the Funky Aardvark in Chester (my first ever exhibit!), as well as completing a number of mini notebooks for the Funky Aardvark shop. In addition, I've had a few commissions to work on which have presented their own unique challenges. Having never received any formal arts training, or even remotely considered myself an artist, I found it terrifying to be confronted with a blank canvas (in book form), and told to "express my personality" on the cover. Feeling far from creative, possibly as a result of worrying about my mum, amongst other things, and knowing little about my client's taste, I lay awake over several nights, worrying about the result of the project, the deadline for which was growing ever nearer, and eventually produced a notebook which was adequate, but hardly inspired. Thankfully the gentleman who had requested the commission was understanding of my situation, and was happy enough with the result, but I had a definite feeling of what I can only describe as 'incompleteness' (is that even a word?) with the results of my efforts.
Since then, I've managed to fire myself up a bit more, and have indulged my passion for fine bindings, artists' books and the like, and the ideas and inspiration have been a bit more forthcoming. But the whole experience has brought into sharp focus just how elusive the creative muse can be at times, and how much simpler it would be if we could turn it on and off like a tap.
As an example, as I walked my mum's dogs this morning across the fields in the heart of rural Worcestershire (about as far removed from my urban Manchester home as you can get), although feeling tired and anxious from worry and lack of sleep, the sun was shining, and as my eight year-old daughter ran amongst the tall grasses ahead of me, the sight of her tomato red cardigan contrasting with the fresh green of the grass was truly beautiful and inspiring. I then noticed the plants and living things around me, and immediately began to feel more alive. Sometimes it really is just the simple things that make a difference....
Until next time...happy creating!