Finding more than one path to our creative lives

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Finding more than one path to our creative lives

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nov 6, 2007, 8:24 pm

Most of us here find that our creative impulses lead us into the paths of literature - writing stories, poetry or perhaps non-fiction. But many of us find we have several ways to express our feelings. Some of us paint & write, some play a musical instrument. When I was in Hi school I played the piano, & played the trumpet in the school band & orchestra. In college I played the Fluegelhorn & considered a musical career. But my real love was writing, & that is what I do now, though not as a professional. Music is still an important part of my life, especially classical music.
How many of us have more than one path that we take to express our creativity? What are they?

nov 8, 2007, 12:13 am

Until I went to college, I sketched and painted. It surprises me how helpful my basic graphic design skills have been in my writing career, because a lot of magazines want writers to provide illustrations or illustration ideas for stories and articles. I get very impatient with detail work in graphic art, in contrast to my almost obsessive attention to detail in my writing. Clearly, I was not meant to be an artist!

As a child, I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons. If I got lazy about practicing, my mother could always get me to be more diligent by threatening to stop the lessons. I've always loved making music more than listening to it (though I do enjoy listening). But I only wanted to play for myself - I never considered a career as a pianist.

I sew, too.

I think creative people are naturally drawn to express their creativity in a variety of ways.

nov 8, 2007, 9:56 am

Yeah, uh, I write, draw, paint, play the oboe, dabble at the mandolin and a half dozen other instruments at various degrees of talent, cross-stitch, develop my own photos, and mess around with video/multimedia collage.

But it's never really occurred to me that all these things are connected.

I think that one thing interesting about them is they really reflect my middle range in terms of "right brained"/"left brained." Usually creativity's associated with right-brained people, but the joy I get from my creative outlets are the left-brained side of the activity. For example, I don't particularly like to take pictures - I like to develop them. Taking them is the dull part of the process. And I think cross-stitching is the ultimate both-brained activity. On one hand, it's creative, you're working with color and making a design - but on the other hand, it's extremely regimented.

I find that I always want to mix my creative outlets - or push them further. I take video clips of ordinary people, and the goal is to eventually juxtapose them with sound clips, also spoken by ordinary people, but with extraordinary quotations. So you'll see a guy filling up his car, and hear a woman with a country accent saying "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

And then there's the 3D cross-stitch idea...

nov 8, 2007, 11:11 am

I was a music education major in college and have been a singer for most of my life. I also play the violin, guitar, ukelele and recorder. Music is and always will be the main outlet for my creativity.

Over the years, I've become interested in photography and webpage design.

I've often wished that I could write, but the best I can do is a poem here or there. I come up with ideas for short stories, but I can never quite figure out how to start them.

nov 8, 2007, 2:20 pm

I am a writer, or at least I try to be. I write my observations down as often as I can. I want to one day look back on my experiences and be able to expand on a three sentence paragraph to make it into a real story.

I have had poems published in my college political arts magazine, I will be having a creative nonfiction piece published in my college literary journal and I'm also going to be published in a Staten Island writers anthology called "Trails Through the Greenbelt" which will be coming out sometime in December 2007 or January 2008.

nov 8, 2007, 7:50 pm

Congratulations, roxpie!

Tygerlilli - I think a poem here or there qualifies as being able to write. I have the opposite problem with stories, short or long. I can start writing just about anything, but it's only been more recently that I've learned how to finish things. You might try just setting down on the pages whatever comes to you, even if it seems like the middle or end of a story. The beginning may not come to you until you've written the middle and end. Tony Hillerman said in his autobiography that he has a large file folder full of wonderful first chapters that had to be discarded because once he got to the end of the book, they no longer matched with the book he had written, and he had to write entirely new first chapters.

Ambushed, it's so interesting what you say about right-brained and left-brained. I do think that creative people need some left-brained input to balance all that right-brained inspiration, in order to actually create something (rather than just think about creating it). No matter what creative field one works in, some level of right-brained diligence is required - learning to read music and training one's fingers to play the notes accurately, going over page after page of writing to correct errors and passages that confuse rather than enlighten, putting one stitch after another into the cross-stitch design. I forgot to mention, I have done cross-stitch as well. I have some pillows of Henry VII and Elizabeth I that I designed and stitched, which my husband finds completely ridiculous. Your video idea sounds fun, and I love your 3-D cross-stitch idea!

nov 11, 2007, 4:34 pm

I play with visual art--painting and collage--but my efforts are not for public consumption. I do have a certain visual ability, I suppose, and I have a good eye when it comes to photography or framing video/DV footage. My visual efforts are EXPERIMENTS (nothing more), helping me break out of a narrative-imposed rut, freeing me from the tyranny of the printed word. I'm SO intense and focussed when I'm writing, it's nice to have a break working in a media completely foreign to me. No expectations or preconceptions. Creating out of a sheer sense of FUN...