Friday, January 11, 2013

An Artist's Paradox: to Focus and Explore Creativity Simultaneously


Hello Eileen,

It was nice to meet you in the article that Tammy Powley did at About.com Jewelry Making.

I love hearing others' stories and yours is definitely interesting. You have a passion for crafting and I was wondering how you stay focused?

I have my own jewelry making and designing business and find myself wanting to take on all the techniques.

However, I also love to crochet and sew as well as garden and play tennis.

I would love your advice.
Maria

Word of the YearHi Maria,

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the advice in the article; but you may not love what I have to say about finding focus.

It's so timely that you should ask that question. My Word of the Year for 2013 is "FOCUS". So, as for staying focused, I have to say I'm working on it!

I've used singer/songwriter Christine Kane's Word of the Year Discovery Tool to guide my personal development for the past few years.

Last year one of my words was "EXPLORE". There have been too many new techniques and materials I've wanted to pursue (like you).

I buy the new supplies and online classes. Then they clutter up my computer, my craft room, and my brain! I thought "EXPLORE" would force me to get through a good bit of the creative backlog.

Au contraire, my wide ranging attempts to explore left me feeling so scattered that I hardly knew which way to turn.

On balance the year left me feeling braver and more confident, but aware that I also need to be selective. I can't have it all, do it all, learn it all.

I learned that I need to prune and prioritize last year's list; then focus and work on one or two items at a time to completion before moving on to the next.

Part of the problem has been the long list of things that must be done each day for business and family. Sound familiar?

I need to prune that list as well to allow more time for the new techniques I want to pursue.

I'm also searching for productivity tools, e.g. to consolidate all the personal and business e-mail in-boxes.

I'll be sharing my progress and discoveries in this blog and would love for you to follow along. Perhaps we can dialog about our progress – what worked, what didn't.

3 comments:

ACreativeDreamer said...

I'm not entirely sure the word "focus" and "creative" work well together. At least not for me. I can focus completely on the project I am in the middle of working on, but I am always thinking of the next (mostly because one often inspires another), or one of the other projects I'm working on.

But you know, I've noticed that much of my life is that way... I always have at least three books going at once, I'm in the middle of at least a couple of design projects, at least another 4 or 5 projects being executed... and suddenly a beautiful sunny day comes along and I just have to get outside in it. I've come to accept that as just a part of who I am... it won't work for all, but for me, it's the only way I can work.

Isn't it lovely to realize we all do things in our own way?

Tammy did a great job with the article about you, I hope lots of new folks get introduced to you and The Artful Crafter, and all the wonderful things you offer!

jinxxxygirl said...

Loved your interview with Tammy Powley! I hope a lot more people find out the wonders of The Artful Crafter! :)

Focus......thats gonna be a hard one for any creative person i think....being creative i think we are often ruled by our emotions and swayed by them BUT we can sure try! Ahem....I've three projects going on in the craft room as we speak...lol Hugs! deb

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Thanks for your insights, June and Deb. I guess the bottom line is if you are focused enough to actually complete some projects, that's good enough - maybe as good as it gets for us creative types. That makes me realize how grateful I am for the creativity, despite the angst.

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