Creative Block and Renewal

The latter part of my 2016 was so jam-packed, I forgot what RELAX even means anymore.

Seriously though, it was so chaotic that I even missed putting up a review for our host in HK during the 14-day period Airbnb provides for their users, which bothers me terribly, but will probably just save that for a separate post.

So going back, when all the trips, adventures and all the holiday hoopla finally died down, I realized my body must have missed bumming around, writing, playing with watercolors, brushes, GIMP and all that shizz. That’s because for the last 5 days (January 1st not included), I have been doing nothing but catching up on some blogging and tenenenenen…

Designing!

Yeah, well, no biggie right? Well, it is for me!

You see, there were times when I silently panic because I thought I’m losing touch with meee artsy soul. It gets worse because sometimes I feel like I don’t want anything to do with art altogether. Could it be what they call the dreaded Creative Block? I’m not so sure about that, but fortunately, I realized soon enough that I could never ever get tired of ART.

ART is one of the things on earth that makes me feel alive. When God brought me to life, He must have breathed a multitude of rainbows, unicorns and stars into me, much like the sparkly stuff you vomit on Snapchat, except that it’s the other way around. On a serious note, we all grew up surrounded by our Father’s majestic creations and I with my papa’s work, his passion and creativity, so I blame it all on those why art definitely runs through my veins now, and why I know I could never ever get tired of it.

So after climbing mountains, doing touristy stuff in a foreign land, downing heaps of Christmas sweets and then washing tons of holiday dishes, not to mention partying with the girlfriends and then mourning for a grandfather 2 days after, my body must have snapped because my hand just involuntarily grabbed a brush and started creating art once again!

If that was indeed creative block that I went through, then I’m glad I snapped out of it, all thanks to the inspiration I found throughout my [mis]adventures!

I looked it up and found out that creative block can be resolved by a change in the environment or a break from the routine, facts that aren’t new to us, and techniques that are undeniably effective. Two of the tips designer and writer, Tom May listed were (see the entire list HERE):

  • Don’t be afraid to step away
    • Completely open briefs can be the worst for causing creative block. Try to distance yourself from the project; take a break and come back to it with a clear head.
  • Look in unlikely places
    • Go and do something else entirely. You’d be amazed at where new ideas are hiding out. They’re often where you would least expect them to be.

He also mentioned exploring other creative disciplines which is why it would be helpful to have a hobby outside of your hobby (LOL), in my case, Photography.

I may have babbled more than I have to, again so before this goes entirely out of hand, I leave you with some of the stuff I have been doing lately to release the already overflowing creative juices I gratefully gained in the past months or so.

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This was my favorite line from the latest Disney film, Moana, which reminded me so much of my own grandmother. I also made this for me to keep in mind that God is always with us. 🙂

Also made this odd-looking (and definitely one-of-a-kind) dreamcatcher for the bestie!

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I must say that my year ended with a bang and even though it was overwhelming, I couldn’t have wished for anything better because it reignited my love for ART in more ways than one. Now, I’m back, feeling renewed and more than inspired to CREATE again, to spread optimism and of course God’s love through ART.

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What it means to be Creative?

I’ve always been drawn to everything handmade or personalized and that strong penchant for such things dates back to my late grade school years to early high school, I think.

We had a couple of home economics and art projects that I admit, up until now, I’d love to do again. There was a project that made us use these gold leaves that I absolutely loved, then there’s the pots that we painted, boxes that we covered with sand and a miniature tallboy that we had to decorate with wood-finish stickers. Every bit of project made my heart skip a beat, though I admit, I’m the type who doesn’t feel the need to make every masterpiece perfect, so I never did. That’s just an excuse to make myself feel better about my not so beautiful creations, but I’m still proud of those. 😛

Fast forward to the present day, that strong passion to make butingting and kalikot, to make things out of scrap or to create something that was inspired by another’s work of art or a happy memory or feeling has definitely become a favorite hobby and a way to release tension and even combat stress. I find it very therapeutic and relaxing and it helps keep the creative juice flowing!

I think that it also helps that when I want something, but can’t afford to buy it, I try as much as I could to create it. I’m a master DIYer (right) and an expert improviser (cool, there is such a word!) and there’s nothing in the world that little research on the internet can’t fix nowadays.

When I had the craziest craving for everything red velvet, I baked cupcakes and crinkles myself. When I wanted food, I find everything that I could put into the pan to cook it. When I saw creative wall art on pinterest or tumblr, I bought the cheapest materials I could find and voila, out came my imperfect but still lovely pieces of art on my so-called Wall of Weird!

Here are some of the things I’ve created so far. Some have been collaborations with my sister and mother (I don’t know how to use a sewing machine beacuse I’m too scared to use one actually).

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Craved bread with tomatoes, cheese and basil (fresh from our graden-naks!)

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I think this was the time when I made pancakes from scratch, no pre-made commercial mixes, and it turned out to be very simple and easy to do! I even tossed in some long-time stored choco-chips to make the morning sweeter!

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I’ve always loved my tita’s baked macaroni and I also loved how she used to baked them in these leche flan containers. feeling reminiscent of this lovely childhood memory, I made baked macaroni one time and I just added all the cheese we had at home (I think there were 4 types in there) and then topping them with nestle cream! Manang (who’s a bit choosy when it comes to food) actually liked it and I know it because she helped herself to a couple more servings after her first.

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We always make our own flowers for All Saints’ Day. This might be my least favorite thing to do, thus the eye-catching arrangement!

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I’m so in love with artworks inspired by the outer space. I wanted to make another piece with my zodiac sign on it, but I had only one canvas, so I put these two together. I think I also saw this idea of sticking in christmas/fairy lights into a painting on pinterest, thus the latest masterpiece I have at home.

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My sister and I loved kimono cardigans and when she found an easy tutorial online, we used the lovely fabrics we hoarded from divisoria to make a bunch of them.

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Here’s the first one we made and on the picture below is another one we made. My sister cut the fabric while Mama sewed them together.

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But before we made those kimonos, I cut a small piece from the fabric above to make myself my own camera strap. I couldn’t be more stingy and didn’t want to buy a real camera strap yet, so I made myself one instead. I just had to make it stiffer and stronger by adding a canvas fabric inside.

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Thank goodness for light leaks, otherwise, you could have seen how messy the ends of the strap turned out.

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another one of my breakfast creations using sexy chix Arabiata (yep this was way before Jasmine Curtis’ tvc came out). I topped it with basil (also fresh from the garden) for a fancy presentation.

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I think I just saw the movie, The Fault in our Stars which made me paint the iconic book cover a couple of times! It was also the time when I was doing some general cleaning in my room that I found my father’s lost watercolors. I knew I couldn’t hold back my excitement then so I just haphazardly finished cleaning just to stare at them.

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I also painted the TFIOS book cover on a small canvas that has now been put up on my Wall of Weird ever since.

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One of the latest projects I did was my own dreamcatcher. As usual, it looked weird because I added a small burlap ring in the middle of it to make it a bit different than the normal one. I bought the ring and feathers from this seamstress haven in farmers mall and the burlap and jute strings in my favorite place in the world, divisoria. 🙂

So what does it mean to be creative? Are those with talent the only ones whom we can truly call creative? Where and how does creativity emerge?

For me, creativity is part of human nature. Our earliest ancestors have been creating shelter, clothing and food (preparing food) from basic materials ever since they first walked the earth. Up until now, centuries after, people are still creating something new, mostly to make life easier, some for pleasure and others for artistic expression.

To create also means to undergo a process wherein certain factors such as passion and inspiration are both needed. So talent may be optional, as far I can see. Sadly though, people may find it confusing to differentiate between inspiration and copying when they create. I read an entry about this yesterday on GooglyGooeys and I was a bit scared that my so-called creativity is just a product of “copying off someone else’s work” especially those whom I idolize a lot. Good thing, after some thorough self-analysis and self-denial (LOL), it turns out that I may not be a copycat after all since I do have my own style, my own, weird ideas and concepts that pop up in mind upon seeing and appreciating other people’s work.

Lastly, as Ponggo pointed out, “Creativity is doing something everyone else is doing but in a new way” (Alex Alata). 🙂