I’m fairly certain I’m not the only person who has been moody or grumpy lately. I really wasn’t sure why I was out of sorts until my wife showed me an article titled “18 Things Creative People Do.” As I read down through it, I thought to myself “I used to do that” or “The last time I remember doing that was last Fall.” It was a bolt from the blue to realize I was moody because I wasn’t being creative. I had all this energy inside me and it was getting stale. I’m betting I’m not alone in that feeling, either.
This winter and its weekly snow storms, arctic cold and general misery have driven us all inside. When you throw in the stress of the Water Crisis and the on-going anger most of us have from that, and mix it with the daily dodge-em cars we play driving down roads filled with potholes, it is no wonder a lot of us are out of sorts.
Realizing the need to get out and do anything creative, I jumped at the chance to go listen to three university professors/artists speak about printmaking as part of the “Gallery Divided II Lecture Series” at the Clay Center last week. Yes, I know “Printmaking” as a topic sounds fairly esoteric even for creative types. I wasn’t going there to learn about techniques; I hoped to find some inspiration.
Joseph Lupo, from West Virginia University, spoke about a really interesting project where he has deconstructed a comic book for its visual elements. It is pretty amazing how we have all come to recognize what those elements mean even when taken out of context.
Peter Massing, a professor at Marshall, said something that really struck me. “Looking is as important as making,” he said.
I know I probably lost a lot of people when I began talking about creativity, but even if you’re not an “artist” or “crafty”, get out and explore the arts, art opportunities and look for inspiration around you. You’ll be surprised at all the opportunities right in your backyard. And then turn off the television and get out there and make something. It will do you a world of good.
I’m not a printmaker or an “artist”, but I did come up with an idea for a new project that will have me stepping outside my comfort zone.
And maybe I won’t be so grumpy….