September 20, 2015 at 2:35 pm #2101
I was looking forward to this weeks twitter chat about making and makerspaces and it was a great conversation! This week’s Twitter chat prompted me to reflect on my own creative experiences and processes.
My creative process definitely starts ‘by hand’, but I have used software to modify or enhance elements before sharing my work on online platforms like Pinterest and Behance. I find that using my hands to create something with my preferred materials, be it mashing paper, cutting up images or applying paint creates for me a state of ‘being in the zone’ or what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow. When creating and experimenting with new techniques and materials I feel relaxed, happy, and purposeful. I am in a ‘state of play’ when mistakes and serendipity are welcome, as a natural part of my creative process. After an ‘art session’ I often have paint in my hair and my hands are caked in glue, but I can think and write better, sleep more soundly and be more at ease in general.
In my opinion the current surge in making and makerspaces is a way to provide outlets for this drive to create and be fully immersed in the creative process. In a recent article, Brit Morin discusses how makers and DIYers can be found in the more traditional contexts of crafts, cooking and decorating, but also in technological spaces where free tolls and software available from the Web is used to build new gadgets, devices and programs.
In addition, makers are forming groups or coalescing into communities to collaborate, share ideas and create. In fact, various Twitter chat participants including @dearteaswirls, @StaceySarasvati and @StephVenturato, pointed out how libraries are picking up on this and providing spaces where people can meet others with similar interests and @crowbiteNS and @RobynneKay emphasised the ‘natural fit’ between libraries and creative types.
In discussing the importance of creativity, participants referred to how being creative can promote new ideas (@L_Riethmuller) and different ways of thinking (@dearteaswirls), push boundaries (@StephVenturato), allow expression (@debfuller66), foster innovation and lateral thinking ( @StaceySarasvati) and improve processes (@cj_brander). Those comments highlight the crucial importance of creativity to generate ideas for better outcomes in any field of human endeavour. Nevertheless, one of my favourite comments is from @rae_kers, who aptly pointed out that “Being creative is fun – it doesn’t necessarily need any more meaningful justification’’.
We create because we are driven to create and this was evident in the discussion as participants indicated that a creative pursuit is part of their lives: music ( @MysliwyL), writing ( @StaceySarasvati, @rae_kers), art making and crafts (@debfuller66, @StephVenturato, @KMcK2015, @Angelchick83, @katiedavis ). I was pleased that many recognise that their creative endeavours assist with relaxation, lowering stress and promoting mental health (@ChloeStrong77, @StaceySarasvati, @RobynneKay, @dearteaswirls).
Finally, I posed a question to chat participants about whether the maker movement is a complementary trend to online activities, a break from being constantly connected or both. The response was a resounding ‘both’. This tells me that the key point of the making and makerspace trend is that people continue seeking ways to engage in creative pursuits. This can be initiated or complemented with online technologies and platforms and this does not necessarily detract from the creative process. On the contrary, possibilities for enhanced connection, collaboration, learning, discussion, promotion and re-creation abound.
September 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm #2108Caitlin .Participant
I love how you have embedded and reflected on the tweets of so many, its a nice overview of the chat. I am not a particularly creative or crafty person, although I have been known to compile large boxes/books of pictures or random objects that please!
It is interesting to hear how it assist with your sleep and general well being, I think this is similar to exercise for many people and its definitely an interesting argument for the inclusion of maker spaces in libraries.
September 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm #2122Robynne Kilborne BlakeParticipant
I loved this post Paola!
You say great things about creativity and the benefits that can come from having fun, getting paint in your hair, making mistakes and serendipity – love it! It’s been so easy to lose track of all this good stuff and I’m looking forward to re-igniting my creative impulses that have been dormant through a few years of moving houses, moving countries, being carer for my mum and mother to my boys. I’ve lost track of enjoying the creative stuff and this week’s readings and twitter chat have really inspired me to re-connect. I also loved the way you’ve included so many of the comments from the chat – it’s a lot of fun chatting but so frantic it’s easy to lose track of all the interesting bits.
Thanks for this reflection, I enjoyed it very much.
September 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm #2128
Thanks Robynne for your comments…I enjoyed writing it! But most of all I was so glad to hear that this week’s chat and discussions have been a catalyst for you to re-connect with your creativity! I think you are spot on that it can get dormant as life happens, but it is always there, waiting for when you can give it a moment…
- This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Paola Beretta.
September 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm #2124
Thank you for your kind comments. I agree with many that we are all creative and I am sure you are. In fact, I would argue that collecting pictures and items is a creative activity: you are using your tastes and experiences to select and curate what pleases you.
September 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm #2226Deborah FullerParticipant
This is a great post Paola, I enjoyed reading how the chat caused you to reflect on your own creative outlets, and I agree that we should allow time for them. It is very easy to neglect them with our busy lives but we all need outlets to help relive stress and express ourselves. I loved how you linked in h chat to your reflection, whilst still allowing it to flow logically.
October 7, 2015 at 5:42 am #2343Chris SonneveldParticipant
Thanks for sharing your wonderful post. I can totally relate to what you’re saying about doing things ‘by hand’. I’ve only recently gone back to pen and paper for my brainstorming as opposed to just typing it all out on a computer. I had previously avoided using paper to cut out the step between writing it down and adding it to a computer. Now I can take a photo of what I write and add it to Evernote so I can search for it later. Even though I’m quite a fast typer I find that by writing down single words or short sentences on paper my flow of consciousness is not as interrupted than when I’m typing.
October 11, 2015 at 10:14 am #2412
Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts. I feel the same about brainstorming, nothing like pen and paper! Great tip on using Evernote to record it on your device and refer to it later.
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