I am driven from within. I think some people are driven from external forces; the demands of a job or things that seem required or initiated by friends or family. I have no judgment about which kind of motivation is better, but I suspect the happiest people are those who have excellent balance between the two. That's not me. I depend on that thing inside that pushes me, makes me feel driven. I call it my edge and while sometimes, if not often times, it makes me a little crazy with urgency and anxiety, the truth is that without it I'm lost. Lost might be a little dramatic, but not much. Aimless for sure.
For people who know what I'm talking about, no explanation is required. I have an idea that this internal motivation or drive, might be more present in creative/artistic types...part of the right brain phenomenon. And it's a little more than an internal motivation, it's also relying on intuition, the feeling about how to proceed and learning over time how important it is to listen to that. For people who don't instinctively know what I'm talking about, I'll attempt to describe it.
The internal motivation is more like a force or an urgency mixed with ideas and thoughts. This motivation is there whether it's focused or not and I've learned that's ok. Focus will emerge from it, even if not right away. It's like an energy, but not something disorganized or vague, it has presence. Not exactly the voice that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, but definitely an active, creative, confident sense of self that's two or three steps ahead, calling me to follow.
The fascinating and frustrating thing about it, that I don't really understand, is why it all but disappears sometimes. The way I move through my life probably looks generally the same to the people that I work with and see regularly, but in my head, something is missing. It's very weird. I run through a checklist of sorts...am I too tired? Too stressed about something? Have I gotten lazy? Oh, dear god, is this an age thing?? What if it doesn't come back? Or is there a more elusive reason? Am I out of balance somehow, not listening?
Not a surprise that since I'm writing about it, I feel like this now. Been a few weeks or longer. Feel a little off. My brain isn't scrambling with a hundred things and I'm not driven to get twenty more things accomplished than humanly possible in one afternoon. That probably sounds like I'm finally becoming a grown up, establishing a firm footing in the land reason. I hope not. I like living with the edge.
This is a recent 100 (or so) word story that I published on medium.com. I've been writing 100 words every day to learn to push past waiting to be inspired and then trying to craft perfect sentences. I'm enjoying it like crazy.
I’m a metalsmith and jewelry maker. I like the design process as much as the execution, but my approach is more get-an-idea, make-a-quick-sketch, begin execution. I’m not drawn to precision or perfect balance. My sketches are guides; often the materials end up speaking for themselves.
Take today for instance. I took a nap. A Sunday habit from childhood. I woke up with a simple earring design in my head. Brass circle laminated with partial copper circle, laminated with partial sterling silver circle. Dome. Polish. Done. Pretty!
This is what happened.
This blog is not for politics, so I won't be going down that road. This blog is for talking about being a creative; an artistic soul. I've been surprised how unexpectedly these two things...politics and creativity...are linked inside of me at some very fundamental, elemental, core place. I've spent a lot of time these past few weeks thinking about politics. How surreal life in general feels with this new President. How it's left me feeling unbalanced. I think it has a lot to do with energy...the finite amount of it that I have as one single person in the course of each single day.
It seems that politics and creativity are in battle for energy and attention, like war inside me. The creative, happy me battling the reluctant-yet-angry activist me. This political season has made me question the value of my craft. I've wondered if time spent making earrings or writing 100 word stories would be better spent making more calls to lawmakers and crafting better emails and showing up to more protests and marches? I find life a bit difficult to balance in the best of times, so lately I feel anxious, a little sideways. It's the classic push me, pull you (picture small cartoon like images of my conscience on each shoulder)..."this is who I am, I'm an artisan, I need to do this work", "you won't be able to do anything if your civil liberties erode even further, if public education goes to hell, freedom of speech and religion become a relics of a time that used to be..."
I don't know how it works for you, but sometimes I simply have to live with a conflict and stew about it periodically until it begins to sort itself out. Extreme reactions start to fall away as I think, read, ask questions, listen to my friends and listen to the universe. These are my conclusions (as of this moment in time):
Although not a lengthy post, I left and came back to this many times over many days. Although it's first words are that this blog is not for politics, clearly I was not able to stay completely away from my particular views. I decided to finish it and post it because this battle has nearly consumed me lately and writing about it helps me get to a better place. I'm still searching for a clear and focused point of view for this blog, but I do know is that it will always have to be about creative presence and expression and it will have to be an honest, if not raw, glimpse of me.
Hi, I'm Donna. Long time artisan/creative. Full time work in nonprofit world. Mother of two adult sons. Currently, also mother of two cats.
The patience project. Because patience is a virtue. And a creative challenge.
Don't mess with imperfection. How copper and heat speak for themselves.
Politics and Art wage war inside me
Write 100 words, take a nap and share your mantra
Tile and wood floor...this year's winter project...kitchen renovation