Why We Create

Everyday Adventures

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll get back to the 64 Arts before too long, I’ve just got something things on my mind that I wanted to think out loud, as it were, and maybe someone else needs to hear or think about.

This weekend I spent a lot of time working on just one project. It wasn’t a particularly difficult project, and I can’t show you what it is, just yet, but there was a lot riding on it. Or, well, maybe not, but it felt like it.

You see, it was my first project working with a new Gauche Alchemy kit and it will mark the change between blog writer for the fabulous Gauche Girls and a full-fledged artsy Alchemist. And I want it to be good. I’ve thought about this project, planned it in my head, spent 3 days, off and on, tweaking here or there, debating each step.

Not that I’m worried about it, I know that what I turn in will be fine or even better, I just want to make sure I do it right, that I justify their faith in me.

What’s different, though, is how I would have approached this if it had just been another project for me, or even a gift for someone else.

In those cases, I take a much different tack. Sure, I plot and plan ahead of time, but when I sit down to start I usually go like gangbusters until I reach the end. Unless the project itself is something that’s going to take a while (like knitting), usually I finish it in one, sometimes mammoth, sitting and move on to the next.

All of that led me to the thought:

Why We Create

The project I’m still finishing is meant to showcase a particular product, so I might make a concerted effort to show more of the different items included in the kit than I would have normally.

If I’m creating for a friend, I’ll make sure to include little touches that mean something to them, or represent secrets or jokes we share.

And when I create for myself I tend not to think, just to do. Because creating for myself isn’t about the what, it’s all about the why.

So the WHY affects the HOW, but it’s still creating.

And that’s what’s truly important: that we keep creating. Whatever it is, as long as we keep working at it, we’re bound to improve and innnovate and keep the inspiration train rolling.

I create for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for work (though, truth be told, creating as “work” is some of the best work I do!), and sometimes just because. I’ll bet you do the same–or you would, if you get out of your own way long enough.


Why we create may affect how we create, but as long as we just create, we can't go wrong

Click for the full-sized image.

How She Did It: Window to the World 4×6 Art Card


So, a while back I shared about a 4×6 art card swap I’d participated in that used several different techniques: collage, embossing, watercolor pencils, and word art.

Rose Colored Glasses 4x6 Swap piece

Well, after that post the Blond Duck herself (of A Duck in her Pond and Words & Whimsy) asked for a tutorial and while it took me a little longer to get to this than I’d planned, I’m happy to say I finally bit the bullet this weekend and created a similar card and filmed the entire process.

I still have a bit to learn when it comes to making these sorts of process videos, but I hope this helps disspell some of the “mystery” of heat embossing, watercolor resist and collage for those who haven’t given it a try yet.

(Direct link for the feed-readers: Window to the World: 4×6 Process Video w/Embossing Demo)

There you have it. Any questions?

The entire process, start-to-finish, took about half an hour. Some parts took longer than usual because I was explaining for the benefit of the camera, but then I also don’t show the time spent flipping through the magazine looking for words and images to use. So 30 minutes is about right. A 4×6 art card is one of those great instant-gratification projects and I hope you’ll give it a go and, even more, hope that you’ll share what you’ve been up to.

Now that I’ve finally gone and done this first video, I’m kind of excited to do more and will try to plan ahead enough on future posts where it might be appropriate. That said, I’m also open to requests, so just let me know if there’s something you’d like to see explained a bit more, demonstrated, or just a bird’s eye view of and I’ll do my best!

Oh, and in the spirit of true confessions, I committed one of my crafter’s pet peeves and I can’t believe I did it. During the course of the 30 minute video I must have said Mod Podge a few dozen times (some during those sped-up portions where you are spared my blathering) and, upon play-back, I heard myself (just once–but it was enough) call it “Modge” Podge. I thought about going back and dubbing the right word in, but I figured I might as well leave it and fess up rather than spend ages trying to get a seemless fix in place.

Keepin’ it real!