What is Creativity?

What is Creativity Lola the Unicorn Art Quilt


Creativity. What is it? How do we develop it?

Road sign with a left pointing arrow that says Creativity. Sign is on a metal post with blue sky behind it.

 I believe the answer isn’t in the “doing”, its in the “allowing”. Creativity comes from within, it wells up within us from inspiration (in-spirit-ation). It comes through us when we allow it to. Creative blocks are well known to artists, writers, poets, and even quilters. It seems the harder we try to “be creative” and to push the creative process, the more it evades us. By trying to fit our creations into a box, we stifle and hinder their expression. Case in point…. Nola A Unicorn. Nola is a collage quilt pattern from Laura Heine of Fiberworks. Nola wasn’t my first collage quilt, but she is the largest piece I’ve attempted (35” X 47”).

Close up of the head of Nola A Unicorn Collage Quilt.

It took me about 6 weeks to complete Nola (not counting the actual quilting). Nola made me dig deep, explore and examine my ideas of what “fits”. Many times, in the middle of my creative chaos (ultra-messy studio) I found myself completely forgetting the passage of time. So lost I was in the creative process, it was like being in a meditative state. Its times like these when creativity flows and the creative process flourishes. During these times, even though we are seemingly focusing on something external, we are actually cultivating our experience of what is internal. Creativity is like the marriage of our soul with our physical expression, it’s our grounding center, it is a spiritual experience, it is joy, and it is FUN!

To allow creativity to flow, we must get out of our own way. We must notClose up of the tail of Nola A Unicorn Collage Quilt. be afraid to fail. Quilters are familiar with the term "audition". We audition our fabrics in different layouts and designs, sort of like "trying them on" to see what fits. Creativity is like that. We need to let our ideas flow so we can audition them. If we don't like what we see, we try something else until we do. It may take many tries until we are happy with the result. The very process of trying different ideas, failing, and trying again, is what primes the pump of our creativity. 
Today, Nola hangs as the focal point of my quilt studio. She’s a reminder of the creative potential we all possess. She reminds me of days when I had "quilter's block", the days when I had to stretch myself and days when I allowed the magic to happen. She reminds me of my creative potential. What project has inspired you? 
Solomae Signature
Nola a Unicorn Collage Art Quilt
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