Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Like with so many of the blessings I have in my life, the jewelry came about because of recovery.
Before getting sober, I didn't have any creative outlet at all. I didn't have any hobbies, unless reading counts as a hobby, and hadn't felt any real creative urges. I never thought of myself as creative - I still don't, to a large degree.
All that excess energy made me edgy, though. I longed to be able to lose myself in something, anything. One night I saw a woman knitting at a recovery meeting, and I thought: I need a hobby.
I began stalking the aisles of hobby stores. I dismissed knitting quickly (too much counting). The next stop was drawing - I purchased a beautiful set of colored pencils, an artist's sketch pad, and a book entitled something like Drawing for Idiots. It turns out that I had neither the talent nor the patience for drawing. I wanted my creations to come out perfectly, and if they couldn't be perfect I wasn't interested.
Needlepoint was next. Not as complicated as knitting, because I found the pre-printed screens (kind of paint-by-numbers with thread) and all I had to do was find the right color and stitch. Somewhere around here there is still a lumpy, rushed, needle pointed picture of a lighthouse in a frame.
I was in love.
I loved the feel of the stones, the bright colors that came from nature- nature! - the endless possible combinations of patterns and textures. And the best part? If I didn't like the final product, I simply cut it apart and tried again. Beading is a perfectionist's dream.
As for what my creative process is - I don't have one. I take stones or crystals and spread them out in front of me, and I let them speak to me. That sounds like an artist-y kind of thing to say, and I don't think of myself as an artist, but I literally just start playing with colors and textures and I see where it takes me. Some of my favorite pieces came about from mistakes.
Not bad for a recovering perfectionist.
Finding my creative spark helped take me from the dark, angry isolation of active alcoholism out into the bright, vibrant, connected world.