Monday, 12 December 2011

Art, Craft, Creativity

On a recent Op-shopping adventure I found an amazing old book on weaving. First printed 1944. Inside was was a preface  entitled " What Art Means to Me " by C Valentine Kirby. There's lots of chatter around the online crafty world about the value of craft and whether it qualifies as art or not. When I read this, it encapsulated some of my feelings about it and I want to share it with you.
I think I will have to copy this (nicely) and frame it for my sewing room wall.

I know I have blogged on this before, but my most favourite quote on creation is an excerpt from an address at a Women's conference by Dieter F Uchtdorf. Again, it expresses how I feel about creativity and how it is important in our lives, no matter how mundane or whether it has little commercial value. I know I am often discouraged when things don't turn out the way I envision them but as the saying goes, you are not a failure until you give up. I can accept my imperfection but I won't stop striving for perfection.

 "What you create doesn’t have to be perfect..... Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside."

The Work of Creation

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”
If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy.4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.
You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us.5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.
Now go and create something that makes you or someone else smile! You've just made the world a better place.

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