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About My Creative Process

I wish I could tell you that writing, or creating art, comes naturally to me. I wish I could tell you that I wake up every morning with an abundance of ideas rushing through my head just waiting to flow out on paper or canvas. But I can't.

I struggle with the creative process. I struggle with the idea that my work will "never be good enough" and that the message I am trying to convey will not be well-received. Sometimes I fear that rejection so much that it stifles me.

Then I have a break-through…

I remember why I write and why I paint—and that's when the real magic begins. That's when the words start to flow and the paint starts to find a purpose. And for a brief moment in time, fear of rejection no longer has a hold on me. In fact, I am so grateful to be free of that fear that I often find myself smiling as I put words on paper or paint to canvas.

It no longer matters if someone else is going to like my work. It no longer matters if it's going to sell. It no longer matters that someone else may be able to write it better or that so many others can surpass my artistic abilities. All that matters is that I am doing the best I can possibly do at that time in my life—and I am enjoying the process. And that's important because that "freedom" allows me to take chances, to experiment, and to grow as a creative being.

Creating has always been my equalizer in the world—and always will be. Both forms of expression (writing and art) allow me to stay true to who I am as an individual. But more than that, they allow me to share an intimate part of myself with the rest of the world and as an introvert I find that a priceless gift!

My creative process has three stages: Preparation, Percolation, and Execution.

The Preparation Stage

When I have a writing assignment for a client, I tend to do a little warm-up writing first. I'll write a blog post or edit an earlier work. This helps to calm my nerves and reminds me why I like to write in the first place. Once my nerves are calmed, I'll gather and go over the material for the writing assignment. When I want to create art, however, I tend to jump online (my personal art gallery, if you will) and visit artists that inspire me. I ooh and ahh over their bigger-than-life talent and remind myself that if I want to be "that good" then I must put in the practice. I also flip through my creative journal or pull out some of my old art pieces. Looking at some of my successful attempts at creating art reminds me that I do have the ability to create something worth viewing… I just need to believe in myself enough to keep practicing!

The Percolation Stage

When I write, I like to take the time to fully grasp the writing assignment. If I try to force the words, they won't come. So I give them space to find their way… I take a step back from the background material just long enough for my subconscious to get a better handle on what needs to be said and how it needs to be said.

When I create art, I must prepare my mind for the journey. By nature, I am a "perfectionistic, control freak". In order to create art, however, I have to let go of that part of who I am so that I don't criticize and judge every step of the process. In order to do that, I have learned to allow my intuition to take control.

When I allow my subconscious (or intuition) to be a part of the creative process, I create better art. By allowing the art to flow from my soul onto paper and canvas without worry, fear, or judgment I am able to create with reckless abandon. After I reach a certain part of the painting, I like to take a step back and ponder what I've created. "Is the work done?" "Does it still need something?" "Have I conveyed the message I set out to convey?" Sometimes this percolating can take a few minutes. Other times, it can take a few hours. But more often than not, it takes a couple of days. I try not to rush the process because when I do, the work never feels like I gave it my best... and it shows.

The Execution Stage

Then comes the execution stage. This is where I stop procrastinating and sit my butt down at my desk and do the hard work.

Writing is easier for me than creating art. Once I go over my notes, organize them, and create an outline, the writing just flows. If what I am writing isn't working out, for whatever reason, I can easily seek more facts, interview more sources, or scratch the old draft and start a new one.

Creating art is where I struggle. Often times, I don't execute what I envision in my head very well—and that frustrates the bejeebers out of me! I have learned, however, that when something isn't working out well, I have two choices: Gesso over it or find a work-around.

Once I've reached the point that my work is finished, I send it out into the world, and set it free… never to be second-guessed again.

All-in-all, I have learned that the creative process is a wonderful journey of self-exploration, self-expression, and courage. By simply taking the time to be creative, I have learned to find my own voice in the world and to share it with others… and that's a beautiful thing!

Copyright, Alyice Edrich. /

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Earring Frame Holders

I came up with the idea for this earring frame holder after raiding my daughter's jewelry box and having a difficult time locating pairs of earrings.

It's the perfect way to display and organize your favorite studs, loops, or dangling earrings for easy access and it creates a nice little fashion statement, too.

Want to make one of your own?

You will need: Wood picture framePlastic mesh (or chicken wire)SandpaperGessoAcrylic paintsPaintbrushModeling paste (or joint compound or vinyl spackling)High gloss spray varnish (or brush-on Triple Thick gloss glaze)E-6000 glue (or staples and staple gun) To make your earring holder frame, follow these simple steps:
Remove glass, if necessary.Sand down wood frame until it’s smooth.Prime the wood with Gesso.Apply modeling paste to the front of the frame, sculpting it as necessary.Stick embellishments into the wet modeling paste.Allow the modeling paste to dry for 48 hours.Paint over the modeling paste with Gesso and let dry.Paint over the…
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