Creativity Back-up

Learning to Create

What I do when my creative brain is full but not peaceful:

Sometimes I stop creating at the same time that I want to stop seeing and hearing; I just want to feel better. But when I wake my head starts talking and my dreams are silent movies where everything is overlapping and I think all day, too many thoughts. But I can’t describe my thoughts to anyone, other than to say, “There are too many.”

I have found that what has happened, happens once a year.

It happens when I have a maximum number of reactions to the world around me.

I end up piled high with opinions, all interconnecting and the stacks on stacks of conversations I never completed are swaying from the height. And if a wind come and they scatter, my mind will re-stack all the thoughts; my mind will reorganize, over and over. Until each thought has processed. And talking never completes the thought. And writing doesn’t happen until I have processed the thought into a new form of order.

I must transpose these verbal thoughts into visual ones.

Jesus knows, there is not time to paint it out or to draw it out.

Now, I have a method.

I call them Scrapbook Journals

It takes gathering newspaper clippings and magazines and pamphlets, and church bulletins, and song print outs, whatever is paper.

I gather them for about a year.

Then the day comes. And I know it because my entire body trembles with thoughts, and I feel like my eyes aren’t taking in information anymore. And I think if I hear one more newspaper headline, I will turn some tables, wherever I stand.

Then, I block out three days. And I go hermit-style on some magazines. When I begin, I always feel embarrassed. If anyone saw the mess explosion in my living room…

Steps to Completing my Visual Processing of a year of world events, growing with God, and questions, hopes, dreams, and fears:

  • Organize the clippings to categories of experiences
  • Buy stickers that are relevant
  • Find an old book that is hardcover and I don’t feel badly about destroying – like old encyclopedias.
  • Also, it helps to keep a stack of magazines and books of pictures that I go through year after year. I use these as background and/or setting the mood of my reaction to a subject.
  • Pick a color palette that will show case the mood of each category, or an image for a icon that represents the subject or that represents the rection to the subject.
  • Buy more stickers
  • Gather more clippings.
  • Take page by page – collage

Sometimes, I decide each page before I tape anything into the book. And when I am ready to start taping things, I give space between pages, which become thought sections.

Other times, I tape right away. This is when there is one big subject, trying to make a cohesive thought conversation in visuals from beginning to end.

I don’t clean until the book is done, but I do have a trash for scraps that I tidy up every couple of hours.

Hopefully, at the end of it I will feel lighter in my mind.

There are no rules to this: if this idea seems fun to you, go for it.

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