5 Nov 2015

a creative life: process vs. product

Whether it's this time of year and the inevitable Christmas planning, or the injection of Spring creativity that often comes with a rise in temperature, but my mind and making baskets are all a whir. There are little gifts being secretly stitched come nightfall, natural dyed yarn for Wintry projects, dresses for my girls, a Summer veggie garden to plant and many ear marked recipes. But when the creative projects I have on the go resemble more of a "to do" list, it's time to step back and make just for making's sake. There's no denying that the completion of a creative task brings all manner of joy; the sense of accomplishment and pride are palpable. But often, the end product in mind can stifle the very imagination needed for its completion.

Back in my teaching days I could wax lyrical about the importance of the process over the end product. The best creative projects were the open ended ones with no defined outcome in mind. Children were encouraged to explore mediums, push the boundaries, immerse themselves in the tactile nature of something. Put simply, they were allowed to play. And without the pressure of a completed object they most often discovered new ways of doing. And isn't that the true nature of a creative mind?

So this week, find a tiny moment to just create. Weaving jasmine branches simply because the smell is intoxicating, doodling on a clean white page and letting your hands move freely, joining your babies for an afternoon of play dough. Who can refuse that squish? Or perhaps watercolour painting where the colours seep across the page; no scene, no figures, just colour. A chance to drop your shoulders, inhale a little deeper and bring your mind and body to a place of stillness. To make with your hands without judgement, to look at the world from another angle, to water the seed of creativity.

Steph x


  1. oh my, that sounds soooo challenging. I struggle with creating even when I have a real purpose, it still feels self indulgent but to just play well that sounds almost impossible. I know my inner child is in there screaming to be allowed to play.
    cheers kate

  2. Steph-this spoke right to my heart. I have felt "stifled" this week, and quite stuck on a Christmas project I am working on. I think it's because I am more concerned with the self-imposed deadline than the process. Thank you for your gentle reminder-now I am looking forward to completing it! Have a great week!


Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x