We’re in the middle of a heat wave and it is affecting my ability to think. For two days I have been trying to write a post but I keep getting bogged down with detail and too many facts. Exactly what I want to avoid. I am trying to write about how finding your creative outlet is not always a straightforward process. You try an art form that looks appealing but, like Goldilocks first found, it is not quite right and you need to move on and find something that will give you enough enjoyment and passion to persist. But our struggling old air conditioner is either not coping with the heat or making it too cold and it’s numbing my brain. I am definitely not in the “Goldilocks Zone”.
The Goldilocks zone is a term used to signify the habitable region around a star where an orbiting planet can support life, that is, it is not too hot or too cold but just right. Well I’d like to be in that zone because it is not “just right” at the moment.
But when is it ever “just right”. Often we put off doing something because it is “not the right time” or “it will be better tomorrow” or “I must do this mundane thing now so I’ll put off what I’d love to be doing till later”. Well maybe “just right” is “right now” and I should devote some time to drawing or playing the ukulele. Yes, I don’t think that I have mentioned that I love the uke and it is one of my passions along with singing. Its feel-good tone makes me happy and lifts my spirits and I love writing songs on the ukulele, even more than on the guitar. It is definitely something to get me into the Goldilocks zone, along with using water-soluble pencils and pastels, creating assemblages in the garden or playing ball with our dogs before it gets too hot and they collapse from heat exhaustion. There is no time like the present to get into that zone so don’t delay.
If you have not yet found your true passion, it pays to experiment with different art forms to find one that is “just right”. Sometimes it takes time. I have tried various forms of creative activities and not all of them have worked out as expected. At art school I decided to do ceramics as an elective because my mother had once done this as a hobby and she still had the pottery wheel and small kiln. I thought that this would be great to try. But it wasn’t meant to be. I found the process too time consuming and lost the desire to continue after a year of constant breakages. Usually my best work was damaged during the drying stage and I was always redoing projects. I was not cut out to be a potter. Too stressful. We ended up selling the wheel and kiln to someone who really loved the activity.
Sometimes you discover your true passion through doing some other art form. From an interest in textiles I had taught myself tapestry weaving and did a short course to learn more. I really enjoyed creating something out of thin air and decided to take it to the next level. The Art School I attended offered this as a major and I was able to learn how to design and create woven tapestries in both small and large-scale format. I became quite skilled at this process and always received good grades, with a distinction in my final year. But I found the thing I liked the most was doing the drawings or painted designs for the tapestries and developing my own visual style. While I still like tapestry, I prefer the immediacy of drawing and painting which were my first loves. Getting experience in different creative areas will not only help you to find your bliss, but will give you insights into all kinds of art forms and it is never a waste of time to learn something new.
For me, playing music, as well as drawing and painting, get me into the Goldilocks zone. If you haven’t already, it may take a while to discover what does this for you, but in your search you could find yourself taking interesting paths and deviations that is part of the joy of the creative journey.