getting back to screen printing
It was a beautiful day of screen-printing. In fact, screen-printing never felt so good. Probably because I've had a few hiccups in my creative life over the last few years – like moving from Maine to New York with a ten-month-old, selling my business in Maine and starting a new business in New York, having my art supplies in storage for two years, renovating our farm house so we could live in it, moving out of our apartment in Hudson, moving into our almost-renovated farmhouse, moving into a new studio space, moving out of that new studio space because the landlord couldn't seem to fix the leaking roof, putting my art supplies in storage again, throwing away all my screen-printing inks that expired while in said storage, working from a small table in my living room, using the laundry room as my office, struggling with issues over the fabric I had purchased, not knowing what to make without access to a screen-printing studio, re-designing and stream-lining my business, and oh, keeping our son alive for the first three years of his life – which made me appreciate an uninterrupted day of creativity. Let's just say that getting back to "work" felt really good.
And despite the set-backs, I'm even more focussed, productive and inspired about my work than ever – what's up with that?! What kind of weird and slightly disturbing magic is mixed into the brew of life's challenges? Maybe it's the Universe's little bonus for getting through difficulty – we're thrown a bone of appreciating what we have and inspiration for what we do.
The truth is, I resist creative challenges even though they give me so much. Having any limitation, whether imposed by myself or others, makes me panic. I feel boxed in and tied down. I tell myself I can't work without full expression, all of my tools at hand, wide open spaces . . .
But the biggest lesson of these past few years has been that creative challenges help me be more creative. It's an anomaly that I'm actually more productive when I have less to work with. Limitations make me hone in on what matters. When I'm forced to "narrow the focus", as my coach Kathleen says, my creative mojo kicks in and I become ninja-maker: completely unstoppable with a single sword (or pen) and my own two hands. I get all: "who needs a studio? Who needs an office? Look what I can do with a laundry room and a pad of paper!"
And then when I do have access to a full studio with all the tools I could possibly need, it's nothing less than total creative happiness.
And that is definitely worth a few challenges along the way.