Last Minute Creativity

Last Minute Creativity

Day after day, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere in this curious occupation of mine.  My creative brain has two speeds, 100mph or STOP, my thoughts are jumbled and my work often seems unrelated and random.  If I am ever called upon to show my work, I invariably leave it to the last minute to curate what I want to show and then get into a mad state of ritual panic.  I have always viewed this eleventh hour chaos as a huge failing on my part but I think I might endeavour to reframe that line of thinking.  



One of the principles I hold fast to in both my creative work and the running of my business and life in general is to "Use What You Have".  Usually this means, see what you have in your stash before spending money, be inspired by your materials, look at what's on your doorstep, etc . It has only recently occurred to me to apply this same principle to my body of work when it comes to exhibiting it.

Although it's great to make a new piece of work especially for a new exhibition, it's

super easy to get carried away with that. Planning a display of any kind in advance, inevitably leads me down the road to Procrastination Station.  My brain will suddenly be filled with a thousand and one new ideas that mostly involve rethinking my entire existence as an artist.

If I leave the curation of my work to be displayed until the day before I’m due to drop it off then there simply isn’t time to have an existential crisis.  I must use what I have, and therein lies the power of the last minute exhibition!

In the absence of a proper studio, the evidence of what I do all day is often stashed away in sewing boxes, drawers and old tins where it’s easy to forget about.  Through the process of gathering together the  pieces of work I already have, laying them out on every available surface and taking a step back, I can suddenly see the connections. My work starts to come together and look less like a random hotchpotch of unfinished scraps and more like a carefully selected hotchpotch of very related pieces that are going to look totally alright with a few props and the power of self belief.  So I put it up, step back, take a photo and enjoy the rush of feeling like I might just know what I’m doing, at least for a short time

My advice for any creatives whose Inner Saboteur often shows up unannounced with Imposter Syndrome in tow, find yourself a wee corner of the world to have an exhibition or some sort of selling event and put it together at the last minute.
I have a small installation showing in the workshop at The Craft House in Bingley for the next month as part of The Imaginators Together rotating showcase.  You can view my botanical pieces, rifle through my sketchbooks and find out a little bit more about me and my process.  If you are booked in for a workshop there, or just dropping in for a coffee then please bob up and take a look at my last minute exhibition

Paula x


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1 comment

I think you are very talented Paula, your work is exquisite. I may just call in the Craft House and take a look in person. I love their coffee so could just be there all day.


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