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How do you live with the monotony and stress of the work day and continue to be creative? Or do you have to give up a part of yourself to be a part of society?

I just wanted to start a conversation about the struggles that creative people have in our everyday lives. Yesterday I worked on a few crafts that I did not have time to do until recently and it was so nice. To be able to take the time to create something, to use your hands to fulfill what your mind thought up is something that makes me feel more alive than anything. Then the inevitable sunk in , that I would have to go to work the next day and do nothing creative at all. Work gives me money to be creative and so it is a love/hate relationship to say the least. I love the people I work with and although my job is not what I wanted to do, it is fulfilling on occasion. It gives me enough money to have a roof over my head and some extra fun stuff, but I still can't shake the feeling day in and day out that I wish I was doing something more creative with my life!

I am sure this is a struggle that many of your have had and probably continue to have. How have you helped to ease it? Maybe some of you don't have to work and can spend all day being creative. Which sounds amazing! But for most of us, this is not the case. I do feel frivolous and privileged to even think about wanting this. To wake up without an alarm clock, to work on art without the looming sense of obligation that comes with " real life". Wouldn't it be amazing if we had a national creative day and everyone got the day off to create something new to share with the world? Many would say I have a " pie in the sky" attitude. But art is important! It feeds your body and soul like nothing else can.
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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A lot of people on here know that I craft... a lot. ;) I think some know, why.

24 years ago I was blessed to have a son while dealing with infertility problems. Only, my child was born with several disabilities requiring around the clock care. We have struggled and managed to stay together as a family, and he lives with us at home. Of course, this is hard work and consumes all my time. It was suggested to me years and years ago that I needed an 'outlet'. A good idea, but the shortsighted psychologist recommended I 'go antiquing' or 'go out dancing once a week' or something. Sounds great. What do I do with my son and finances are tight. So those were not real options.

That is when I started to craft. I am here, near him if he needs me... but I go into the kitchen and into another world. Of fantasy and fun and whimsy. So I pretty much craft something, even for a few minutes, every day. It's been the thing that keeps me from breaking under enormous weight.

Over the years, both he and I have thrived and I have this weird hobby now that he LOVES as much as I do.
So there it is. A pretty happy ending. :D
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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..but I still can't shake the feeling day in and day out that I wish I was doing something more creative with my life!
Preachin' to the choir!

Same here. I feel like my talents are being wasted sitting behind a desk & answering phones.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Preachin' to the choir!

Same here. I feel like my talents are being wasted sitting behind a desk & answering phones.
Yes, and not just crafting or tactile arts. I am a singer and musician and I hardly have time to spend on that part of my life. And worse, if I do have the time, I just don't feel inspired.
 

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Far Away Eyes
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Crafting is also my outlet from stress, so I make it a point to have a list of projects to work on all year round. Every year I have a new theme for Halloween, so I draw up a plan and plan out the projects. Usually two or three projects a month. Last year I started painting monster portraits on canvass, which was new to me, and I did some corpsing techniques on pumpkins, and a Fiji Mermaid. This year I have gotten into paper mache big time. Then, I worked with Apoxy Sculpt clay for some rotten skull projects.

Here's my take: Look for tutorials online. Gather supplies. And take your time, a little at a time, to make some really cool projects.
 

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I completely understand. I've recently taken a boring, but stable, full-time job. The money is nice, but I have much less time to work on my projects. It's a new feeling for me-- I previously worked part time, so I was pretty productive on the creative part of my life. I guess it's a difficult balance to reach.
 

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What a wonderful thread!

I do not consider myself an artist, but I definitely think of myself as a creative person. I love photography, gardening, home decorating, party & event planning, and lots of different kinds of crafting. It is a way of relaxing & de-stressing for me too, and always has been. Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mom to an almost 4 yo DD, and an almost 2 yo DS. My DH works out of state and once he leaves for the week, we do not see him until 4 or 5 days later. I am on my own a lot & don't live especially close to my family, so there are times that I struggle with the lack of adult contact & conversation.

Using my imagination & creativity to make things, or to bring my vision to life, really fulfills an internal urge. I am the kind of person who can just "see" how something should look in my head once inspiration really hits, which is sometimes tough for other people to understand because they can't "see" what I mean until the project is really completed, and then it is like a lightbulb where they say "OHHHHH!! **That's* what you meant!". Ha ha ha!

People talk about "getting in the zone", or feeling your "flow" where you lose track of time or could happily while away hours doing something, and for me, my creative process is when that happens. Well, okay - that and travelling! :D

I think that you do have to sacrifice some things to indulge your creative side - there's only so much time in a day, and we all have demands on us. Sometimes I feel like I am being selfish if I take the time to work on a project, but afterwards, I always feel more relaxed & happy that I did it, so in reality, it's better for my whole family if I continue to be ME, you know?
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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And as of late, money has been really tight. I have been working more because now I have shorter shifts but more days in a week to work (ugh). So I can't spend the entire day to create something or many things. So, my stress reliever has been looking around the garage and see what I can repurpose and make new, or give it a new twist with what I have. Its been fun. Sometimes I just leave the prop in question on my table for days, and think about it. And revisit it, and move some stuff around on it until I get it just how I want it, or halloween is here (lol).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I completely understand. I've recently taken a boring, but stable, full-time job. The money is nice, but I have much less time to work on my projects. It's a new feeling for me-- I previously worked part time, so I was pretty productive on the creative part of my life. I guess it's a difficult balance to reach.
Yeah, I feel you. But right now I am my households main bacon winner right now and so my job of course is really important for us. And like I said, it's not horrible and sometimes is actually nice, but I can't shake that I would be so much happier doing something else. I love the time I can spend on creating something and I just need to focus on that. But when I don't get that time or I am too tired or stressed because of work or other things, I just get even worse. I need to build in better habits to help with my stress and to ensure that I do something creative everyday.
 

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I used to like writing; it was my passion. But years ago when I was really into it, I was also tied down to a stressful full time job as well as having to mind the house and husband and it was terrible and frustrating trying to do it all. I simply couldn't. Eventually, I became so anguished over not having time to write that I deleted my files and threw out the manuscript; it was three-quarters finished. I decided to just focus on real life, as much as it totally sucked, because as long as I had my manuscript around incessantly beckoning me I would be forever tortured and filled with resentment not being able to work on it.

Jenn&MattFromPA brought up a good point about "being in the zone". Maybe some are different, but for me writing is one of those crafts that you cannot just reserve a couple of hours after work and suddenly start typing a story. A productive writing session happens when you are doing something and it just hits you ... and you suddenly find yourself in the zone. It is at that moment that you have to drop everything and just let the creative juices flow through your keyboard and that might take you to four o'clock in the morning, or it might even be what wakes you up at that time.

Not too many lifestyles allow for that. However, I now find myself at the point where it is possible to start again and I'm thinking about it. I work part-time out of my home and my hours are extremely flexible.

So, punkpumpkin, as you wondered in your OP, I gave up a little bit of myself years ago to be a part of society. Looking back, I don't think there was any other way I could have handled it, but at the same time I don't know if it was the wisest choice.
 

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So, punkpumpkin, as you wondered in your OP, I gave up a little bit of myself years ago to be a part of society. Looking back, I don't think there was any other way I could have handled it, but at the same time I don't know if it was the wisest choice.
And I don't think there is anyway to ever feel 100% comfortable with that choice. But we do what is necessary. Just really get jealous of those who have the free time and wonder how to get that for myself.
 

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Just really get jealous of those who have the free time and wonder how to get that for myself.
That is understandable. Especially these days when so many jobs are just a paycheck and otherwise meaningless with no personal or professional satisfaction. I used to hate getting out of bed, and wanted to beat my ringing alarm clock to death with a hammer. Likewise though, when I was getting frustrated because I had no time to write, I began resenting all those around me that kept me from it. My husband, everyone at work, the entire system. I don't know if that is true passion for your craft or just selfishness ... I guess a shrink would have to kick that one around.

Since I've been where you're at, I just want to warn you to be careful you don't become too depressed. Vitamin D3 is important. In fact, I noticed a marked improvement in someone I know who began taking it some time ago. Keeping a good state of mind will help you through this.
 

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Since I've been where you're at, I just want to warn you to be careful you don't become too depressed. Vitamin D3 is important. In fact, I noticed a marked improvement in someone I know who began taking it some time ago. Keeping a good state of mind will help you through this.
Thankfully, I live in Florida and we have no end to an abundance of vitamin D via sunshine. :)
 

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I have only been crafting (painting, creating and such) for over a year now. My struggle at the moment is everything is packed away while I wait in limbo to move into a new home. Hoping I can get moved in time to get my Halloween projects done and decorate. But I'm dealing with the military so who knows how long it will take. Sometimes a few weeks can mean a few months or a few days lol.
 

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Honestly, I daydream about crafting during much of my monotonous full-time job. I don't always have time or energy to craft after working a full shift, taking care of my 3 year old/general household obligations, but I try. Whenever I'm too tired from work I take the night off. I find that half of the struggle is starting. Sometimes I start when I don't feel like I have the energy then find myself getting the creative buzz.
 
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