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Creativity & the Frustration of the
by Sharla Hicks ©2012
In our last Soft Expressions newsletter several months
ago I explored the idea of pursuing art daily. Recently I found
a video that I felt was important to share with others who also
pursue creative endeavors and to again reiterate about the importance
of creating art daily, even if it is only 10 minutes of mindful
The importance of Frustration in the Creative Process
is animated in a short, sweet and to the point video! Well
worth every viewing moment. (3 1/2 minutes) . Maria Popova of www.BrainPickings.org
writes and I paraphrase: "The video is a teaser for Jonah Lehrer's
book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, a "seething cauldron of ideas."
The animator, Flash Rosenberg---Guggenheim Fellow, NYPL artist-in-Residence,
live-illustrator extraordinaire, distills one of Lehrer's key ideas
in simple yet visually eloquent line drawings."
Our choices of creativity are varied and all inclusive
up to and including the pursuit of our daily lives. Who will
benefit from viewing the short and well done video?
- The Expressive Quilter and Fiber Artist looking for the
next great quilt or art piece to flow from the minds eye out to
- The Zentangle Artist pursuing the perfect line and the
next break through in pursuit of the perfect Zentangle Inspired
- The Art Journalist pursing the goal of doing art daily
even if it is only 10 minutes in pursuit of the completed journal
and inspiration for the next exciting piece of art that is begging
to be created..
- The Scrapbooker looking to capture the perfect collage
to express the emotion they feel about the wonders exhibited in
the showcased photos.
- The act of cooking a unique meal with the perfected savor
to enhance the menu to be lovely savored alone, served to family,
friends, visitors, or special occasions.
- The act of being human and figuring out how we fit into
the larger scheme (okay I am getting deep here aren't I)
Bottom line, we are looking for the ah ha moment, but little is
spoken about the process that PROCEEDS the ah haaaa!
The concept, importance of Frustration in the Creative Process,
illustrated in the video have been essential in my artistic endeavors,
my work as teacher looking for the best way to be supportive of
my students, my activities as a the owner and webmaster of Soft
Expressions. I often experience the frustration before the flow
/ zone / meditative state (whatever term you are comfortable using)
I find the frustration and obstacles quite profound as it produces
the greatest break through moments. There is nothing quite like
the Ah Ha distillation after the frustration of the journey.....
In my current artistic pursuit of Zentangle, I work at it almost
every day and often ponder on a solution to an artistic idea percolating
and I recently experienced one of those AH HAs. Here is how
Frustration is often seen as THE barrier and produces stop motion
forward because opening oneself up to new experiences can be daunting,
I hope after viewing the video it may help you reframe and under stand,
frustration is the planted seed waiting to burst through soil and
- I experienced a percolation period
- I practiced
- I struggled
- I studied
- I day dreamed
- I slept and dreamed
- I reminded myself that Anything is Possible One Stroke
at a Time, the Zentangle Mantra <<<<<<
- One day, AFTER many previous attempts, I pick up the pen
and the FLOW poured out of my soul through my fingers, into
the pen; petals and forms began dancing across the page.
- I had a profound Zentangle Inspired Art moment an ---
ahhhh haaa and I have been sharing with anyone
who would listen. View the Black Spider Mum to the left
<<<< It is part of my Fantasy
Flower Series taught in my Zentangle Class 4 and is
the my latest example of the flow AFTER the frustration
- I look forward to many more frustrating moments to find
Often when I talk to customers about the Zentangle they state,
I can't do that, I can only draw stick figures. <<<<<
BUT have you wanted to draw? If your answer in any form is
yes, Zentangle will put you on a new path and creative
endeavor. because it is a one stroke at time process
that uses, GUESS WHAT, stick figure dashes, dots, lines, triangles,
circles, squares. Are you looking for your NEXT break through?
Yes, then join me in what may be a little frustrating at in
the beginning but with just a little practice and some really
good instruction from a CZT instructor (me) you will begin
exploring the rewarding pursuit of drawing a better stick
Thanks for reading and letting me share the joy of my latest
Zentangle AH HA after the frustration of the pursuit!
OPEN in NEW Window
IMAGINE: How Creativity
Works from Flash
Rosenberg on Vimeo.
Flash Rosenberg imagines how the ideas in IMAGINE are tackled,
tickled and teased-out by the author Jonah Lehrer.
Direction and live-drawing by Flash Rosenberg video
edit by Lin Sorensen narration: Jonah LehrerBook:
IMAGINE: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer published
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt animation © Flash Rosenberg
Till next time!
Sharla R. Hicks, Owner
Certified Zentangle Teacher
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