Yesterday I was talking to my partner in crime, Julie (The number of projects we are involved in together is too large for even us to keep track of them all; we’ve decided it may be better if we always work together as a rule), and I said, “I started and finished a teddy sweater on Saturday due in no small part to the fact that I had a quiet house and Dragonfly in Amber on the i pod.”
“Maybe you should thank Diana Gabaldon in the acknowledgments of your book,” Julie quipped. She got me thinking about my creative process and how what’s going on around me affects it.
When I’m in the design stage of a project, normally, I work in my studio without any music or radio (I love to listen to NPR when I’m doing e-mail or other computer work, but I need quiet for math and thinking about the art and pattern of design.) But once a project is underway, I enjoy having something happening while I work–this could be conversation with a friend or a knitting group, it could be watching Selma at Judo practice or her piano lesson.
Most of the time, when I’m working, I’m on my own, and my backdrop is likely music or a movie or an audio book. As much as I love watching television and movies, I’m not so good at working unless what’s on TV does not have a storyline. If there’s any drama, I most likely end up unconsciously putting my needles or hook down to pay attention. I did watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel while I’ve been working on the crochet for bears book, and while I enjoyed them immensely, I think that the next time I watch them, I’ll get more crocheting done, since I’ll already know the plot.
When I have an engrossing audio book, things seem to fly off my needles or hook. I get lost in the book and loose sense of time as well. In a series as all-consuming as Buffy or Outlander, a reader or viewer gets lost in another world, and I at least tend to think about the story even when I’m not watching or reading or listening to it. It’s my favorite kind of story, one that you can’t stop thinking about. But does someone elses’ creative genius effect my creativity? I certainly haven’t noticed anything obvious. I don’t have the urge to design Scottish things, or create vampire-esque projects. But I can’t help but think this collision of creativity, the soaking up of one creative work while making another must not happen without some effect. What I notice most, is that I feel more creative when I’m exposed to good writing, it makes me want to create more, write more and be better at it.
I’d love to know what you all listen to or watch while you’re crocheting and knitting and how you think it affects your creative process. Let’s start a conversation in the comments.
Oh, and speaking of bears, to encourage conversation, I’ll award a free copy of Knits for Bears to Wear to a randomly selected commentor on this post. I’ll close the contest one week from today.