Monday, November 13, 2017

My Creative Process

I was very fortunate when I was a child because my parents never 
harnessed my creative spirit.  There were art projects of mine all over
the house.  Most of the time I was building houses.  I used the standard
kid's building sets but I also raided Daddy's wood stash and old paper
bags from the kitchen.  Sometimes there were little paper bag house 
villages scattered all over the family room and one had to be careful 
where to step.  Surprisingly, my very neat and organized Mama was
not a bit bothered by what some would consider a mess.  When her
girl friends would stop by they would ask her if my all my projects
bothered her, and she said no.  She understood that my little mind
was working 24/7 on important projects, and that she was fine with
it as long as I was happy.

I lived with the Moto ~ If you can dream it, you can make it.
I didn't understand the term mantra back then, but that is
what it was, my own creative mantra.

When I wasn't building little villages, I was creating costumes
for myself.  When I came home from school each day, instead of 
putting on my play clothes, I put on one of my costumes.  Most 
often I was a cowgirl, but sometimes I would dress like people 
from other lands.  Once after Daddy returned from a business trip
to India, I made a sari out of an old pillowcase and put on a stack
of my Mama's bracelets and drew a dot on my forehead.  I wore 
that outfit for days.  My poor parents never knew what to expect.

I also learned that creativity could be very persuasive.  When I was
seven years old, I wanted a pair of penny loafers like all the big girls
had.  I was still wearing some Oxford tie up shoe because my Mama
was very careful about my growing foot and did not want me wearing
any shoe without enough support.  I pleaded for loafers, but Mama 
said I had to wait a couple of years.  Don't ask about her reasoning,
 there was no arguing with her.  

I decided that the best way for me to have a pair of loafers was to
make my own.  So, one day after school, I took brown construction
paper, scissors, tape and 2 pennies and made my own Paper Loafers.
I worked very hard on them all the way to dinner time.  After 
dinner I raced back to my room to finish my shoes.  I finished them
by bedtime.  I was so excited about them and wanted to wear them
around, but I was supposed to be in bed.  I took one of my Mama's
cosmetic mirrors and set it up on the floor like the ones in shoe stores.
I said goodnight to Mama and Daddy and closed my bedroom door.

I was walking around my bedroom and admiring the paper
loafers on my feet when I heard a knock on the door.  It was
Daddy.  He could see the like shining under the door and wanted
to know why I was still awake.  He came in and saw me modeling
my shoes in the cosmetic mirror.  When he asked me what I was
doing, I had to explain the whole situation.  I am sure he was
laughing to himself, but he didn't let on.  

Although I never begged for or cried about real loafers.  My
approach was unknowingly subtle.  Daddy convinced my Mama that
if I wanted the shoes so badly that I would resort to making my own,
that perhaps I could have some real ones, but only wear them for 
limited periods of time and not to school.

Years later, I went to a counselor who specialized in discovering 
the best professional field for individuals.  My first assignment was to
write about my first major achievement before the age of ten.   I
wrote about my paper loafers.  She told me that in all of her years
handing out this same assignment, she never read a paper like mine.
Her conclusion ~ I should be in advertising!  She said if I could 
so calmly and easily convince my parents to change their minds,
I must have the knack to do it as a profession.  

I actually did spend some time in advertising :-)

What I have learned about creativity is this ~ we are all creative.  Each
of us has a spark of uniqueness.  We don't have to be professional artists, we
just need to let the inner child come out and play once and a while.  I
assure you, it's the most therapeutic activity you will ever do.  Let your
mind wander and your spirit soar.  Don't be your own worst critic.  Just
have fun.

Okay, I am going to end this blog post right here and go hang some
wallpaper in one of my miniature rooms.  Have a great day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. Hugs right back Susan - I loved your post, from the heart.

  2. That was the sweetest post. I hope I can give my grandbabies the freedom to create the way your parents did for you. Thank you for sharing these memories. Sandra

  3. This is such an encouraging post, Susan. You reminded me so much of our youngest son who is now 25. When he was little he didn't sleep much. We'd wake up in the mornings and he would have handsewn pillows or lifesize dolls. He made wooden boxes, jewelry, cars, weavings, clay name it! He hasn't chosen that type of career path but I hope he'll continue to do those things. It's good for your brain and your spirit. :)

  4. I'm new to your blog. I saw the miniatures and had to keep on reading. Your creative journey is inspiring as is your mother's acceptance and willingness to foster that creativity. Can't wait to see the next post, in the mean time I think I'll read the previous posts! Thank you.

  5. Oh- What a wonderful, blessed childhood you had...with a mom that allowed you to enjoy the creative process no matter the mess. That was truly a blessing.

    I hope you have wonderful day, sweet Susan. xo Diana

  6. Hooray for your parents. One of the most important things we can do for children is encourage their creativity. xo Laura

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