Thursday 26 October 2023

On Autumn Leaves, Creative Block, and Staying In the Moment...

Image shows a line and wash watercolour painting of 9 autumnal leaves at the end of a branch, set against blue sky.
Autumn Leaves in the Wind,
by Clare Walker, BoundingSquirrel.Com

Hello again

This week, I learnt an important lesson. Not a comfortable one, and certainly not a convenient one. But a really important one in relation to feeling a deeper sense of  inner peace. 

Am sharing it here because I deeply suspect that I'm not the only person to whom this might apply. Especially in the design or creative industries, but maybe many others, such as retail.

It went like this...

You may remember that last week's post ended up simply showing you winter "work in progress". ( In it, I was basically just confessing to not being able to draw very much).

For days, I attempted to get "all my Christmas designs" ready. In October, when in London in 2023, the trees were still green and barely thinking about autumn, let alone Christmas.

I told myself,,,

"It's the state of the world," I told myself. (And yes, let's face it, that is just...words fail me, let's not even go there right now, in a blog that aims to help you look at happy things every week).

The state of the world in general, we can all only control together. But as to the state of our inner world, luckily, that's a different issue. (Before I discovered art, I was a life coach for 14 years...seems it's still in there, somewhere :-)).

So I started hunting for the thoughts *really* causing this problem. 

And whilst I was doing that, the first really autumnal leaves appeared in London. Which led, without stress, and pretty much instantly, to the quick sketch above of a bush possibly too vibrant to hail from the UK. 

And to at least two of the poor animals from last week's post suddenly found their perfect, autumnal, rather than winter, homes.

Squirrel in his autumnal wreath for the inside of cards (or as a card, if you'd rather).

Picture is a watercolour image of an autumnal leaves wreath, with a cute gray squirrel with a bushy tail in the bottom of it.
Squirrel and autumn leaves
wreath illustration

And sleepy fox, making the perfect fox-shaped card for any time of year. (With luck, links to these as  cute printables will be up by the time you read this).

Image shows a smaller version of the elements needed to make a cute fox-shaped card.
Printable Fox-Shaped Card Sheet

So then it hit me:

Out-of-season designing *is* my real problem.

One of my greatest joys is seeing the seasons change, observing and above all,  *feeling* how things are right now, and expressing that in art and/or words.

And yet, somehow, I'd let myself get trapped in the, "always-got-to-have-things-ready-in-advance," hamster wheel.

It's a wheel that seems to work for many, and if that's so, I salute those people.

 But what if, like me, you prefer to respond more spontaneously and in-the-moment. In the "slow living", manner I discovered here, and then promptly lost again?

What to do instead?

I don't have a definitive answer to that. But it feels like, the only way to get off the whole "out-of-season," wheel/ just to get off it.

Which may well mean, for example, that this blog turns more into an illustrated journal, than a preview of upcoming designs.

We shall see. But I wanted to share this with you, to give you, as a reader, a heads-up about likely changes...And, if your someone who prefers to respond in the moment too, to let you know that you're not alone.

Let's make this change towards more sane, and in-the-moment living together, if you like.

But in any event, have the very best week you can, and thank you *so* much for reading down this far.

More soon.