As I get more serious about my writing and honing the skills I have, it’s important that I find and explore other creative outlets. Writing was once a hobby, something that I did to blow off steam or express myself and now it is work, although it is work that I enjoy, I’m not as carefree with it as I once was. Now and then I will go back to explore poetry and I can find freedom there, but I find turning to my hands and the physical, relaxing.
I write a lot about the connection between the body and mind via physical fitness but have yet to explore creating by hand. When I’m feeling anxious, a keyboard isn’t enough of a tactile experience, especially when I spend all day at work doing the same repetitions. Sitting in front of a screen, no matter what I am working on, makes for long, depressing, days.
So what is it that I do with my hands when my imagination is energetic and my body bored? I collage. I tried both painting and sculpture and failed miserably, I didn’t have the right attention to detail (or motor skills for that matter) to succeed. What my brain wanted to see done my hands couldn’t do. Eventually, through a Harlem Renaissance course in high school, I found collaging. Scraps of paper and glue! I had found something I could manage. At first I experimented with very detailed works where I shaded with tiny slivers of paper to create a bigger picture, like my own rudimentary version of impressionism.
That can be time consuming and not as fun (I know, I know, I’m not very serious about anything but that’s just who I am) so I turned to more traditional collaging and started creating silly scenes and contradictions using everything from National Geographic to Time Out New York. The results are fun and bring back my imagination when it feels fried. I’ll start sharing the pieces on here soon, I have a few I like, but until then here are two hyperlapse videos.
The second is me working on this very blog post, look how stern my face it and how little I move! I rarely break concentration from the screen and I look pretty pissed off. Compare it to the first video of me collaging two nights ago (wine, dog, talking to my boyfriend) and you’ll see what I mean. With collaging, I have no concentration to break.
I’d like to hear what you work on outside of your prescribed genre, form, medium. What it does it do for you? How does it free you?