Create Something, Anything...

Kellie Patton in Toledo, Ohio recently completed a yearlong project she called Create Something, Anything...

Why did you decide to do this project? Suffering from a very long creative dry spell, I was in desperate need of a kick in the pants. I ran across your book on Amazon, read a few reviews and made the purchase.  And before I even opened the book, I was ready to get started. And I did…start without opening the book, that is…with my own rules and no theme or common thread. I just needed to make something.

I started off slowly and within a few days, wondered how I could ever keep it up. But I had told too many people I was going to try, so I had to do it.

Throughout the project, I joked that the book was so great that one didn’t need to open it; it worked, somehow, even it was just on the couch next to you.

And I made something every day. I started out with simple post cards on  my lap in front of the TV and it grew from there. When the weather warmed, I moved to the garage to my bench (which was lucky to see some action every four or five months, before) and made jewelry. When I was stuck for ideas, I did what artist Chuck Close had said…make the same thing again and again and eventually it will grow from there. And it did.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This project has really and truly changed my life.  Besides making me realize that I did have the discipline to do it, my ideas came more freely and my skills improved (imagine that!). When I made something every day, I didn’t have time to obsess over one thing and leave it unfinished for weeks and weeks. If it wasn’t working, it was finished then, And I moved onto the next. I learned that I didn’t need to like everything I did. When you are working every day, sometimes things are successful and sometimes they’re not. And that is okay.

I had put myself in a place to feel isolated and suddenly I felt the need to be around other artists and creative types, and I signed up for workshops at a local supply store. Because I’d been working on stuff, I felt like a participant again, not someone standing on the sidelines, cheering others on and thinking about what I used to do. I had something to talk about!

And because the book advised to document this journey, I had to get over my fear of what others would think of my work. I blogged and occasionally posted my entries onto my FaceBook page. Sounds kind of simple, but it was a HUGE step for me. I forgot to worry about what people would think.

This fall, I participated in several local shows with my “Spare Parts” jewelry. I hadn’t done a show in at least seven or eight years. And because I made stuff every day, I had tons of jewelry to show and sell, no preshow jitters and last minute crap thrown together….and it was well received and the shows were successful.

(I swear, I think after this, I could quit seeing my therapist!)

See all of Kellie's creations HERE.


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