Creative Spark 7: Permission

Kind of ironic, huh, after yesterday’s posts?

Permission is an odd thing. Sometimes you need it to move forward. My husband has only once complained about the quilts we have at home. He helps me with quilt math and did all the figuring for the Triangle Technique chart. In these way he has given me permission to create.

He wasn’t, however, the first. We did a lot of creative things at home when I was a kid. My dad tied fly fishing flies and had us work along with him. My mom sewed and painted those plaster decorative pieces with us. My grandmothers all cooked and did needlework. We often received kits to make things as gifts. It was normal to be making at our houses.

I also remember various teachers who encouraged creativity and making. Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Kay created a entire play based on Fiddler on the Roof called Piddler on the Loose that included costumes, music and a completely rewritten script. There was also an art aspect to our learning in Mrs. Gellman’s class: kites when we studied Japan, a mission built by the entire class when we studied California history and something to color or glue in general.

Bloomston talks about her various teachers and how they inspired her. About one she writes “she gave her students nothing but space, time, materials and permission. She offered an open door to her wild studio filled with crazy, sophisticated materials and tools” (pg.33).

I don’t think we need “assignments, lectures or instructions” (pg.33). I think we need a sense of possibility and permission. Permission can be tricky, however. I don’t need someone to say “it is okay for you to go and sew today”. It is more that I need the space to be able to go and sew. My family giving me the mind space to make the decision to sew is a kind of permission.

Part of permission is the mindspace, but Bloomston points out that the “blessings and resources in our lives that allows us freedom – open doors, yesses, possibility” all have a hand in getting us to create. The good thing is that no matter how much money a person has, anyone can take a pen and draw lines on the least expensive piece of paper and make art.

Bloomston says “Seek out people who say yes. Seek out people who give you permission, whether teachers or friends” (pg.34).  One of the most important things that helps me to create are the people in my guilds. The fact that they show up and show their work inspires me so much! It makes me want to make that or this other project as well.

Bloomston has some worksheets in this chapter, which will help you focus on the things discussed in this chapter. Take a look at the book.

Nota bene: we are still working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to it than what I am writing and it will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness!

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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