Sunday, October 2, 2011

The High Cost of Creativity

It all starts with that evil little voice inside your head, when you see something amazing and think, "I can make that!"

Artists and crafters understand how much having to buy expensive supplies can be a huge drain on your creativity level.   Being hit by a right-hemisphere-melting dose of fiscal reality can do that.  Especially when you first start making that special something that ignited that spark of inspiration, be it soap, jewelry, painting, cupcakes, quilts or whatever and find out just what it's going to cost you. 

College was the worst!  Seriously, check out the supply list for a typical 20 fine arts credits - $700?  $900?  Add in some art history text books and you might realize by your second semester that you should have majored in engineering because that's the only way you're going to afford to be a real, live starving artist...

 For those with ADCD it's especially challenging.  We love making shtuff, but our short attention spans usually mean we're not going to be making the same thing for very long.  We enthusiastically (and in my case, manically) begin a new creative project and buy supplies with abandon. (AKA: as much as we can afford and still have money for gas, ramen and bologna.)  We'll make a whole variety of that shtuff and end up trying to sell enough to break even, or giving it away as gifts, or in my case, both.  Eventually, we'll get bored with making that stuff and be ready to try something new.  We'll be inspired (or distracted) by some idea or glittery, shiny thing or just a random falling leaf and off we go in search of more supplies.  It's a vicious, bank-breaking, relationship-testing cycle.  

And then there's the leftovers - All those left over supplies, of which there's not enough of what you need to make more stuff, but the thought of letting such useful items go to waste creates an anxiety much like a smoker trying to quit cold-turkey or a shopaholic cutting up a credit card.
I went through this same budget busting agony with crocheting, silk painting & dying, acrylics and watercolors, airbrushing, quilting, journal making, and all my other soapy bath & body products, to name a few recent endeavors.  Trust me, I feel your creative drain.  My storage shed (or what my husband refers to as the "Artsy Fartsy Hoarding Zone") has boxes and bins full of yards of material, thousands of buttons, dozens of yarn skeins, soap packaging, painting supplies, body product containers, coffee cans of broken tiles, reams of pretty paper, shoe boxes full of markers, stamps, gallons of adhesives, and enough glitter to make Martha Stewart drool - let's not even talk about my post-it note problem...

As I get in deeper to this blogging abyss, I'll try to post some ideas, tips, links and money-saving tid bits that may help save some anxiety and help keep that flame of inspiration burning hot. 

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