Sunday Letter ; Showing up and Filling Up
You honestly are one of my favourite days. You are the day I get to sit with myself for a few hours and really think about what I have to say. That time to reflect has become really important to me. It makes me think during the week about what's important. It makes me take notice of what others are saying, what I am reading because I know I am going to take the time to gather my thoughts together and share them on Sunday morning. This has become a ritual for me.
Rituals and habits are the essence of creative life. They are the foundation of making. Showing up and hooking even when I don't have an inspired idea. Showing up and writing when I feel like I got nothing to say.
Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it likes to find you working." Aww, the truth plainly said, I love that.
All you need is a habit of hooking ten minutes a day, or sketching while you are the phone or writing a letter on Sunday. These kind of habits build your creativity and they'll help you become an artist.
Lately I picked up my sketchbook again. I seem to have five or six on the go at once. Often they are neglected. Sometimes I think abundance does that. We don't appreciate things as much. For years I kept only one book. I filled it, then I moved on. I use my sketch book for notes but mostly for drawing out ideas for rugs. They are full of rough lines, imperfect sketches and scratches. In each book I fill there is probably one or two good ideas in a hundred pages.
I think I need to get back to the idea of one book at a time. I think I need to set a preciousness of intention around the book, not of what I put in it, but to make myself aware of the importance of actually drawing because when I do I just get so much better at it.
About three years ago I started drawing in my books with a sharpie markers as the lines were more like what I would hook with. I really like this because it feels more like drawing right on the linen. It feels like there is more possibility. Yesterday I drew for an hour with music on in the background. I was drawing flowers in vases. I drew about thirty, each one on a new page with my sharpie.
In the moment they all seemed pretty good, but there was one that was lovely so I left the book open on that page on the table so I could study it and think about it.
So I could imagine it as a rug. That's how it is. There is a single idea that can get worked and reworked until it changes itself into something you can work with.
And that's the work.
And it is work.
It takes time and patience.
It means facing limitations.
It means compromising.
But I don't know a single artist who isn't happy to do it.
Because the feeling we get when we make something beautiful is so deeply satisfying. It fills that well inside of us. For me it is one of the few things that fills it. Nothing else really works the same. A few hours alone making changes the way I see myself and what's around me.
Years ago I met an artist who was a nun. We were at her house and there was a little chapel in it. I asked her if she got down on her knees to pray. She looked at me solemnly and said, "When I work I pray." This moved me so deeply. I have carried it with me.
To intentionally bring beauty into the world is grace itself. We are given this opportunity, each of us, to add a little more to our own lives and the lives around us. It is a solemn promise we make to ourselves to show up and make. It is this terrific, powerful ,magnetic force and we hold it in our own two hands. Imagine that.
Thank you for letting me share your day. I hope you make something beautiful,
PS. I spent the last year creating colour school and it starts on April 6. You can sign up on our website hookingrugs.com. This is the only time it will be available this year and you save $50 if you sign up before April 3.
- Angela Davis