Category Archives: creativity

“Create”. What does it mean? How does it work?

OK, I went to for a true definition. I typed in “Create”. The first line on the page was a link to something else, but it said “is you dumb?”. LOL It made me think maybe it thinks we should already know the definition of “create” and why are we asking?

At any rate, there were a few definitions, one of which was: “to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.” I think this is a pretty close definition for those of us in the “art” world.  I never really thought of myself as an “artist”, but lately when people ask what I do, rather than explain glass, and what I do with it, I find “glass artist” pretty much covers it.

OK, now that I’ve rambled, and we’ve determined we all know what “create” means, my true reason for writing to you today is more on the “How does it work?” portion of the title. Up until 2 weeks ago, I had no clue how it worked. Now that I am unable to get into the studio and create, I know how my creative side works. She works best when she is not allowed to come out and play. Kind of like when you can’t have something, you want it even more. My creative muse is restless, coming up with all of these ideas, things she wants to”create” because she knows darn good and well, I can’t let her out just yet. She’s torturing me with all of these ideas, and I’d bet my next bead sale, she’ll clam up and decide to go on vacation the minute I tell her she can come out and play.

So, for those of you who are having a lapse in creativity, maybe put your muse in time out, then she’ll tease you until you let her out again, and the creativity will begin to flow again. (We hope).

Hugs to all,



Age and Creativity

Hmmm, I guess I’m pretty solidly in middle age now. I’ve gotten the horrifying mailing from Aarp. Aren’t we all surprised to realize we’ve reached that age? I laughingly call myself and my sisters old ladies.

But creatively things are different. I’ve always been the member of the family with different color choices and fashion sense. My sister said she would pick a style of shirt and look for the color combination that she would absolutely not wear and buy that one for me. And danged if I didn’t love it.

However, when I was very young I was shy and not very confident in myself. I would dress myself differently but I didn’t trust that those choices might appeal to anyone else. So any artistic voice I had at that time was filtered through my need to please people.

Then one day when I was worrying about how people thought about me my brother said “*%#@* ’em if they can’t take a joke!”. Silly as it might seem – lights went on. I didn’t need to please anyone else with my art. I just needed to make what I wanted.

Slowly, I learned to listen to the voice in my head and find the pictures in there that it wants me to make in the real world. And every dang one of those pictures is a reflection of me. I am most pleased when I’ve managed to make a piece look like the picture in my head. But sometimes I am pleasantly surprised at the attempt that didn’t come close.
Lately I seem to have come full circle. I design jewelry. Generally I like to make pieces that I would wear. [I say that but I don’t wear a lot of jewelry at all, lol.] And it sells, it surprises me that other people really like it, but they do. With the realization that other people value my creative vision I’ve started designing for how I see people in my head. [Does that make sense to anyone else?]

So, to get back to the point, with age my creativity has grown. I never would have made some of the pieces I make now 20 or 30 years ago. I’ve allowed my creativity full rein to dip her little toes in whatever pond, style, medium that takes her fancy and I’ve gone along for the ride. I can’t wait to see where she takes me next.

Does getting older make you less creative?

There’s a huge bruhaha on a lampworking forum–well at least a little bit of a bruhaha–about a comment that was made about age and creativity.  The author seemed to feel that the older you get the less creative you become.  I was just a teensy bit miffed at the statement because I am definitely middle aged.

The real question here though is does age matter at all in terms of creativity?  I just don’t think it does.  I think that your art can only develop and grow as you do.  If you’re an open, creative person to begin with, it seems that you should continue that as you grow older.  One of the most creative people I know is an 82 year old friend of mine.  If I had a miniscule fraction of his talent I would be quite happy.

Tammy (I think it’s Tammy), is right about one thing though.  As our bodies age we may be less able to do certain things.  Can I sit for hours in front of a torch or making chainmaille?  Not really.  Well, I can but I’ll pay for it the next day.  LOL  If I do too much chainmaille with heavy rings my hands hurt the next day or two.  So getting old does have it’s disadvantages.  Does hurting make me less creative?  It actually may increase my creativity because I have to do things a bit differently so I think about them in another way.

The bottom line though is that if you have something to offer the world you have it whether you’re 20 or 80.  Develop it and don’t give a damn what the rest of the world thinks about it.  And don’t make ridiculous value judgements about other people while you’re doing it.

Does getting older make you less creative?

Deb posed this question. 

I say no…not less “creative” but certain age related conditions…arthritis, body aches and the like…can certainly interfere with your ability to “express” your creativity in the manner previously established.  

I saw this point illustrated in the portfolio of an elderly, female,  artist named Pat.  She was exhibiting in a small art show in our town (Westmont)    Her works on display were that of  oil and acrylic paintings….but in her portfolio I saw fantastic photos of her sculptural  work.  I  was stunned that she had switched to painting when her 3-d pieces were so wonderful.  That’s when she explained that she could no longer work with the clay.  The cold, clammy material was too hard on her arthritic hands.  The need to create was so strong in her….she needed to switch media to express it.   I found this rather reassuring….since I, myself wonder about the physicalities of felt making on my own muscles, joints and hands.

I imagine it will be frustrating at first……but I have every confidence that there are other mediums that can….and will….speak to me when the time comes.


Tammy Deck ~ Westmont, IL

Come See Me at my Art Fair this Weekend

 July 12th and 13th ~ Orland Park Crossing, 143rd and LaGrange Rd (rt 45), Orland Park


Tammy Deck / Westmont, IL

When creativity has left the building

I had 2 year bout with this…during my father’s losing battle with cancer….and a year later when my business mentor faught and lost her battle in just about the same time frame.  During this period, I felt like a creative slug.  Just going through the motions day to day.

I couldn’t see it at the time…but that’s what actully helped.  I Kept going through my creativity motions.  Kept my hands and eyes working in my medium…even tho my heart was breaking.  Just kept going through the motions.  Kept going into the sewing room.   Kept surrounding myself with my “creativity stuff”.  I even took classes in a new medium (they called it lampwork..hee hee)

Do I feel that I created “art” during this time…nope. 

One day….I was done with grief.  I had a dream that night for a new direction in my felt work….creativity had re-entered the building.  sigh.

I realized after this experience…that I needed regular intervention and peer support.  We tried offering a group with an assignment based approach…it was good for a little while… but then, several of us began to feel angry and down on ourselves (I could never complete my assignments on time!)  After some time had passed…some wounds had healed…we tried again with the group we call  “Creativity Continuum”.   There are no assignments or due dates (unless they are self imposed)  We meet once a month with a “coach” to keep the meeting on task…but we always have an activity….that makes you use your hands differently….your eyes differently….different materials…different approaches.  Our main goal is to keep our creativity muscles moving so we’ll always be ready for the “work-out” when creativity returns….because you know it will be a work-out!


Tammy Deck