I’ve been writing about possessions and physical stuff lately, and how they are linked to us emotionally.
Thinking about all the possessions I have, I wondered what I might do if I lost them all, had nothing, and was starting afresh again. What would I get first? What could I not live without?
Being quite into lists and charts, I’ve often over the years come up with lists of records like “The Top 5 Heartbreak Albums”, “5 Most Europhic Love Songs”, “The Best 5 Lines Morrissey Ever Wrote”, that sort of thing, then compared eagerly with willing (and sometimes not so willing) friends.
I still often make a Top 10 Albums Ever list in my head from time to time, which has got harder over the years as my record collection has expanded.
Anyway, this a good example of a place to begin if we had to start afresh with no possession – your music.
What would the first 5 albums you bought be? Or what about 5 books that enrich your life and you know you couldn’t bear to live without?
Now let’s take this same idea of 5 things into the realms of your artistic possessions and materials.
If tomorrow you lost every single thing you owned, and were given some money to begin your creative life all over again, what 5 things would you buy?
Now, if you’re not into lists and numbering and so on, this post is probably terribly dull. In fact you probably haven’t read far enough for me to just admit that!
The point is, we can sometimes have so much “stuff”, so many colours of paint, or different pens to choose from, or dozens of fresh crisp journals waiting for our words (he says, eyes averting those on his own shelves…) that we get overwhelmed and don’t use any of them.
What a waste! Not just of those unused materials, but our unused talent, creativity and ideas.
We don’t have to be overwhelmed like this. We can start all over again, any time we wish.
You don’t have to go through the experience of losing, or giving away, every object you own, though that may well be very liberating. You can try the same exercise anyway, even if you keep all your art materials and put them out of sight somewhere temporarily. Just pick 5 objects, and get creating.
For me, I would simply choose a journal and a pencil. And maybe 3 spare pencils! I know with those, the simplest tools needed to record ideas and thoughts, I could write anything, and everything I wanted.
I’ve just realised that I’m writing this post, as I’ve written all my articles for this new blog, using OmmWriter, which is a text editor with a very simple, minimal interface and a comforting soft chattering sound as you tap the keys. It’s given me the space I need to just write, without distraction, and my words flow easily.
It’s the same principle, cutting back all the many many choices and starting again with the simplest and fewest materials you can.
So, your turn. Pick your 5 (at most!) art materials and objects, and using only them, start creating something new today.