TRACEE: As writers you tick the creativity box, but do you have a ‘just for fun’ creative side? I think that most creative people ‘live creatively’ – meaning it’s not a thing or an activity but a way of thinking or of being. What are your thoughts?
ROBIN: I’ve noticed that people known for one form of creative pursuit often have additional outlets – actors and authors play in bands, musicians paint, etc. It’s like creativity is a multiplier. For me, it’s drawing and painting. When I want to quiet my overactive brain, I pick up a pencil or a paintbrush.
This is one of my favorite creations. I painted her years ago, at the same time I wrote my first full length novel (also one of my favorites that I’m currently adapting/updating).
LAURIE: I love the idea of living creatively. I have lots of just-for-fun things I like to do, such as cooking, trying out vintage cocktails (for research of course;-), and during the last Presidential debates I even bought a huge canvas and painted so that I didn’t self-combust. But when I think of living creatively, I think of making sure I build some time into my schedule to enjoy creative experiences. Next weekend, I’m going to the Carnegie Club for Sinatra Saturdays where a band performs Sinatra greats in an old cigar club in NYC. On my birthday, I have a tradition where I go to the Met by myself and wander around and have a glass of champagne. When I head to midtown, I often try to add in fifteen minutes so I can pop in somewhere that I don’t usually go, or try something new like Campbell Apartment bar in Grand Central or the Algonquin Hotel or the very cool Korean bookstore by Bryant Park. All of that helps me breathe a little deeper and not hustle and bustle my way through life. I like to try my best to soak it all in.
MICHELE: I’m very impressed with the multiple and diverse talents of my fellow Miss Demeanors! I try to remind myself that whatever I create doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to bring me peace and pleasure. To that end, I love to cook, garden, collage, play with photography, and fufu my home. You can imagine how challenging that can be living in a tindominium.
CONNIE: Knitting is my just-for-fun creative outlet. Left to right: wool and linen oversized tunic; Fair Isle cardigan with over 30 colors; blue alpaca cabled jacket.
TRACEE: Wow! These are amazing….. that’s a creative outlet with a purpose!
ALEXIA: I never used to consciously think of living creatively until I went through some creative slumps and noticed something was missing. I started quilting, sewing, weaving, embroidering, and knitting as well as signing up for adult arts and crafts classes–collage, print-making, you name it. I became a creative dilettante–or Renaissance woman. (I’m very into textiles.)
I haven’t quilted, knit, weaved, or sewn in a while. I have some gorgeous quilt tops that are giving me the side eye for not finishing. I leave my rigid heddle looms out to remind me how much I enjoyed weaving. I embroider sporadically. My non-writing creative outlets seem to occur in phases. Textiles and art have given way to foodie pursuits–creative dining and food-gramming. (Sadly, those creative pursuits are harder on my waistline.) I also found a job that allows me to travel. (Hello from American Samoa, by the way.) I find travel to be creative–visitIng museums and historical sites and gardens.
CONNIE: Yes, travel is creative! Sometimes we like to travel by theme—National Trust holidays in the UK or hiking trips or foodie trips (those are great!). You can’t possibly understand a country or a culture unless you’ve spent lots of time there, but you can understand an aspect of a culture. In October we’re going to spend time in Montreal and Manior Hovey (scene of one of Louise Penny’s books).
ALISON: I echo what all of you have said: creativity animates life. I have my “create” side: calligraphy, water color, gift wrapping, cooking and baking, fashion, interior design, entertaining, needle point, and card making. Then, I have my bask-in-the-creativity-of-others side. Living in New York, it’s almost impossible to walk a block without being touched by somethingsomeone else created. I’ve been a member of the Met for years; it’s my home away from home (really, I have written huge chunks of my books in the Members’ Lounge with a glass of champagne). There’s theater (last night, I saw What the Constitution Means to Me), art exhibits (beyond the Met, my regular rotation includes the Rubin, Asia Society, Neue Gallerie, Museum of Design, the Guggenheim,MoMA, the Whitney, the Historical Society, and the Museum of the City of New York), and, of course, there’s is nothing in this world quite a wonderful to me as Central Park. It doesn’t matter the season or the weather, walking through Central Park will cure what ails you–especially if what ails you is writer’s block.
TRACEE: You’ve inspired me to be creative in new ways. Although a warning to the needleworkers among you. I had a great uncle who was advised to take up a hobby to better relax after work. He decided to try needlepoint, since his wife pursued similar interest. A few months later his doctor ordered him to stop needlepoint – he’d become obsessed. So let’s continue our forays into creativity with an eye toward enjoyment and not obsession. Inspired by your paintings I’ve included two of my own, one more complete than the other. Maybe I’ll dive back into painting this winter….. I have another Jack Russell who deserves her own portrait.