Hi, I’m Jess and I am a dilettante, jack-of-all-trades, or more trendily, a multipotentialite (a multipot if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about!)
I wasn’t always like this. I did used to have a career and a focus. I had a trajectory dammit. But then I got chronic fatigue. And then I had a baby!
Since Indi was born and I gave up my singing and teaching career to stay home and love him like crazy I’ve been searching for my next thing. It’s been really nice to step away from music, something that has been a huge (and rather complicated) part of my identity since I was really young, but as a creative I know that if I don’t have some kind of outlet I get totally lost.
I need that creative outlet to help me make sense of life. Without it I am a very dull flower indeed.
In the long and rather foggy two years since Indi was born I have tried my hand at:
- eco printing
- jewellery making
- short story writing
- web design
I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting.
The evidence of these fly-by-night hobbies can be found all over our house – the baskets of fabric waiting to be made into cute pants of Indi; the boxes of beads and sequins and beautiful embroidery threads just waiting to pimp my old backpack; pressed flowers that fall out of my bigger books, part of an eco printing project that got forgotten somewhere along the way. This has had the pleasant side effect of stocking Indi’s craft cupboard with some pretty awesome materials but hasn’t done much for my self esteem.
I’ve also started and dropped-out of no less than three higher education courses (music therapy, diversional therapy and social entrepreneurship), started working as a doula, trained as a sound healer, and am currently studying Naturopathy part time.
Whew! Somebody stop me!
The truth is that it feels important for me to keep moving forward, even if it is mostly at a pleasant crawl. And I don’t see my search for the new ‘thing’ finishing any time soon, but I do think my approach to these new creative outlets could do with some tweaking.
Something I have recently realised after reading the fabulous ‘The Rainbow Way’ by Lucy H Pearce and her 8 Stages to Creativity, is that not only have I been comparing myself to other people’s middles, I’ve also been skipping the first two stages completely and jumping straight to improvisation (what can I say, I’m a recovering jazz singer!) where I then get completely overwhelmed and bamboozled.
Now I realise what I’ve been doing I will try my hand at some stage one activities next time I get inspired to start a new hobby. In fact, I’ve been rather enjoying making jewellery of late and have just got myself a beginner book from the library, so watch this space, I may even get to stage four this time!
And now, without much further ado, here are the 8 Stages of Creativity, lifted straight from the beautiful Lucy H Pearce’s ‘The Rainbow Way – Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood’
The Eight Stages of Creativity
- Paint by number – tracing, coloring in, kit building.
- Copying – following instructions or recipes to the word.
- Improvisation – taking a starting point from another piece of work, or technique and starting to riff around it
- Composition – you are starting to develop your own more complex designs and ideas, to plan and create structure for yourself.
- Stand-alone work – you are consistently creating work from you own inner well of ideas, refining your techniques and themes. At this stage you will usually begin selling your work and/or teaching.
- Recognized body of work – people can clearly recognize your individual style, use of materials and subject matter, you begin to become a respected authority through your work.
- Internationally acclaimed – a world renowned teacher/creative figure or artist – your work will be widely recognized by large numbers of people outise of your field or niche.
- Historical figure in you art – your work is remembered, celebrated, referenced and valued by many generations after your death.
If you enjoyed this little excerpt I highly recommend you check out Lucy Pearce‘s work, she does some amazing stuff.
I’d love to know what you got from this. Where are you on your current creative journey? And is there anything that you’ve been dying to try but have been too afraid to be a beginner again? Perhaps we can be beginners together!