I Made These: fulfilling a goal and tapping into the creative process

At the end of last year and then again a week later at the beginning of this year, I wrote about my goals for 2014.

Not resolutions, goals.

Some I have not met. But that’s the point of goals, they are something to work toward. I did not write, for example, “be it resolved that I will start running again.” Which is good, because I haven’t actually started running again. It’s a goal to do so, though, and it’s never far from my mind.

As far as the other goals go, I haven’t done too badly.

There is one in particular that I have taken on wholeheartedly, followed through, and achieved.

I wanted to try something new and fun while I was still off work. Something that I would never usually have time for, something that would seem beyond the realm of what I would usually do. And I did.

Bookbinding.

I have written about it a bit, although mostly about the trip our class took to see the rare books at Ottawa’s National Art Gallery.

Today, I’d like to write about the class itself and the books I made. There is one final class next week but, as I will be heading off to South Africa this weekend, I will be missing that one. I will finish the final project when I return, though.

Over the past several months, I have learned to design and assemble books with a precision and beauty that I never would have expected.

I have surprised myself.

Each one is different, and the three hours a week I have spent on the third floor of the Ottawa School of Art for the past 2 1/2 months have provided me with an outlet I didn’t realize I needed. An outlet for creating with my hands and an outlet for a different type of artistry than I am used to. It has been rewarding to discover that I can, that I enjoy and that, every now and then, I need to stretch beyond the art of writing.

I have learned so much, especially from our excellent, skilled and artistic teacher, but also from the other students in the class. Each one has brought a very distinct personality and style into the room and into the creative process.

It’s a bit like writing with prompts; everyone gets the same prompt but what they do with it is wonderfully diverse and unique. And each interpretation then expands all the others’ creative ideas.

I’m so glad I dedicated my time and energy to this project and I’m thrilled that I now have the skills to make a variety of books whenever the feeling strikes.

I’m also thrilled that I now have a collection of lovely books, which I made, to use for my writing:

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11 thoughts on “I Made These: fulfilling a goal and tapping into the creative process

  1. Beautiful books. I’m so glad you enjoyed the class. Have a great time in South Africa and when you return I’m sure you’ll have more ideas for new books.

  2. Absolutely stunning. I’m so glad that you took yourself on this particular adventure – it seems to have been so lovely and wonderful a self-gift – and bonus for us – we get to share it with you through your posts! Are you taking one or another with you on your trip? What a lovely skill to have. 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful time abroad and that you have the chances to explore and enjoy and translate it into “work in progress” for yourself 🙂

    • Thank you Pat for your very kind words 🙂 I’m quite sure that some time relaxing by the sea – with yoga and a sauna! – will be hugely beneficial.

      I am indeed taking one of the books with me – the leather journal. I sort of wish I’d made it smaller now, but I think it will be great to get back to writing with pen and paper.

      • I’m glad that you’re looking forward to your trip.Despite the sacrifices by way of decisions having to be made, I think it’ll be a wonderful way for you to recharge yourself some more. And yes, I can bet that you’ll feel differently putting pen to paper – but sometimes that “direct connection” is just what’s needed, even if we don’t realize the power of it.

        Hope you have a great time and enjoy yourselves. 🙂

        Have a great weekend and super trip!

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