I am not a morning person and will probably never be one. Ever.
Sure I can get into the routine of getting up and going to work, and maintain such a routine but I don’t like it and it has repercussions on my mind and body. When I’m up early (early for me anyway) I actually feel ill. Eating before 10am is a problem because my stomach hasn’t caught up with the rest of my body being awake and just can’t process anything. I’m no good mentally until midday without coffee or a can of some sticky stimulant drink (and that has its own issues). So I crave a life that lets me be free to wander nocturnally and still pay the bills.
I am at my most creative in the dark. In the middle of the night when the world is asleep, the cars have stopped rushing past my bedroom window and silence descends upon everything the darkness touches, I am awake and ready to design, create and make. I’ve never really understood why this is the way my brain works but have just accepted it and moved on. I have read a few things about creative types being more likely to be up all hours so there must be something scientific and chemical behind it.
I like being awake when no-one else is. It’s soothing to me for some reason, I get more done and there are no distractions. The down side for me is that I can’t run my machine at all hours of the night because it is noisy. So I spend the time drawing new designs, writing patterns and cutting up the next quilt. I love to do all the little ‘process’ jobs that come before the actually assembly of a quilt at night. These smaller steps are the ones that many struggle with – first concept through to execution – because getting started is hard. So for me its easier to do at the best time for me, at night, opening my mind to the quiet of the world and just let the inspiration pour through me.
Daylight hours are for work. The hard stuff, the physical, the things that need to be seen clearly and with lots of light shining on every detail. Night is for freedom of thought, dreaming and wondering what if.
The past couple of nights have been late ones for me going to bed well after 2am. I spend some time in my office, sketching and colouring in, dreaming up all sorts of things. Then I head to bed and read for a little while and then when the burn starts in my eyes I sleep.
I’m in the middle of lots of magazine commissions – quilts, wall hangings, table runners, softies and a bit of jewellery. So sketching is a great way for me to get the designs out of my head and tweak them as needed. Nothing works better than graph paper and a pencil, with a really good eraser and a ruler. I keep my set of colouring pencils handy for when I design things with lots of fabrics that way I can mark out each fabric with a colour and get a better view of what I’m thinking. Drawing these things helps me to clarify my design. Even though I have already visualised the finished project in my mind I work backwards deconstructing the piece into its components and then I can work out how to rebuild it and write notes for it so you can make your own versions.
My world is full of colour. I love it, dream it, mix it and match it. My bedroom and craft room are full of colourful clutter because that is what inspires me. I could never design in an office that was all white, with clean lines and everything in its place and so very neat. My design method is entropic. Chaos and colour all rolled into one brain. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Many people ask me how I come up with so many things all the time. My answer is because my brain never stops. I walk around like a normal person all the while my brain is chugging along at the back designing, calculating and dreaming up new things. I can be having a conversation with someone and can literally feel my brain working in the background. If I stopped I think my world would stop, my life would stop and I wouldn’t be me.
I wouldn’t have my creativity any other way. I enjoy what I do, it makes me who I am and it makes me happy. I am so grateful to have found my life’s passion at such an early stage in my life.
How do you create? Design? Are you a morning or night person