Thursday, January 26, 2017

Creativity and me. Chapter one: illness and the touchy subject of creativity

Creative Egg ... A Touchy Subject

Making drawings about not wanting to be creative.

'Opa', Artist Doll by Corina Duyn 1997
'Opa', Artist Doll by Corina Duyn 1997

Many have asked me about my creativity: the background to it all, if I studied art and how it became a tool to explore life with illness. Over the next few weeks, or however long it takes, I will share with you some of the creative moments in my life, which have brought me to where I am today. I doubt that they will be in chronological order... my brain doesn't work like that. 
The thought that came to me this morning was about the Creative Egg, A Touchy Subject.

Before becoming ill in 1998, I was a busy Doll Artist. I supplied shops with small figurative sculptures (see some here). My company was called Fantasy Folk. My work made its way to several countries. I worked on corporate and private commissions, had solo exhibitions, visited trade and other craft fairs. I was busy!
I worked in my studio during the day, as well as running a household, you know, the stuff we all have to do. At night I sit by the fire and do the hand sewing. 

When I first became ill I thought, fair enough, I have been busy, I need some time out. And tried to accept that life had brought me to this Full Stop.  However, during the early weeks or months I did put clay on the table, or set up my sewing machine. But every day My Body won before I could even get started. 
I wrote letters to the people and galleries and shops who were expecting my work and told them I needed a little time off and will get back to them when ready to work again. 
That gave a sense of relief.
I could now focus on getting better.

I didn't get better.
I got more, and more ill.

Later in 1998, and early 1999, I started to blame my Art practice- but work I absolutely LOVED - for the reason I had become ill. 
So, any reference made to creativity became a very touchy subject. "When I get better I'd rather work at a butchers (my worst nightmare) than EVER make a living out of being creative again" were my words ...

image of Creative Egg, a touchy subject . Egg with spikes and a tap to collect the creative juices cought in a bow © Corina Duyn, pencil drawing 1999
Creative Egg, a touchy subject
© Corina Duyn, pencil drawing 1999
But my hands made drawings, initially of eggs ...
Egg were my symbol of new life.

And this drawing of an egg with spikes, as in not safe to touch, but with a tap to collect the creative juices for another day, became the turning point. 
Not because I wanted to be creative again, or even accept my creative being. But simply because a dear friend Mary Lincoln, was brave enough to bring to my attention that

 I was making drawings 
about not wanting to be creative...

Point taken.
Case Closed.

Links and further reading:
  • Hatched -a creative journey through ME is now available as digital download for €3.99 
  • A gallery of my Fantasy Folk Artist Dolls and early work, of which many appear in Hatched, please see HERE
  • My book and art shop
  • My very last dolls made before becoming ill were for Waterford Crystal

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