A Lightbulb MomentOctober 13, 2006
I had a lightbulb moment yesterday. You know, that moment when the lightbulb goes on in your head and you say, “Oh, I get it!” It is a lightbulb that I’m afraid should have been turned on many, many years ago.
While I was in college, I took a class for realistic drawing. I enjoyed the class a lot. I found drawing to be very calming and relaxing- almost hypnotic. And I felt that my drawings were fairly successful. Mr. Drawing Professor did not share my asssessment of my drawings, however. “You drawings are technically perfect,” he said, “but they don’t ‘speak’ to me.” So, gradewise, I did not do well in the class and he never would hang any of my drawings in the class shows. I have puzzled for years over just what it was that he meant since he could explain it no better than “they don’t speak to me”.
Just down the hall from the drawing studio was the weaving studio. It was in this studio that I truly was in heaven. I loved weaving. I didn’t find it relaxing, but invigorating. I wanted to try all of the colors, all of the different weights of fibers. I wanted to mix them all with wire, with plastic strips, with what ever I could find to see what happened to them. My work came out in all kinds of shapes and sizes, 2-D and 3-D. Ms Weaving Professor was thrilled with the work I did, so I did well in that class.
It wasn’t until yesterday that the lightbulb came on as to why my weaving was so much more successful than my drawing. I read a quote from Robert Frost about creative writing and it went like this:
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
Isn’t that awesome? In the drawing studio I was taking no risks. I was not experimenting, I was not learning, I was not struggling, I was not developing. I was safely doing the things that I had been taught to do with a pencil and pushing it no further. I was not putting anything of myself in to the drawings and it clearly showed to Mr. Drawing Professor.
However in the weaving studio I poured my self into it. I tried new things. I experimented with vague ideas in my head until they became reality. I struggled. I pushed. There were tears when things didn’t work out the way I wanted. And there were surprises when something happened that I didn’t expect. It was much harder but it was all pure joy for me. And Ms Weaving Professor saw it all.
I am so glad that I finally am coming to an understanding of what Mr. Drawing Professor meant when he said my drawings didn’t speak to him. I have finally learned something from that experience and can move on and apply it.
I love lightbulb moments!