Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take a Nap to Tap into Your Creativity - MISSA 2011 Part 1

MISSA - The Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts located at the Lester B. Pearson International College just outside of Victoria BC has to be one of the most inspirational summer schools imaginable. Not only is the location fantastic, but the quality of the teachers is world class so it attracts a lot of serious students.

It is always held in the first two weeks of July and this year I signed up for workshops with Nick Joerling (1 week), Steven Hill ( weekend) and in the second week - handbuilding with Vince Pitelka. A trio of rock stars - all were amazing! You also get to meet other artists from other disciplines and in the evenings there are slide shows by the workshop presenters - all very inspiring and applicable to other disciplines!

Path to Auditorium at MISSA
View from the Pottery Studio
In the creative writing workshop with Sarah Selecky, the class was instructed to take a nap every afternoon to recharge their creativity - evidently when you first wake up - before you mind fills up with the days plans, problems etc, - if you just let your mind drift freely into your project - that is supposedly one of your most creative times. I guess it is just like waking up and coming up with a solution to a problem during the night. I have been trying to think about my pots when I first wake up in the morning - though most mornings the days problems and issues intrude pretty quickly.

Another thing that I learned from one of her students was that they were not to use a computer for their first drafts, but to write by hand, forming each letter slowly. Evidently writing by hand activates the creative part of your brain. Very applicable to pottery I think. I'm always drawing, sketching, often the same thing over and over, imprinting the image into my brain, with just subtle differences and as I turn the pages the images change into something that perhaps I can use.

The writing students says all this worked. I think I would have a hard time doing the first part - taking a nap - as I wouldn't want to miss even a moment of that fabulous time at MISSA.