Because You Love to Create. This simple declaration is our new slogan. So much is wrapped up in this tiny but powerful statement. Creative people love to create—pure and simple. It isn’t, in all honesty, like we don’t have enough quilts to last several lifetimes or enough holiday decorations that we couldn’t decorate Windsor Castle. We have so many purses and totes that we don’t need boxes. We have large totes, small totes, and every size in between. True story: When I moved to my current house, I didn’t need to buy boxes. I had plenty of totes that I could pack up and put in my car. It was a local move, so I didn’t have to worry about securing my belongings for a long haul.
So what is behind this innate drive that we all have? It is tied to physiology and psychology. Just like runners experience that runners’ high; we, too, experience a crafters’ high. First, it is the mere act of creating something from nothing. Taking a bunch of items and putting them together to make something else creates a high. It is a sense of accomplishment. It is an appeal to our senses of sight and touch. It a sense of learning something new and seeing how your skills have developed and advanced.
Something happens in the brain when we all experience these things. It is what creates the high that makes us feel better. There are lots of articles that give you the science. The Journal of Public Health, for example, published an article titled “The relationship between quilting and wellbeing.” In this important article, the art of quilting is explored from a variety of aspects.
What I offer here is purely anecdotal. The fact is, we love to create because it makes us feel good. When the pandemic hit, we were deemed a nonessential business. If you had (at least in Colorado) an addiction to alcohol or cannabis, you were safe; those shops were “essential” and remained open. Our addiction, which is just as real as other forms of addiction, was cut off. Fortunately, I was able to keep us open on a very restricted basis, and no one suffered severe withdrawal. But this experience underscored the importance that creating has in our lives.
Fortunately, most of us have a stash that we thought would last a lifetime (or beyond), but it was severely depleted during the shutdown (which seemed to last a lifetime). The creative drive had to be sustained, especially during such a stressful and uncertain time. We needed to continue to create to “keep sane.”
Creativity is a drive and a necessary part of our lives. I refer to the times in my life when I was unable to create as my dark times. I definitely was not fully myself; something was missing. I’m struggling now as a shop owner not to enter into another dark time. My time is diverted to other things and creativity is taking a back seat. I have to strike a balance, as maybe some of you may need to do as well. I have to allow time—quality time—for creativity and creating. We do love to create and that is as important to us as other necessities of life. Keep creating! Because you love to create!!