The ‘Scrap Project’: You Can’t Use It Up

Handmade Paper Scraps – Words: Maya Angelou

This is the fifth and final piece in my scrap project. I combined white, black, brown and grey into one piece. There were not enough scraps for each color to fill a mat, or even half a mat, so for the first time I divided a mat into four quadrants. I like the combination and the outcome. I created the inside by writing calligraphic lines or wiggles then splashed the paper with water. The ink bled to create some texture. Then I wrote the quote.

The fact that I completed five different pieces from the same jar of scraps is astonishing. Making myself do things I had never done before was both rewarding and frustrating at the same time. I walked away to ponder on many occasions, visited my studio in the middle of the night when an idea bombarded my brain, and I even worked as I often do in my pajamas. The challenge in working through a challenge is you never know when the idea that changes everything will hit, so you have to be ready to move and work when it hits. I also had to be willing to work through the dry spells, the ‘this isn’t working’ moments, and the ‘I can’t do this’ thoughts.

Creativity is not always a kind companion. It ebbs and flows when we want it to show it’s strength and guide us to safety. We want it to be consistent when it wants us to live on the edge. It never runs out, the more you use it the more you have, the challenge is that using it can drive you mad! Creativity forces us to move into the unknown and expand our boundaries, when all we really want to do is take a nap. Using our creative side means letting go of the known and being comfortable with the unknown.

When was the last time you expanded your creative borders and left your known ideas behind? Maybe today you could use a bit more chaos to get to the next level of your life. You won’t run out of creativity, so keep trying, keep pressing and keep using it. You never know what you can do until you try.

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