Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Creative Salvation!

Perhaps after reading yesterday's introductory post about the new Recessionista series, some of you are a little skeptical. You might be thinking that several weeks spent on the topic of the economy sounds like going to the dentist. Perhaps you are worried that images of charts and graphs are going to replace those of creative room makeovers and DIY projects. And that shortly I will begin to sound very much like your high school Home-Ec teacher who droned on and on about the finer points of a budget spreadsheet.

Get Serious?:
I understand your fears. The truth is that during tumultuous times, society does tend to veer toward the comforts of utilitarianism. We suddenly feel like we need to "get serious" about the p's and q's of daily responsibility, and shelve anything that seems frivolous or unproductive. In other words, we feel compelled to take up our Quicken account registers and lay down our scrapbooks and sewing projects.

This, truthfully, is one of the things I hate most about this recession so far. This idea that utility--as in paying bills, working, eating food, etc.--suddenly trumps everything else, including creativity, upsets me. That is why the first thing I want to emphasize at the start of this Recessionista series is that creativity will be front and center. I will not abandon my projects for pie charts, and I don't want you to either!

Creativity is a Helper:
Why am I so fervent on this point? Because I firmly believe that creativity is a refuge and helper in times like this, not a hindrance. I resist the tyranny of utilitarianism because frankly, utility just isn't all it's cracked up to be. Paying bills is important, yes, and so is job security. But thriving--not just surviving--through times like these requires more.

One of the hallmarks of being a Recessionista, then, will be intentional creative expression. In fact, I want to dedicate a portion of time in my day specifically for creative pursuits. Sewing, knitting, decorating...whatever. And I will be inviting you to join me. And you can bet that we'll be talking a lot more about the virtues of creativity in hard times in the months to come!

Coming Later Today:
In fact, I'm picking up the conversation later today in a Smarty Pants post I've prepared in response to a Time magazine article I recently read, and to highlight a free art program I stumbled upon. Stay tuned to read more! And tomorrow I'll be sharing some pics from my latest DIY creative venture. Don't miss it!

One more thing--I posted yesterday about a new, exclusive feature that I'll be launching shortly, which is a subscriber newsletter. And you can be sure that one of the first things we'll be exploring is this idea of the "creative hour." I can't wait to hear your thoughts and see your projects! So sign up today to take part in the fun!

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