Monday, 13 January 2014

Saving things for best

I chatted recently to a good friend of mine about our fears surrounding creativity, barriers we build and reasons we imagine or conjure which stifle and hinder our creative processes. One of the things we both mentioned was the silly notion of 'saving things for best.'

I remember when I was younger I was bought a beautiful stationery set as a present. I remember the feeling of and the papery smell of the creamy white paper, the delicate pattern inside the pristine envelopes and the pretty box it all came packaged up in. I loved this set but didn't want to use it for it as I perceived it as too beautiful and too special. I decided I would keep it for best and save it for something suitably auspicious. I can't remember what ever happened to the stationery set, but I don't think the super special occasion ever occurred and as a result instead of being used for the purpose it was intended, ie writing letters to people, it wasn't used for anything and remained perfect pristine in its box. 

Gillian and I talked about this notion of saving things for best, sketchbooks, paints, paper, clothes and just how silly it is to save such things for best, not using them for their intended purpose for fear of spoiling or wasting them. I think this is one of those notions which I have carried with me from childhood and one which I realise stops me from creating. It's ridiculous really when you think about it. I need to stop saving things for best, end of!!

So this train of thought brings to mind this gorgeous leather bound book which was a gift from one of my sisters, several years ago. It's a work of art in its own right, the pages are begging to be written or drawn on, the leather strap which ties the leather jacket around the outside protects the pages from becoming dog eared and torn, and it's the perfect size for my new handbag.

So welcome ladies and gents to my new portable sketchbook, I'm going to make the effort to make at least one drawing in here every week. I'm going to carry it with me when I'm out and about. It will help me to get back into the habit of drawing... It's also the same size as my last written journal, which is now full, so is the perfect place to write my thoughts down too.

Gillian is currently researching this idea of creativity and barriers which affect our ability to create for an exciting e-course she is working on (one that I will definitely be looking into when the information comes out). If you want to share with her your own barriers to creativity and feeling when faced with a blank page, then follow this link to leave your comments 


  1. I know exactly what you mean - I have a box full of unused sketchbooks! Like you I am saving them for best....along with a load of watercolour paper!! 'Best' what I don't know but I am prevented from using them in case what I draw or paint isn't good enough...

    1. Crazy isn't it?? We just need to get our 'best' stuff out and get using it!!

  2. Ah great one Sue! Hope you enjoy using the beautiful book - that was some morning we had of chatting huh! Thanks also for the mention x

  3. Yes it was great Gillian!! I can't wait for our next one! I'm using the book and gave incorporated it into my studio routine, trying to write more to see if that works for me!! Good advice!!

  4. I have a beautiful fabric covered sketchbook that I was given as a present a few years ago. I'm not exactly saving it for best, but I do want to use it for something good or when my drawing skills are good enough!


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