Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Winter Dreaming – A Window Into My Creative Process

I'm going to warn you right now. If you like summer, you probably do not want to read this post. If you live for summer, adore the heat, and abhor the cold, you REALLY do not want to read this post.

It all started last week on the Twatter.


And although today was much cooler and refreshing than yesterday was (heat index: 104. GASP! Air consistency: thick jello), this summer has been altogether way too hot. And, well, the fantasy that we built on Twitter was just waaay too appealing to let go of so easily.

So I Googled "igloo village." I'm not kidding. And you know what I found? Gorgeous hotels and resorts on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

Like Igloo Village in Switzerland and Germany. Look at the carved interior! Wouldn't it make a fantastic great room for our little artist colony?

Phoca_thumb_l_bar image © Igloo Village.

And a dining room. . . . Looks like it even has a bar. Perfect!

Phoca_thumb_l_DSC_0139image © Igloo Village.

Or for a more sophisticated igloo, the Hotel Kakslauttanen in Finland has glass ones, guaranteed not to frost over so you can view the Aurora Borealis from your bed.

79 image © Hotel Kakslauttanen.

I can see us, crafting away in such a place. Abundant inspiration in the natural world readily glimpsed beyond the glass.

And check out this Ice Hotel, rebuilt every year from scratch.

Sigh. I'm feeling cooler already, aren't you? If I could only encapsulate that feeling as I swim to the bus stop this evening on my way home. . . .

So much about winter is appealing. The snow crunching underfoot. The gleam of the snow-covered trees in the morning light. Warm fires and cozy blankets and hot cocoa. Snuggly dogs.

I feel more alive in winter. More inspired. Is it because working with fiber in the middle of summer is a sticky, sweaty, uncomfortable mess? Is it my northern European heritage? A little of both, I think, and much more.

The cold sharpens your senses. Draws people indoors together, next to fires or under blankets. As an extrovert, both being aware and fully engaging with other people are integral to my creative process. In the summer, I too often get caught up thinking about how hot and sticky and cranky I feel. Which means I am super fun times to be around. With all that focus inward, I am not taking in enough of the world around me. I am not feeding my creativity.

It's funny how this post started out as just a fun winter fantasy, but led me through some important introspection. The lesson here? For me, that I need to try harder to focus my senses, even when I feel miserable. I need to nourish myself creatively, especially at those times when I least feel like doing so. And that I probably appreciate winter all the more for the awful (to me) weather that comes before.

What about you? Which season makes you feel most alive? What feeds your creative process?


Christina said...

I am both honored to have been part of this convo and excited to plan my next vacation to IceHotel.

thelittlereddoor said...

I also loathe summer with all the fiber of my being. I grew up in the Arctic! give me a sweater any day over shorts ;)

Melissa said...

You took the words right out of my hot, dry mouth! Summer is a huge creativity killer, energy killer, just... killer. And not in a good way.
Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering Austin is craft central. We really should all get together and change that to some lovely dark place. Like Alaska.