Have you ever been engulfed by the feeling – I have to do this today?
It can be brought on by externally imposed deadlines or sometimes, by an internal mad feeling that engulfs one, sweeping all rationality aside.
And so it was with the iron grill door that has stood unpainted for over a year -but suddenly seemed shorn and naked and badly in need of some colour – today. Over the past month, a painter has been flirting with the idea of painting the door and more, but hasn’t committed. I had been dithering too over colour choices in my mind so I hadn’t pinned him down. After reading Steve Jobs, I see it is okay to go back and forth when you are doing something creative. It also seems okay to be completely yourself – when you are successful and can get away with it – but that is another track of thought.
Sunday morning, a day of bright sunshine , when I didn’t need to go out seemed ideal to do the job myself. How much fitness is actually needed to paint a grill? Not much.
I changed into old painting clothes; got out some half full tins of paint which I thought I could mix, and looked for the brushes. They weren’t to be found. I called the maid, and she didn’t know either. I called my husband who was out to see some patients to buy brushes and paint. He said he didn’t have sufficient money ( why a grown man would go out without any is beyond me) and to my rage, came back without the paint.
The feeling had now engulfed me totally- enough to make me go out in weekend Ooty traffic which crawls inch by inch and look for a hardware shop which was open on a Sunday morning; park far away, and walk to the store.
Now, that I was painting it myself, safe black or white or even green wouldn’t do. I had to experiment. Even choosing colours for a grill gate is tough when you have no pictures to fall back upon and are mildly creative. The important thing is to practice restraint, otherwise one can get carried away.
Sometimes, persevering, in spite of a lot of obstacles in the way, backfires. But this time, the rest of the day went well. The door isn’t done yet because I have to buy some more paint. Will post a pic later. But it gave me time to think about creativity.
The 5 Factors needed for creativity are space, time, time confidence and humor says John Cleese. Read more here. The last specially makes me feel alright about mixing bright colours.
Very very rarely do we do anything original. Mostly, we borrow or build upon other people’s ideas. But, that shouldn’t stop us from giving our own twist to whatever we do. Makes the ride enjoyable.