I love the idea of art and creativity as a lifestyle design, not just an act, product and end result. It's a WAY OF LIFE in my ideal world. Some of these elements are intangible. It's about a feeling (or feelings) too.
Lately I've been thinking about lifestyle design and what my own would look like (and feel like). Do you know what yours would look like?
I've worked hard over the years to get my life and the way I'd like to live it, just how I imagine (don't we all dream of that?). Spending years carving time to be with my kids, whilst generating an income and having a house that looks just like my ideal one on Pinterest - yeah, you know the ones, where it's just a snapshot moment of a perfect room, perfectly organised with all the ornaments arranged beautifully, never showing the moment of disarray, or day to day living; the real MESSINESS behind the seeming perfection! And have a fulfilling art career, writing and blogging career, ideal relationship and so on and so forth. And like many of us, sometimes I feel like I do, other times it feels like I'm only just holding it together and it's about to fall apart and something unforeseen strikes, or urgent money needs to be earnt (the up and down of working for oneself with an erratic income - but I wouldn't have it any other way : ) )
However, when in a philosophical mood I realise that without the downs the ups can't truly be appreciated, it takes both to be able to experience the other. And life is always about desire and expansion (think I've touched on this before). Once we attain a dream it can be a feeling of 'is this it?' Not in a bad, negative or ungrateful way, just that life is not static; just look at the seasons, it's a cycle of planting, growing into your fullest, ebbing away and receding to the earth and atmosphere again. I figure life, emotions, feelings, living is like that on many levels.... growing, receding, redefining, ongoing, always.
And so, as I dip in and out of trying to deal with my daily struggles; the good times and the not so good times. I found myself re-reading The 4-Hour Work Week. Oh my, how I love a plan. The thought of getting out that fresh piece of white paper and sitting with pen in hand and writing out exactly how it's going to go; the blue print of the next phase of my life. The specific goals, the what-I-need-to-do to get there, and then when I am going to do it, and how I might do it when I need to be omnipresent so much of the time (you know how it was with motherhood, earning, household management ladies!) But also looking at the 80/20 he refers to; what 80% of stuff causes you stress, time consumption (that isn't always effective in its results), versus the 20% that is most effective with the greatest results and the greatest joy, and the least stress?
I've been doing this recently. Quite interesting. Adding up the hours I spend on things and then ideas-storming about how I might streamline, move forward, delegate, redefine etc. I haven't necessarily got the answers just yet, but this is fun and interesting to do. I love spending time whipping ideas out of thin air - one of my very favourite past times. Give me a problem and my mind immediately goes in to action about how to solve it. Love that.
Charles & Rae Eames:
Lifestyle design brings to mind Charles and Rae Eames who managed to merge art, design, science, technology and ideas so successfully to create a whole way of life. On researching for this blog post, it struck me that they also found ways to combine unusual elements together to get new results. Fibreglass and aluminium anyone? They married practicality with art and design; functional creativity; specialist knowledge with craft; making things and communicating things simultaneously.
Charles Eames dropped out of Architectural College, but still considered himself an architect. I love the concept of being an archi-tect of one's life too. Architect meaning: Master Builder or Higher Crafter - what are you/we crafting for our lives? We are builders of our own existence and it's this thought that keeps me going. There is something I find un-expansive in accepting the status quo - for me, it's about an ongoing pursuit of enquiry. The difference between dreaming and living a life of quiet resignation (and desperation?) dreams and imagination keep us going and maybe Charles and Rae Eames embodied this inquisitiveness in both concept and output/production.
It is the intrigue/result of marrying the two again.
What can you combine from both basic materials (fibreglass & aluminium) to concept and idea that wouldn't necessarily sit together traditionally?
Somehow this takes me back to The 4-Hour Work Week - as we are encouraged to be designers, artists and architects of our own lives. To think we don't have that power is detrimental. Doesn't mean that you don't need to experiment/do/practice along the way. This is where field work is more powerful than theoretical work (you know, the kind found in Schools & traditional educational systems!) What if we simply came up with ideas, tried them out and went 'out there' to see what happened and dismissed the concept of failure, but embraced the notion of learning through practice and that may well involve 'temporary defeat' in our pursuits, (but never failure!)
Get a Fresh Piece of Paper and experiment.......
- what will you design?
- what will you write?
- what art will you create on it?
- what ideas can you scribe together?
- what can you 'make' or assemble (physically/literally) from you piece of paper?
- what can you learn from the process of doing the above without knowing the outcome first?
See what happens and occurs through the process, what thoughts come to mind, what shape is embodied, and how does this all occur?
These are the foundations for discovering and finding creativity and not getting off 'the train' but continuing with the journey even when you find yourself in an unknown land or unfamiliar territory. But this my friend is the fun, where dreams and discoveries give birth. Just pure elementary 'playing' and 'experimenting'.
The image (top) is from here - and it is well worth reading the article too for more interesting thoughts on 'playing' from the duo above :)