What will I do with it?

Hi friends!  Yesterday I took a photo of a pretty bouquet at a funky restaurant and I decided I wanted to paint it while it was fresh in my mind. I wanted to use a large sheet of really nice watercolor paper and just express the colors from my photo. I quickly started to gather my supplies before the Practical Party Pooper (aka the PPP) could chime in. I am sure you have heard the “PPP” before. That that voice in your head that says “What will you do with that after you make it?” or “What’s the point of that silly project?” Often the point in in the creation! Do children wonder what they are going to do with the mud pies after they make them? No! They have fun and play in the dirt. The joy is in the process!

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I went to the bookstore with my sister a couple of weeks ago and I was pondering the choices in the art and craft section. I saw a wonderful book on bookbinding. It’s called Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden and there were like 100 different binding techniques and ideas.  I was delighted by the projects and photography and I knew it was something I would enjoy reading as well as trying the projects inside. I almost didn’t buy it because of the PPP. “You have so many sketchbook and journals, what’s the point of making more?” and of course the old classic “What will you do with the handmade books after you make them?” And I thought you know what?  I don’t have to “do” anything with it. I can make it because I enjoy it. I can give it away. I could put it in my next craft fair booth. I can set it on a shelf and look at it. I can store it. I can use it or it can just be. Your art does not have to have another purpose other than to make you happy. Art is meant to be created. An artist creates. That’s what we do. What happens to the creations after we are done is not as important as the process we go through to create it. That in itself is enough. Nobody asks a musician “What are you going to do with that song after you play it?” They just play it! Musicians play, actors act, runners run and artists create! Enjoy the process. Sure, we all want something to show for our effort. Nobody wants to feel like they are wasting time or materials or feeling like our creations are useless dust collectors but if you think of the “product” of our art to be personal enrichment and education you can let go of that pressure.

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It’s why I like working in a sketchbook so much, even if the art isn’t anything I want to display I can keep it stored compactly and look at it later to see how much I have progressed. But don’t let that stop you from making something big and impractical once in a while. The real waste is art supplies and our creativity going unused. I think one of the downsides of going through the Konmari method (the decluttering technique from the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo) and paring away excess is that I have avoided making some things that I really enjoyed because I didn’t know what I would do with it afterward.  That that is the main “Con” of Konmari LOL! Everything in moderation, especially moderation! Go make something fun and frivolous and til next time Happy crafting!

PS I will share that big painting of the bouquet I mentioned with you on Wednesday with a tutorial, sneak peek of the first layer above:)

36 Responses

  1. I agree! Well said and thank you for saying it 🙂

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  2. Thank you – I needed to hear that today. I always look forward to your posts and videos. You’ve taught me sooo much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad that you wrote this post! I am so inspired to draw anything anytime I want. I don’t care if I don’t have anything to do with it.I make books/sketchbooks/journals, etc. and I love to look back on them throughout my life-they make me happy and give me comfort! I know so many artists that say “what is the point?” my answer has always been to make me happy- I don’t really care for the Tidying up method because I am an artist and tidying up is counter productive to inspiration and creativity 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t wait to see the bold and pretty bouquet! You inspire me when you try something for sheer joy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve successfully shut the PPP up by donating to charity. My local animal rescue thrift store raffles off my art. I get the joy of creating, and they get some money. Quite a bit sometimes too; a big colorful acrylic peacock went for “well over $100!” according to the lady I deal with.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think this is the best article you have written in a long time. Maybe because it is in print and you have to stay on point to make a point and not ramble. lol Also, it can be read again if needed to reinforce the truth, we just create and never mind the what afters.
    Thanks for a great article…more like that, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love, love, LOVE your “Handmade with Love” stamps! I submitted a nice review to Rubber Stamp Tapestry last week but don’t see it posted. Maybe I didn’t do it right. I love making nice cards and freeing the recipient from guilt by them having permission to pass the card on. Share the love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jane! I’ll mention that to the owners and they can check, they might have to approve it or something:)

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  8. Thank you for this post!!! I really needed to hear this today. Also, please know that your videos have helped me and made my life better. I really appreciate your continued efforts and posts even when you’ve said that you have been in a creative slump yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’re a MASTER of expressing what most of us ponder as we stare into the colorful abyss that is our crafting areas. Mondo thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed reading this and I want to try and apply it to my life because I worry about being wasteful. Look forward to seeing Wednesday’s tutorial!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes yes, a tutorial on that loose style would be great. Love it, and I struggle with loose — but I love yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for validating the right to challenge PPP. We all need to hear it from someone else now and then so that we don’t get stuck behind that roadblock!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m all for making what we love and enjoy – and then figuring out what we’ll do with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well said. The point of the Kon Mari method is to create joy so create something that brings you joy in the process, even when you don’t know what to do with it after. I put mine in portfolios so I can look through them and remember the joy. When full, they make good coffee table books, in my opinion. And, if someone wants one, perhaps I can give them some joy too.

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  15. I absolutely adore you, Lindsay!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for this message, Lindsay. It really spoke to me and it’s something I needed to hear. That’s all I’m going to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I always look forward to your newsletters, this was a great on!

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  18. One‼️

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  19. Maybe you just needed to paint something…anything to get over the funk you were in in your last post. Art really is healing and this obviously brought you joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Lindsay,

    Please forgive me for bothering you. I know you are very busy and I am sure you get bombarded with email. However, your blog post today prompted me to write.

    Firstly, I want to thank you so much for all of your wonderful YouTube tutorials, blog posts, and classes!!!! I found you about a year, or so, ago as I wanted to try watercolor and colored pencil drawing. I am NO artist, but just want to play and learn. I have a LOT to learn and am truly a beginner who doesn’t even know the proper way to hold a sketch pencil or paint brush. Your tutorials are awesome and really make this hobby approachable.

    Secondly, your article in today’s blog post is awesome and really hit home for me! I have very recently started thinking in this same way. I like to quilt and have recently gotten back into cross stitch embroidery. At first, MY PPP spoke up and said “what are you going to do with these things when you are done. We have no room for anything you create.” But, my very supportive husband ❤️ encouraged me to just enjoy creating and we don’t have to “do” anything with it. Just as you described below! Thank you!

    I personally have some problems with the whole Konmari thing. While my husband and I tend to often clean out the clutter, I think you can get rid of things, that you already own, and then sometimes have to replace because you want or need it again later. I hope that made sense. My husband and I have started loving the challenge of doing projects with things we already own! Hummmm….. I think this sounds like a certain Frugal Crafter that I know…..Oh! It’s you! Ha ha ha.

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful work and everything you do for all of us! You are totally awesome and I really appreciate it! I love learning everything you want to teach us!

    Cheers! Anne McSweeney

    On Mon, May 13, 2019, 4:27 PM The Frugal Crafter Blog wrote:

    > thefrugalcrafter Lindsay Weirich posted: “Hi friends! Yesterday I took a > photo of a pretty bouquet at a funky restaurant and I decided I wanted to > paint it while it was fresh in my mind. I wanted to use a large sheet of > really nice watercolor paper and just express the colors from my photo. I > qu” >

    Liked by 3 people

  21. So so true! I have not been very productive(creative) lately. I think that I have been thinking that stuff way too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m praying for you Lindsay. You’ve been pretty hard on yourself lately and you do such amazing wonderful things and encourage the rest of us all of the time. You have paid so much forward to those who enjoy what you offer. I think that nice husband of yours needs to take you on a fun weekend or vacation in the near future!

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  23. Great post. BTW I have that book by Alisa Golden and several others by her. You will enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. An excellent article and so true. I recently began making journals and wondered what to do with them. But I love making them and they make excellent gifts. And ‘a thing has most value when it is given away’. I really appreciate the good advice you always give us.

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  25. I agree, creativity is our goal as an “artist” the end result is a Bonus!!

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  26. Great comment Lindsay. Will encourage a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. We don’t need a reason to creating with you Lindsay because it is therapy i know i say it a lot but it is true no pain just fun and happy! We can all use more happy and fun! I have a hand bound journal a friend made me for my bday and at first i thought what do i do with it, i am not good at writing about myself but I started to add to it words, thoughts, clippings and accouterments and it sparks joy to look at..I get it out a lot now. I can imagine your book of beautiful art will be a lot of joy to look at! I think it is a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Great article. I also worry about wasting materials and having projects laying around. I have so many hobbies so it gets really messy in my craft area. I am running out of space so maybe I should donate some of it. Lol

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  29. Best article in long time!
    Truth is I stopped following you when you got into Kondo-izing! I start looking at everything I have in the eyes of it’s all garbage or not perfect or no, I don’t love it, or it’s all going to end up in garbage. Not just your site but all the Kondo out there started to add up to a very depressing thought process for me

    For me

    So, now I’m fighting my way back to enjoy playing and creating and looking at what my hands can create and are creating and saying that alone makes it deserve the space in my home and life

    There is a definite con to Kondo!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I really enjoyed this!!!!Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ooh! I love the bright colors and the loose painting! I can hardly wait to see the tutorial! And, btw, Lindsay, I am really enjoying your Pastels for Beginners class. Your lessons give beginners a reasonable challenge and a sense of accomplishment, and your critiques are always constructive and encouraging. You make a huge difference in many of our lives, providing us with fun learning experiences, dabbling in media we have not had the courage to try before, and providing us the calm and relaxation that pursuing art always brings. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lindsay!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Lindsay, this is so on the mark! That PPP can be a real monster sometimes. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I don’t have to have a reason to create — just the creating can give so much joy. Thanks for the great reminder! I for one would be interested in the bookbinding projects you create. Maybe a future tutorial? Since you have soooo much extra time? lol Thanks again.

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  34. I love watching how little books or journals are made – I want to try it, but I am TERRIBLE at cutting and measuring…not being humble, just a fact. It helps me appreciate other’s work that much more! – – (actually, sometimes I take paper to Staples and have THEM cut it the size I want and I DO plan on doing a ‘flip book’ like you did, possibly with nieces but I haven’t decided what to use yet.)

    I had an issue creating just to create before Marie Kondo. I am a complete ‘Konvert’ 🙂 but it has been people like you and other YouTube creators that show how joyful it is to make yourself get past that and just create for the sake of creating! For your soul! I read a quote that basically said – when we as artists get ‘in the zone’ – you know where we are just grabbing supplies and just creating – it is equivalent to mindfulness/meditation and very good for our health. I am saving what you said about musicians…..that is SOOoooo obvious & logical…. – – Thank you!

    I have to say, that because I like to consume so much content, after a while seeing very many YouTube creators consistently showing new products from certain companies really gives you FOMO. Even as a ‘Konvert’. LOL! I don’t even have a workspace – a table or anything and I have WAY more supplies than I could ever use – I think part of being ‘mindful’ of what we possess is going back to earlier videos you made after you completed your initial ‘Tidy’. As a creative community, we need to make more of an effort to ‘spread the wealth’ so to speak. You even spoke of doing that with items you obtained at the Stamp show. It is SO much better if I don’t have an entire ream of blue paper I will never use entirely – but if 3 of us split it between us – that would make more sense. IMHO. Thank you for your thoughtful blogs & beautiful tutorials.

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