Tag Archives: Disabled artists

Power Builders 04.17.15

This is Week #11 of my Power Builders creative links. If you’d like to see last week’s, you can find it here.

I call this series “Power Builders” because that’s what these little items do for me. They make me more powerful in my art and in my life. I hope they do the same for you. Some of the links will be about how other creative people use their time, structure their work, find inspiration. Some may be videos, music, or podcasts to inspire you. Some of it will be directly quilt-related but much of it will not. What you see in Power Builders will depend on what I find. Feel free to link great things in comments, too.

When you are stuck in your art, do you ask “can I do this hard thing?” Or do you ask, “HOW can I do this hard thing? Here are a couple of items on the HOW of art.

1) I can’t help but put this first. John Bramblitt is a painter. As a younger man he lost his sight to epilepsy. As he puts it, his eyes work fine, but his vision processing center does not. After adjusting to his new world, he asked “how?” That simple question led to amazing art. Please watch this video, and check his site linked with his name. There are more videos under the site link for them.

2) Here’s a wonderful story through Huffington Post on an exhibition in San Francisco. The artists collaborated in pairs at Creativity Explored, a “nonprofit art center and gallery where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art.” The art, processes, and friendships developed are worth your attention.

3) A term used in the item linked above is “outsider art.” This refers to art created by those who are self-taught and working outside of the “artistic establishment.” Another who fits this description is quilter Diane Rose. She has made more than 900 quilts, all while totally blind. Enjoy this interview with her.

4) Think you’re having trouble with “how?” I stumbled on this post on breaking creative blocks with a beginner’s mind. With some description of how we learn and problem-solve, the essay continues with some suggestions for rethinking the problem, including “approaching tasks with an attitude of openness, eagerness, and a lack of preconceptions, even if you’re already an ‘expert’ at it. It’s the ultimate way to give yourself a fresh perspective.” I especially like the tip on practicing at being a beginner: “Action: Think like a beginner and act deliberately: try, fail/succeed, and then try again. Ultimately you’ll discover things you might have missed originally.” For me, using this approach purposefully has allowed me a greater range of solutions for any given problem.

What has inspired you this week? Let us know in comments.