The day I learned to appreciate impermanence in creativity

Do you like my post title? It was either that or “I went to a chalkboard art workshop this weekend and wanted to tell you about it”. I think we both know that I made the right – albeit somewhat pretentious – choice.

I’ve written about Stirling’s Chickadelic Salvage and Design a couple of times now. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I can’t stay away from that place (although admittedly I haven’t tried very hard. Can’t stop. Won’t stop). While I’m no stranger to the retail side of the store, something I had never tried were one of their workshops, or “hen parties”.

A hen party is essentially a morning workshop where Chickadelic patrons can come together to learn a new creative skill. Painting, stenciling, general crafting – there’s all kinds of things to either learn or try. Like I said, I have never given them a try before so when my friend Kirsten asked if I wanted to try an upcoming chalkboard art workshop with her, I jumped at the chance.

Chickadelic Salvage and Design, chalkboard art, creativity, crafts, Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption
Special Chickadelic chalkboard art by Deborah Crewson.

While I doubt I’ve ever said it out loud, I’m a sucker for a really well made chalkboard display. Mix some delicious typeface in with a skilled hand for embellishments and you’ve totally got my attention.

The workshop was very 101, but I don’t say that as if it were a bad thing. It was cool to get tips from Deborah Crewson, who creates custom chalkboard art for clients as well as for fun. Understanding how to treat your board, use chalk to get desired effects, and how to get your ideas to translate well were all on the agenda.

Chickadelic Salvage and Design, chalkboard art, creativity, crafts, Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption

 

Chickadelic Salvage and Design, chalkboard art, creativity, crafts, Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption

 

Chickadelic Salvage and Design, chalkboard art, creativity, crafts, Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption

In the end though, I think what I enjoyed the most was taking a couple of hours to lose myself creatively in the company of a lot of really lovely people. As we worked, a lot of people noted how refreshing it was to work with chalk. There is something really liberating about creating with something so impermanent. Knowing that no matter how much you screw up, all you need to do is wipe the board to start again is encouraging. But you also kind of have to go into it knowing that you’re ultimately going to have to let go of whatever you end up creating, and that’s ok. I’m not the sort of person that likes to wash away something I’ve put a lot of work into. I tend to cling to things (I still have stacks of old doodles and artwork and just don’t have the heart to toss because of reasons). Needless to say, this is a tough lesson for me to learn.

Chickadelic Salvage and Design, chalkboard art, creativity, crafts, Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption
Only goofy pictures of me on the internet, please and thank you.

All in all, I had a great time and I dare say that I accidentally wound up learning a life skill in the process. I may just have to invest in a board and some chalk for those days that I need to get my creative juices flowing (or even just need a reminder that impermanence is a normal part of life and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. What? I got all that from a couple of hours messing around what a chalkboard? LIFE LESSONS). I might stop short at painting every surface in my home with chalkboard paint though. Sorry, Pinterest.

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6 Comments

  • January 20, 2014 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Great article, Sara – thanks for sharing!

    Kerry

    • Sara Hamil
      January 20, 2014 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

      No problemo! Thanks for hosting such a cool event!

  • January 21, 2014 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like an AWESOME event! I’m jealous that my small city doesn’t host cool things like this… maybe I can get my creative friends to run workshops like this and take a 10% “administrative” fee? ;)

    • Sara Hamil
      January 23, 2014 - 11:21 am | Permalink

      Ha! I think that’s an awesome idea!

  • January 22, 2014 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Okay…THAT looks like so much fun.

    • Sara Hamil
      January 23, 2014 - 11:21 am | Permalink

      I totally was. Highly recommended ;)

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