Curing Boredom With Creativity


Anger, irritation, crankiness, sadness, jealousy…

While these are not high on the list of ‘desirable emotions’, they are a fantastic tool for creating interesting and thought-provoking artworks. That doesn’t mean I feel those emotions all the time, but when I do I tend to take full advantage of the depths and highs that they can take me to creatively.

What I’m struggling with at the moment is boredom. Four months between Semesters is just too long – and I’m saying that even though I’ve spent that entire period of time working. Boredom atrophies my brain. I’ve said a million times I should never be allowed to become bored. Even when I’m busy, I’m still bored if my brain isn’t stimulated. I don’t know if other people feel this way or if I’m completely out on a limb, all on my lonesome (wouldn’t be the first time!)… but I do know that I’m not the only person struggling with the boredom that this very long break between study periods creates.

So yesterday I got busy. The boredom (and a few other choice life events) finally made me so irritated that I axed what I was supposed to be doing and I channelled that irritation. I got out my new hardcover visual journals for this semester, my scissors, my scalpels, some fabric and decorative paper, glue and double-sided tape and I got busy. I didn’t know what my plans were until I started to cut and layer but I’m quite happy with the outcome. Weaving paper and fabric, overlaying and colour-blocking transformed plain black journals into something unique to me and cured my boredom (momentarily) all in one afternoon.

photo 9     photo9    photo 14

[Journal Covers – above] & [Close-Ups – below]

photo 8     photo10     photo 15These journals will start to become full of sketches and process work in 1.5 weeks; they are, quite literally, irreplaceable to me as a designer. I never fully understood their use a decade ago in my studies to become an Interior Designer… they seemed like something annoying that was just part of assessment… but you soon learn how valuable they are to record ideas and later revisit those ideas. Not everything you come up with will have relevance right now, but a year or two from now those sketches may be the perfect starting point for a new project.

A crucial skill for a designer is knowing when to let go and then actually letting go. It’s not easy to admit your first idea isn’t your best but often letting go of something that’s not quite working will make way for better ideas to come through. Most of us seem to be Type A personalities and a lot of architects / designers I’ve encountered have amazingly large egos. Some deservedly, others not. But ego shouldn’t even enter into it. Sometimes you don’t have to let go of the whole idea, just a part of it. In learning this, you’ll become a designer who can better serve your clients by ensuring that you’ve explored all the options, not just one that seems ingenious.



3 thoughts on “Curing Boredom With Creativity

  1. So your busy but bored, the work your doing obviously doesn’t stimulate you enough!! and you’ve worked for the last four months and can’t afford a $20 brooch so it cant pay well!! No wonder your sad, angry, irritable, jealous and cranky I would be too.

    • No stimulation whatsoever. I’m grateful for the fact that I have work in a time when others are not as fortunate and I still put in my best effort for my employer… but definitely not high-paying or stimulating work. No. And I’m incredibly bad at negotiating when it comes to money and raises. I’m not pushy in that way but I wish I could be! Any tips?

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