Creativity: In the Zone

How is your week going? Good, I hope.

Ever get working on a creative project and slip into The Zone? It’s a little like the Twilight Zone, beyond space and time, where your hands obey your imagination and you cross some sort of boundary. I am aware that the boundary is sometimes called Sanity, but then perhaps sanity is too narrowly defined? Or perhaps that’s just what a crazy person would say? 🙂

I had this idea to do a bas relief sculpture with joint compound, aka goop. It’s heavyish stuff and the project is about 4′ tall so I had to build a sturdy frame, then find a perfect branch-which will never happen, so I settled for a very interesting branch, mounted it with Gorilla glue and then covered it all with Hot Mud. I like that-“Hot Mud.”  I’m using the dry stuff to mix in small batches; it dries in 45 minutes and doesn’t crack.

Then I dinked around with real leaves and cut out leaves, slipping in and out of The Zone, flirting with the fractal order of patterns that underlies the universe-the branches, the branching pattern in leaves and the branching pattern in the wings of insects. Stepping outside for a break, I observed the ever-present dragonflies, with whom I have a close relationship. A dragonfly! My goop sculpture needs a dragonfly!

No, that’s too…unsubtle. The dragonfly needs his own perch, which I am currently working on and making quite a mess. My room mates have very kindly not mentioned the mess, but I can feel them restraining themselves: “Shhh, she’s in the zone; she knows not what she does.” And it’s true. I don’t. But dang, its fun playing with Hot Mud and this morning as I passed the tree, I had a glimpse of the original vision-organic forms, catching the light, changing incrementally throughout the day as the light passes overhead.

The panel and the branch

The panel and the branch

The dragonfly

The dragonfly

A glimpse of what I wanted

A glimpse of what I wanted I making a mess?

Oh…am I making a mess?



About Je' Czaja aka Granny Savage

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years and is the author of several books. Amazon Author page:


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