My Major Obstacle and the Creative Process

The Obstacle of Time

The same obstacle has been with me since the beginning of my project: time. Or, more accurately, a lack of it. The first few months of my project were spent grappling with approval applications and study recruitment efforts. During this time period, I felt almost “stuck” waiting for approvals and interested participants. In my efforts to make progress with my project, I was doing whatever I could.

Most often, “doing whatever I could” consisted of searching for relevant articles to gather ideas for my finished project. Because I had considered this article-reading process to be secondary to my applications and recruitments, I lacked a plan for finding and analyzing these articles. This resulted in losing practically all sense of time as I hopped from journal to journal, no plan or end goal quite in sight yet. It was this separation from the threat of deadlines that allowed me to become reabsorbed in the meaning and passion of my project. As I connected common themes between each article, I was reminded of why I came up with my project idea in the first place.

While deadlines feel like they are constantly looming over me, my major obstacle is how I’ve been interpreting that obstacle. Allowing myself to not focus too much on the pressure of deadlines and reminding myself that I have all the time and more to produce my best work is the best way for me to stay on track, wherever that track may lead.

Creative Approaches versus Academic Approaches

When comparing my creative process to the approach I take towards my academic work, I find that both processes have an end product that guides the process.

As a pre-occupational therapy student, my academic work has much room for creativity in a field where an open mind is necessary. With that said, academic assignments typically have limits. While I consider myself free to construct my finished work however I’d like, I am aware that the finished work has to fit these limitations, whether by content, medium, size, etc.

On the other hand, my end product for creative work is more of an abstract. For my project, I intend to create an embroidered nursing uniform that symbolizes pride and recognition for nurses of Filipino descent. When referring to an end product that guides my creative process, I do not imagine the uniform. I instead imagine the effort to offer respect towards Filipino nurses. Because the end goal for my creative work is less tangible, my creative process is much less limited. As I work through my research and interviews, I may find that I’d like to make alterations to the concept of a uniform. As long as I am working towards my recognition-based efforts, the freedom I have in my work is immense.

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