Why would you try to create ugly?

I’ve been reading a book called Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Piper Werker.  I found out about it from a podcast http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/elise-gets-crafty/episodes/letting-the-creative-process-be-ugly-episode-032 Yesterday I began the section Mighty Ugly, try this! Kim suggested building a mighty ugly monster.  The rules were you were given an hour to work on it and it couldn’t be cute.


Thankfully my husband, George had a box of misc. items in his closet leftover from work.  We recently cleaned out the garage so I have less and less of this stuff in my home.  I had my friend Caitlin coming over and knew that she would be willing to try this with me.  We poured out everything on the table, looked at the clock and began.  Honestly I’m not a person that thinks out of the box well.  I kept thinking Kristen or Joan would have aced this.  Yet as we talked we created.  Over and over I struggled as my monster kept appearing cute and I had to work hard to let go of that to create ugly.

What I discovered while creating…

  1. The uglier it got the more fun I had.
  2. I was able to lay down expectations of perfect and good.
  3. I was forced to re-purpose items in new and creative ways.
  4. I became friends with wire cutters and a glue gun and just play.

Afterwards the author suggested writing about your ugly monster.

Ugly Fellow

My building maintenance man is ready for everything. He is equipped with a screwdriver, light bulbs, socket, wires, funnel, sweatband and even a mask to keep out the elements. He is needed, but rarely noticed. He’s up on a ladder or sent into the area where things are broken. He fixes things, but is a fixture at work and called on, but few even know his name. He’s overlooked by most and yet honestly they would not be able to function without him. People look on the outside and see ugly, but they don’t know what is underneath. He is a man who steps in to help and serve. He is a man who notices when things are broken. He is able to look at things and know what it takes to fix them. He is ready for all that is needed. He is a noticer. He is a fixer. He is of value. He is helpful. He steps in and does things others don’t know how to do. Suddenly I’m looking at him in a different way.

At the end of the exercise I found myself looking at this fellow and my creation with kinder eyes.  Then I had to answer certain questions…

  1. When I was making my ugly creature I felt? Challenged and silly.
  2. My creature is ugly because? He is crazy and makes no sense.
  3. To make my creature ugly I had to? rethink, explore, play.

So know that I’ve created ugly on purpose I find I’m going to try to start ignoring the creative demons of self-doubt and fear of failure that often are in my head.  Try this at home and I’d love to know about your ugly monster!



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