Bringing creative back to life
At the start of each year we are crazy about making resolutions. We are eager to start working out more, eating less, traveling more, resting more, sleeping more (sleeping less?)... you name it. As the days go by, we often find ourselves loosing enthusiasm and not following up on our promises. So that as the next New Year's Day rolls around we already have a new set of resolutions. But no more...I choose September as my resolution month this year! And from now on I resolve to be more creative. I promise, whatever it takes to bring creativity back into my life even if I have to schedule some time for it a week in advance. If you are wondering why, the answer is simple - a little bit of inspiration can take you a long way. A mix of crisp September air and, of course, a good read - “The Creative Family” by Amanda Blake Soule did it to me.
When I was little I used to draw a lot. I went to art classes a few times a week. So when I wasn't actually working on the homework, I was thinking about what I would do next. My mind was wondering in the land of creativity all the time. But I think as many of you, this time for creativity gradually became filled with other “more important” things, like doing coursework for the university, hanging out with friends, partying, working and all the other stuff adults do. For a while I was pretty good at sneaking some “creative” time into my regular schedule. My dearest memories from being a student in the university are of when I used to sneak out of classes to sit on the bench in the park to sketch in my notebooks.
As adults we are sometimes very dismissive of our creative sides. The excuses are different: “Oh, I can't draw!” or “I am not creative!” or “Why waste time?” But if you ever observed a child, you have probably noticed that theirs is the mind of endless creativity. A child needs very little to get their imagination to embark on the wildest adventures. A pencil and a sheet of paper, a leaf from the tree and a stick in moments will transform into a ship that is departing on a cruise around the world. A puddle of water turns into an ocean and off we go! And sure this trip is going to be wet, muddy, maybe with a running nose as a result. But those are problems of adults, aren't they? This creative self, a third eye for the wonders of the world, is in each one of us when we are born. But, I think the older we get, the more brainwashed we become about what's good art and what's not, what is to be done and what is appropriate. So, the older, the more dismissive we are of our own creative self.
And then again, don't you treasure this inner peace you find when working on a a small home-mending project? Be it a simple shelf or a DIY picture frame...or even observing an accidental good picture that you have taken with your phone camera? And that's what good art is. It is something that enriches your soul, let's a little bit of your inner light shine through and captivates the moments that are special to you.
On a first day that I decided to “re-create” my life, I sat down for “drawing time” with my daughter. And it was one of the most magical things we have done in a long time. We were both quiet, patiently working for a very long time on a task at hand ( me – on a picture of flying stock of geese, her- on her toddler scribbles). And I think we both came out of it refreshed, at peace and ready for the rest of the day. We have been doing it very often since then. It makes me happy that in my hectic schedule it is possible for me to find some time to be still. All the while I am also teaching the value of creativity to my child. Plus it somehow gave me a new angle in life. I started noticing many little details I have not seen before.
I now try to slow down in my days too, when I can. A brisk morning walk is the best for me, especially this time of the year. It helps me reach my center while enjoying the fresh air, chirping birds, beautiful fall colors. Since I live in the city, this is as close to nature as I can get, but it's not to say that it cannot be meaningful. I think that finding time to notice the beauty of changing seasons can really make us feel more grounded and in tune with ourselves. After all, we were born into nature and are programmed to be a part of it. Cities, roads and trains, urban lifestyle – all came later. Works of great visionaries, they somehow limit our imagination, blur the lines between night and day, between different times of the year. Hence detaching us from our basics, often leaving us tired and bored. Rachel Carson once said: “ Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” A little bit of time spent observing the world outside can be a catalyst to creativity and exploration, become an inspiration to finish that drawing or novel, or quilt!
A little portion of the day devoted to outdoors gives me time to be one-on-one with my ideas, my thoughts, it helps me stick to my commitment to bring creativity back to my life. It almost feels like it creates room for me to think about things that even though important are always pushed back till later by the necessity of keeping up with everyday life. So, I urge you to give it a try! Next time, instead of sleeping in take twenty minutes to go for walk in the park, bring your camera, leave your phone home. See how the fall colors are taking over the world bit by bit. Pick up a few leaves to dry, they'll bring up nice memories during the cold winter days. Try to find something in the surroundings that inspires you, that feeds your creative soul. And you'll see how this simple thing will bring a change of attitude into your life. Who knows, maybe it will even leave you inspired for a creative project. Then bring that creativity and inspiration over to our Art-sparring event on October 18th. and find a group of artists, such as you, having a good time and making great art!
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