Something that occurred to me today, was to talk about how we engage with creativity; why we do or don’t engage with it and about making time for it. There are many issues here to look at, so let’s list them to begin an ongoing discussion. Of course there may well be more than this.

1. We are all creative – except me that is.

2. We aren’t all born creative and I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

3. I love being creative, I just can’t seem to find the time.

4. Creativity is for weirdos and I don’t want to be like that.

5. I’m a businessman/woman and I don’t have the time or inclination for creativity.

6. What use is creativity anyway?

7. I’ll get back to it when my kids are older or I retire.

8. I can’t earn a living being creative – starving artist syndrome.

9. I wish I could be creative, I just don’t know where to start.

10. Creativity is just an excuse to not be responsible.

11. Get a REAL job.

There are probably many, many more statements that spring to mind, and you know what, we all have our own special one.  I’m sure you may have said some of these very things to your self at one time or another. So I am going to begin at the beginning, because at the core of every single one of these statements are two very important things which are addressed in the first two items on the list.  Really everything else stems from them!

1. FIRSTLY – it is a universal principle – we are ALL creative and YOU are NOT  the exception!

In order to address these statements let’s look at the whole idea of creativity a little more closely. The first thing to be clear about is that there is nothing original under the sun. All creativity is built on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Even The Renaissance had it’s seeds in the cave paintings of the ancients. When we create an ‘original’ work we are always using some element of something that some one before us has created, even if it is a beautiful landscape we are sitting in, not even a photograph of one. The amazing Creator of our planet created it.

Often as artists we get bogged down in the place of, I’ve got to produce something new and original, something awesome that no one has ever done before. I think that secretly there is a little bit of that wish in all of us. However do you think that expectation is either realistic or possible?

What we can achieve is something that may appear to be original but is founded on past works. I did a series of paintings in 2011-2012 that actually honoured the creators before us. I used various elements, from Ancient Greece, to a facade from Venice, old clocks and so on.  Below is one of these works.

Beginnings

Beginnings

The boy is a statue from Ancient Greece, the golden leaves from a piece of ancient Roman glassware, the lace work from a Venetian window and the Roman numerals on the clock are from an old clock in Sydney.

This Weeks Question: What can you use to build on that someone else before you has already created?

Let’s talk about the internal dialogue.

There is a voice in your head, we all have one, which loves putting us down and gets really skittish about truthful acknowledgement of the good stuff – well for most of us anyway.  So what does this voice really do for us?

It’s number one mission is to protect us.  So how is that not helpful?
In order to protect us it keeps us small.

  •  Don’t let yourself be noticed to much,
  • Don’t put your hand up too often or make waves, you might get hurt, physically or emotionally etc.

So the longer term effects of following this voice is that we don’t step out of our comfort zone.  We don’t push our boundaries in any area of our lives, mentally, physically, emotionally or creatively. Why else do you think that the world is filled with people who vegetate on the couch watching the opiate of TV night after night. And if  life is ‘really bad’ they will also get drunk or stoned while they are doing it.  Oblivion – you don’t have to deal with your relationships with either yourself or others.

Let me ask you – how many hours a week do you watch TV or DVD’s?
Don’t get me wrong, there are interesting and even relevant programs on the box but as a way of life, what a waste. TV kills creativity.
Right now if you are a TV watcher, your internal dialogue guy or gal is probably going ballistic convincing you that you deserve some ‘down time’ which I don’t dispute at all.  However when was the last time that you did something that you really enjoy in that time, instead of vegging out?

Watching TV

Head in the box

So many people say to me that they just don’t have time to be, or they just aren’t creative and you know what – that is Pure Unadulterated Bull Shite!

How can I say that? Because it’s true.
If you aren’t creating it’s because you don’t really want to.  If you did you would make the time, find the resources or whatever it takes. At least be honest about it to yourself if not to others!!!

So bottom line – this voice can be your Best Friend OR your Worst Enemy! and guess what ? You get to choose which it will be.

How ?

Take control.  Become more present to every moment. What am I thinking? What am I feeling? And of these two the last is the most important. We have been taught to avoid, mask, discount and suppress our feelings.  So let’s ask another question….

What is creativity really about?

It is an expression of who we truly are at any given moment. Sometimes it will manifest in creative i.e. artistic type works such as dance, writing, painting etc. At others it will turn up as the on going creation of a beautiful relationship.  After all a relationship is just as much a space we live in as our interior decor. Do we pay more attention to our cushions than our partners? All creativity flourishes in a space of appreciation.  So this brings me back to taking control.
One way we can do this is to begin daily acts of appreciation e.g.

1. EVERYDAY make a list of at least 3 things that you appreciate about yourself!!
2. Write a daily list of at least 5 things you found to appreciate during the day.
3. Find at least 2 reasons you appreciate your partner every day and TELL THEM.
4. If you have kids that goes for them too.  When was the last time you told anyone that you really appreciate something about them?

If you do these simple things you will find that your internal dialogue begins to change. It’s tone will lift and you may even begin to find yourself indulging in spontaneous acts of creativity.  Suddenly inspired to put extra effort into the evening meal, or taking yourself out for a walk on the beach.

Today’s Question: Can you commit to a whole week of  appreciation aka the list above?

 

Pix Credit: Clara Natoli

My post today comes to you via the magnificient  thoughts and creativity of Leslie Owen Wilson.  She has kindly consented to me using this information which I found on her site recently. I urge you to visit her if you are at all interested in creativity as she is an absolute goldmine of information. Thank you so much Leslie for allowing me to post this and I trust that it will inspire my readers as much as it has inspired me.

©Leslie Owen Wilson 1997, 2004, restrictions on usage

Personal reminders –

some sacred rules for fostering creativity:

 

1. Often creativity flourishes in places of safety and acceptance, and is born in an atmosphere of generosity, support, and nurturance.

2. Creativity grows among friends and celebrations, and withers among enemies and confrontations.

3. Creative ideas are often fragile — like children creative ideas and people deserve protection.

 4. Creative successes are often preceded by failures — for explorations, musings, daydreams, flights of fancy, trial and error are the natural companions of creativity.

5. Creating is a distinctly human trait. Exploring and fulfilling one’s creative spirit is a sacred trust — a potential given not just to selected individuals, but to all humans.

6. Violating someone else’s creativity is an assault on the very essence of another’s inner being.

7. Feedback on creative ideas and products should be supportive, and should build on strengths, never concentrate solely on weaknesses.

8. Often born from internal or external chaos, dissonance, strife, or disequilibrium, creative production can be a way of creating order, dealing with anger or grief, or solving problems as individuals seek to regain balance.

9. Being creative can be exhilarating, even addictive, and the creative spirit can be wonderfully contagious.

10. If one wishes to observe, appreciate and encourage creativity in oneself and others, one must learn to be quiet and still, to listen, and to watch, and see with the heart as well as the eyes.

You may have come across some or all of these ideas before, however I think it never hurts to be reminded again.

Today’s Question:  Can you add one more idea here to Leslie’s? Please post if you can add to this collective wisdom.

Woy Woy  Beach

Woy Woy Beach

 

One of the things about the age that we live in is that we tend to compartmentalize our lives in order to cope with the huge volume of stuff we have to do every day.

Therefore when it comes to being creative we also put that into boxes. A box for inspiration, one for creating, one for marketing and so on. Now that’s OK, EXCEPT when we get stuck in one of those boxes and find ourselves on a bit of a detour so to speak. One of the really big boxes we can get stuck in is the INSPIRATION box. If we are constantly searching for inspiration and feeling that we don’t have enough to get started with, we can end up producing nothing for a very long time.

 

 

Tap and hose pipe

A far better way to think about our creative projects is that they are a flow, a process. Yes of course we need the inspiration and excitement that generate a project, however we do not want to become addicted to the high of this stage of the process. Inspiration is like water that flows down a hose. It’s no use so long as it is stuck in the tap or if the hose has kinks in it cutting off the flow. It’s also no good to us if we are pointing the hose in the wrong direction.

So if you find yourself never being able to get started, or you get stuck in the middle of something, ask yourself where you are in the flow?

 

Creative Flow

Creative Flow

 

This Weeks Question: How well does the water of your creative process flow? Where are the kinks in your hose?

Creative Fun

This week I had to organize my 7yr old granddaughters birthday party.  It’s been a long time since I last did this – so it was a bit of a shock to the system.

Thanks to the Internet, it wasn’t too difficult to come up with a bunch of party games.  However like all military operations you can plan as well as you like but as my father was so fond of saying ‘ the map is not the territory’.  This is certainly true for kids parties.  You must be prepared for things like one kid who is far to smart for their own good, finding one of the treasure hunt clues out of order and throwing the whole thing into disarray….. ahhhh!! need I say more!

So we firstly got creative turning my studio into a party room.

Party Preparations

Party Preparations

 

And the kids got creative at the party with butterfly cut outs, jewels, stickers and glitter – a perfect party activity for girls. They loved it!

Gracies Butterfly

Gracies Butterfly

 

Next are some of the other children’s creations!

Butterfly 1

 

Butterfly 2

Butterfly 2

 

 Today’s Question: What object do you have in your house that you have been meaning to decorate for ages and never got around to doing ? Can you schedule some time this week to do it?

I have mentioned recently  a couple of  quotes from a book on creativity that I am currently reading.  This is one of the best books on creativity and the creative process that I have come across so far. The book , “Creativity” by Osho takes a really good look at creativity and it’s place in modern human development.

Osho goes so far as to state that “Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. If you want to create

you have to get rid of all conditionings; otherwise your creativity will be nothing but copying, it will be just a carbon copy.  You can be creative only if you are an individual, you cannot create as part of  mob psychology……..it is uncreative, it lives a dragging life, it knows no dance, no song, it is mechanical.”

This book is a handbook for those who are serious about understanding Creativity and what it takes to be creative.  Whether you are already an artist or a company director, it holds the key to understanding how to better assimilate creativity into your life and your business.  I came across this book in one of those synchronous moments that we all have now and then.  A dear friend and I were looking for a subject for a creative challenge that we could both use.  We were in a book shop at the time and went around to the poetry and spiritual type section of the book shop.  My eye fastened upon this book and it kind of almost leapt off the shelf and opened itself at the following page, where he says….

“You have a song in your heart to be sung and you have a dance to be danced, but the dance is invisible, and the song-even you have not heard it yet.  It is deep down hidden in the innermost core of your being; it has to be bought to the surface, it has to be expressed.  That’s what is meant by self -actualization.”  

This so struck us both that we decided this would be our challenge – to produce a creative piece that expresses these words some how.

 

This Weeks Question:  How would you express the last quote in your own creative way?

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