I’ve been feeling a very strong urge to get creative. It’s been a while since I immersed myself in anything particularly imaginative or right-brained.
I used to have that opportunity when I spent several months a year in my home in Costa Rica, affectionately known as The Mothership. There, the whole house was effectively one massive project: from the mosaics in the kitchen and entrance, to the murals I would paint on my bathroom and bedroom walls. In the balmy tropical warmth, against a backdrop of rustling bamboo and forest-clad coastal hills, it was easy to feel inspired. Mother Nature presented her resplendent self and my creative juices would be fired up. I couldn’t even begin to emulate her beauty but I could certainly draw inspiration from her lush displays of flora and fauna. And in the same way that it is probably more effortless to meditate on a peaceful mountain top than it is on a crowded, noisy commuter train, perhaps it might be easier to create when surrounded by beauty rather than the mundane or minutiae of everyday life. And yet…
…perhaps not. Maybe the reverse is true, and actually it is not so much the background that stimulates but the process of being action with creativity that does the job. This blog for example. Whilst I’m no master in writing, I can appreciate that my commitment to writing something just about most weeks, is a helpful exercise in its own right. Each time I put fingers to keyboard, or look up a word, or the time I spend pondering over what I will write about…well all of it is exercising a part of my head and I just know that it’s a good thing for me to do.
“You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.” Frederick Terral
So this weekend, after spending a lovely few days with some good friends, I got a little creative. I applied a complex wall sticker to our bedroom and I decorated an old, large lampshade with a patchwork of colourful fabrics. The rain pitter-pattered on the roof of the conservatory. Mr G was in the living room snuggled with J watching Cars, and I had a pleasant hour or two selecting, positioning and adhering my swatches to the sounds of a jazzy playlist. Bliss. Better still, once it was complete, it genuinely worked out how I wanted it to bar a few stray threads, which I put down to adding some character to the piece. OK, it certainly wasn’t perfect – far from it. But I knew that it wasn’t actually end result that was important here, it was simply that I had taken a bit of time out of my ‘busyness’, my day to day, and created. It’s clichéd I know, but it’s back to the whole ‘journey rather than destination’ theme.
There are things we can do to get creative, to stimulate our thinking and get those juices flowing. Here are a few references you might find interesting:
29 ways to stay creative
Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
About creativity – some great tips here
I imagine some folks simply don’t see themselves as creative. I don’t believe that’s true. Whilst there are obviously some very creative and talented people in the world, I think we all have creative capabilities; we can all extract some juice. It’s a myth to think otherwise but often fear gets in the way. We should just try anyway.
I love this quote from the Cult of Done Manifesto:
“Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.”
How do you get creative? What do you get creative with? And how does it reward you or satisfy you? I’d love to hear your views.
Until the next time…