Sometimes it can be really difficult to get into the swing of making the piece of art that you’ve wanted to create for a while.
There you are in front of your canvas/paper/computer ready to start and you just go blank. All the day’s thoughts over take the creative process, you start thinking about what other things you need to do. Then the inner critic arrives feeding you negative thoughts trying to distract you from making the thing.
Overall it becomes a really bloody stressful and frustrating experience, then of course you can’t be bothered to create your art, because you’re not in the right frame of mind to create it.
I have done this a million times. Or alternatively I think of all the other things I could be doing except creating that piece I’ve been planning on for god knows how long.
Yes it’s true, creativity isn’t something that is there all the time, and you have to nurture it.
You have to be gentle with it, be kind to it, ease it out and create space for it that it will thrive in.
I recently was listening to a book called Keys to the kingdom by Alison Armstrong: Celebrating men, satisfying women. If you haven’t read it, I totally recommend it. It’s about how to create beautiful loving PARTNERSHIPS with men. In it Alison describes a transition period that men go through when they change from one environment to another. This could be a man coming home from work. She describes the transition period where a man needs 30 minutes or so to let go of being in work mode to being at home mode. In this period he goes inside himself, he is usually quiet, he might spend 20 minutes reading a paper and getting changed then suddenly he is in a space where he wants to connect and chat.
This got me thinking, it’s the same with creativity. We can’t just stride into the art room and suddenly be able to create.
We have to set the scene.
We have to get in the head space.
This is where I have developed a beautiful, yet simple practice to help me get into the creative spirit before putting pen to paper, brush to canvas.
I love scent and so often use sage to smudge (basically waft sage smoke around) the space I am creating in whilst setting intentions out loud. This may be a little woo woo for some people and that’s cool if it’s not down your street. There is lots of ways you can make a practice for creating your art space.
My main practice is through visualisation and having an inner dialogue with myself.
- Light any incense or diffuse/burn any essential oils that make you feel good (obviously safety is key people!)
- Sit in front of your canvas paper and close your eyes
- Bring your attention to your breath, deepen each breath so that it sinks deeper into your belly. Belly breathing is the best and is a great way to get out of your head and into your body.
- Once you have settled into your belly breathing start set an intention for the creative journey you about to embark on and the piece you are about to create.
- Examples of Intentions could be:
- I open this space to allow my creativity to flow
- During this hour of creating I will be focused and not allow my mind to wander
- I set this space to enjoy the creative process
- In this time I will make a good start on this creative piece
- I am grateful for the ability to make art
- I will have fun making this piece of art
- Now see if you can visualise the piece you are going to create, imagine yourself feeling really happy with the end result, letting go of your inner critic.
- Take a few more deep belly breaths
- Slowly open your eyes and adjust back into the space
- Start your piece of art feeling happy and in the zone.
- Examples of Intentions could be:
I have found that taking this time to set intentions and come back into my body through breathing really helps me get focused and end up being really productive.
A good idea is to set a certain amount of time aside for creating, when it’s up take a break. Step away from your piece and do something else. Then come back to it. I know for me that if I work for too long on the same piece I can end up feeling foggy in the head and then it just ends up really frustrating to create.
I hope this helps and inspires you.
I’m really interested in hearing other people’s creative practices to help them get in the zone of making their art..!!