The creative process has a flow to it, it evolves in identifiable steps, has a beginning and an end. Many people believe mistakenly that it is something an artist is born with, you either have or you haven’t, but that isn’t true. We are ALL born with the innate ability to be creative, but it is conditioned out of us. Here are some of the elements of the Creative Process as I experience it:
DOING IT – WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT!
Mention discipline to many creatives and they go cold! But until you can learn to turn up at the page, the desk or the easel, to establish a routine that works for you – a discipline, you will not break through lethargy and prevarication.
You can ‘trigger’ off your creativity without having to wait for inspiration to drop into your lap. It is a myth that you have to be inspired or in the flow before you can produce something. There are simple and effective techniques to get those creative juices flowing and I’ll be sharing many of them in the blog posts to come.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING:
By this I mean that there is a time to wait, a time to be active, a time to gather information, a time to ‘incubate’, a time to close and so on. Acceptance of this is important in the creative process, without it you may get into self-judgement, believing you have to be productive all of the time. This is simply not true.
WORKING WITH FEAR:
The creative process involves risk, and where there is risk, there is fear. Many creatives allow fear to block them, fear of wasting time, fear of mistakes, fear of getting it wrong and so on. Prevarication is the creatives bugbear – ‘I’ll just watch this programme… have another cup of coffee….phone Jane…..look, the lawn needs mowing….’ These are natural and often unconscious responses to our fear. You need to identify fear and use it – creatively! Remember, fear transformed is excitement!
CREATING FOR THE JOY OF IT:
Sitting down at the desk or easel with a finished painting or book already imagined can be intimidating to our inner muse. All creativity is essentially play and we must allow ourselves to leave the inner judge and critic at the door and enter into that state of ‘ I wonder….?’
Not everything you create is a work of art! So what? But it is an essential step on the way to that work of art!
LEARNING TO CREATE FOR YOU- PROCESS NOT PRODUCT:
It’s a kind of ‘sod’s law’ that spiritual masters talk about – only when you let go of wanting something will you get it. You want recognition, fame, wealth as an artist? But you are focused on product, not process. First thing that needs to happen is YOU have to acknowledge yourself as an artist, YOU have to value what you do, YOU have to love your work before anyone else can. If you are reliant on the approval of others, you will be restricting your creativity. You have to get really fierce about doing the work, you have to do it because you have no option, because it is your very life at stake. Most artists say they do what they do because they have no choice.
ACCEPTING THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL HATE YOUR WORK, OTHERS WILL LOVE IT, AND A HUGE PROPORTION WILL BE INDIFFERENT TO IT:
Just like relationships – not everybody is going to like you. FINE! It’s OK! Don’t take it personally, that’s how life is. Until you accept this clear fact of life in relation to your work, you are going to suffer. Let it go. Believe the truth – there is someone out there it will speak to, maybe lots of someones – but what is really important is that it speaks to you.
WHY BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU IS THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY WORKS:
If you are creating simply because you see a gap in the market, you will quickly become bored with it or burnt out. Creatives need to have a passion for their work. Get clear about what it is that you have a passion for and find a way of expressing it out there in the world. Let’s get one thing clear – whatever it is you have to offer, the world needs it, even if you doubt that right now. The world will always need you – why else are you here?