Click HERE to go to Awakening Your Creative Soul Courses
I believe that everyone has creativity dwelling inside them. Acknowledge this creativity no matter what form it may take: music, dance, cooking, storytelling, painting, writing, decorating or even listening. Everyone has something they are good at and enjoy. Art is a life saver and inspiration is the seed that grows into creativity. Inspiration begins with looking, listening, seeing and feeling. I have synesthesia which is a crossing of the senses. I associate colors with music and numbers have sounds. Sometimes a memory will have a taste, or a shape will trigger a response to a memory. Most people can make similar cross associations when they try. Smell is the most primal sense and it can awaken a long-forgotten memory. A flower whose scent reminds you of your grandmother, or someone’s voice awakens a memory of a long lost relative. When we take the time to pay attention a whole new world opens.
I grew up in a small town and in a time where there were no AP classes. I have been an artist my whole life, but I never had art classes in school. I had mentors, but I didn’t take an art class until I went back to school in my 30’s. In some ways this was a boon for my inspiration. I learned to tap into my imagination and exercise my creative muscle. The most important art lesson I learned was how to leap from one idea to the next. You may have heard the saying when all you see is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But, when you can imagine other uses for a hammer your imagination gives rise to inspiration. So how do you develop imagination and transform it into inspiration? I have come up with a few beginning steps. These have to do with transforming perceptions, but it is also important to take care of your physical needs and to allow space for inspiration to be born.
1. Working your imagination muscle is just as important as working out the other muscles. We do cross training to help our bodies be in the best shape and this is also necessary for your inspirational development. Try learning a new skill, try a new medium or take a class that is fun but different than your usual form of creativity.
2. The best gifts come in the strangest packages-Take a hurdle and make it a blessing. When I look back over my life the most important lessons I have learned did not come easily. I remember them because there was a struggle. The struggle opens a new door, a path I might not have followed otherwise. When a painting feels like it is a mess, feel free to partially cover it up and begin again.
3. Focus on where you want to go, do or be. Just like in downhill skiing, where you look is where you will go. Change your thoughts; change your beliefs. If you have been listening to negative self-talk, then change the story you are telling yourself. Post positive messages where you will see them throughout the day. Like a note on your monitor that says you are on the journey of your dreams. On your bathroom mirror it may say, smile, and in your studio, it may say, your paintings bring joy and beauty to others. Share them with the world.
4. Get in synch with the light. Sleeping between the hours of 10 to 6 have scientifically shown to be the most advantageous hours to renew your body, recharge your mind and enhance your thinking powers. I used to work nights when I was young, and I never slept in synch with the sunlight. When I changed jobs, my body gravitated toward sleeping from 10 to 6 and my creativity, health and energy blossomed.
5. Technology dos and don’ts-Know when to use it and when to lose it. I use a photo app for transforming my own images into something that will inspire a painting or sculpture. I put aside my electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime and I never have them in the room with me when sleeping.
6. See with new eyes-This is from another chapter in my upcoming book. As a visual artist I am always looking around me for inspiration. I love textures and I use my camera to capture cracked surfaces, peeling paint and wonderous clouds. When I see the familiar images with fresh eyes, it jump starts my imagination. We used to play a game where we would take a common object and come up with new uses or ideas for it. They didn’t have to be reality based, just creative. A beret could become a frisbee, a swimming pool, a bowl or even a space ship.
7. Mute the inner critic and let go of judgement. Dumb ideas reframed become limitless possibilities, which can lead to brilliance as we see in the previous exercise. But, the critic is going to want to raise its head. Imagine you have a remote control and when the critic pops up, hit the mute button.
8. Invite Curiosity out for a date and remember to see with the wonder of a child. Allow yourself a play date to follow your imagination. Perhaps you go to the zoo or the park and play on the swings. When you allow yourself to see with the curiosity of a child, you will see wonderful things.
9. Most importantly, dump perfection. When you let this go, then anything is possible.
Remember to enjoy the journey, this is what creating is about.