Being cognizant of the Now moment is the starting point to a life of creativity. Awareness allows you to see what is possible to create at a particular context and time.
Say it’s a beautiful evening and all of a sudden you become aware of the sun setting. This can be the beginning point of all kinds of creativity. It could lead to inspiring pictures, beautiful poetry or prose and even painting of the horizons or setting sun!
“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
There is nothing that awakens creativity as curiosity. Curiosity is all about discovering and learning more on a subject. It’s about stepping out beyond awareness and interrogating a subject matter or object for possibilities.
Back to our previous example of a beautiful evening – curiosity would push the envelope and ask questions on what is possible to create. What does evening mean? How is sunset perceived across cultures and people? What lessons can be learned perhaps from sun rise and sunset? Certainly this will lead to more information or research and reading on specific topics. In the end it will lead to creative outputs and conclusions.
Quote: Millions saw the apple fall, but only Newton asked why.” ~ Bernard Baruch
Creativity is all about creating or bringing what didn’t exist into being. It’s about trying and testing out of ideas. This is the essence of the creative process. The basic building blocks of creativity are ideas. The execution and expression of the same is in experimenting – this eventually leads to workable or effective ideas which can be applied in the real world as solutions or answers to problems.
Ideas that remain just as ideas are still borns – and have no chance of being anything in the real world. Experimenting is therefore key in birthing them in the real world.
Quote: “I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” – Madonna
Living a creative life requires experimenting but coupled with this is the willingness to let go of perfectionism. The creative process can often be murky and messy and it’s rarely possible to realize the potential of the creative process with perfectionism lurking in the background. Often perfectionism may cast a long shadow on to the whole process and eventually result in nothing!
Creativity often requires ignoring your inner critic and let it be. That is why we often use the expression ‘let it flow’ when it comes to creativity and ideas. Among the biggest hindrance to creativity is over thinking, but this will be the subject of another blog post.
Quote: “A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.” ~John Henry Newman
“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.” ~ Michael Law
Context is very important to keeping and sustaining the creative flow. It’s true that there are optimal environments that inspire or foster creativity. Having rituals and routines that sustain your creativity is most important. Varying your context also would inspire different ideas and thinking leading to different perspectives. Rest and ease is often a spring source of creativity. The ebb and flow cycle is also important in sustaining our creative flow even though it may often throw us out of balance sometimes.
To create, find an optimal context that works best for you. You may need to vary it from time to time – this is part of your strategy for creative living in the long term.
Quote: “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way” ~ Edward De Bono, Lateral Thinking for Management
Finally and importantly what are the tools that allow you to create? Is it pen and paper? Is it a computer? The paint brush and canvas? What kind of tools allow you to work optimally enabling you to enjoy the creative process?
My daily writing and blogging would not be possible for example without two favourite tools – my Samsung Smartphone (S3) equipped with 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities and my favourite note writing app – Evernote. The two have formed the most formidable combination that allow me to be creative whenever at the drop of a hat. It allows me to capture ideas as they come regardless of location – whether at 36000 ft. or just by my bedside. As we all know as creatives, ideas have a way of showing up at the oddest hours and tend to fizzle out so quickly if we don’t write them down.
Other tools of note that enable me to express my daily creativity include WordPress for Blogging and Instagram to upload and share my favourite creative pictures capturing key concepts and ideas.
Quote: I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user. – Bill Gates
#CreativeMondays is a Creative Collaboration Space (CCS :)) open to anyone who would like to share their creativity with the World. We look forward to receiving your Creative piece via [ firstname.lastname@example.org]which we will share via this forum or via Social Media [Twitter] #CreativeMondays!