Creative Tides and Art Picnics
January 30th, 2009
...We also change like the weather, we ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We do that, and there's no reason to resist it. If we resist it, the reality and vitality of life become a misery, a hell. -Pema Chodron
Today, my interview with Jamie Ridler is up at The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book group blog! I loved chatting with Jamie about creativity and surrendering to your creative cycles.
It took me some time to recognize and accept the creative cycles in my life. I'd get so frustrated when I was feeling uninspired. While waiting for my muse to return I'd end up feeling anxious, wondering if I'd ever feel inspired again, complaining about feeling stuck, sulking, and worrying. (All very unpleasant, by the way.)
But when I began to recognize that my creativity cycles in the same way my body, the moon, the tides, and the seasons cycle, I began to see the beauty in the down period, these winters of my creativity. Things get quieter and I tend to turn inward. There is usually some stuff going on internally, things that I'm processing that aren't quite ready to come out in the open yet. Instead of railing against this time and forcing myself to create when I'm not feeling called to, this an excellent time to collect, gather, play and moodle on things. It's a great time to wander the shelves of the library, watch great movies, doodle in my sketchbook, and take long walks. I've come to love these winter periods of my creativity as much as the up time!
What can you do to play with your creative down times?
One of my favorite ways to get playful with my creativity is to have an art picnic. All you need for an art picnic is whatever materials you have at hand, a comfy spot (I like to spread out on the floor with a blanket and pillows), and some dedicated time to play. I like to begin by giving myself permission to make "bad" art and then I jump in by selecting whatever material I'm drawn to in that moment.
I'd love to lead some virtual art picnics this year by phone! I'm thinking I'll do it in a similar style that Jennifer Hoffman does with her office spa days. Ideally we'd meet for about a half hour to check in, do some grounding, maybe do an intuitive art exercise, and then go off and have our own creative fun for an hour. Then we'd come back and check in again for a half hour at the end. I think it'd be a great way to plan for some pure creative fun with a great support system in place.
I'd love to play with you guys in a virtual art picnic!! I'll keep you all updated on my plans for them!