On Kickstarting Creativity – 3 ways

Find yourself a lovely space

The way that my work works, I am generally either in a ‘creative’ season, or a ‘marketing/selling’ season.

At the moment, as I’m pre-selling my second book ‘Penelope and Frida and the Mystery Creature’, my creative output necessarily dropped, as I started to focus more on business mode.

But really it is the creative part, particularly the putting paint to paper, that brings me the peace of heart I seek from my work. Whilst I’m getting better at the digital side of things, it just does not tick the same box at all. I started to notice a sort of listless, unfulfilled feeling, and thankfully quickly realised that some creative time, some time in my studio, was needed. Creativity is really a form of self-love for me.

So I thought I’d share three ways I kickstarted my creativity again, in case it might help anyone else in a lull:

  1. MOVE (your body): clear a table, and line up your medium of choice (paint/paintbrushes, coloured pencils, glue/coloured paper/scissors). Choose a tune, ideally something you’ve not heard before, and move that body – the more weird and wonderful, the better – shift energy into different places around the body. Then sit down, sit in front of a piece of paper, and see what happens.
  2. SET A TIMER: remove the sense of obligation that this has to be a big extended time with your medium, set a timer for 15-30 minutes and spend time with your medium of choice (I’m oscillating between my typewriter and my paintbrushes at the moment) and just enjoy the feel of that medium going down. For me, the physical demand of typing on the type writer, or the visceral feel of paint rolling down on paper, is almost hypnotic. Sink into this feeling.
  3. TAKE A DIFFERENT TURN: life has felt at times bone-crunchingly same same for many reasons for the past few years. For us, life with young children entails a lot of routine, something which historically I’ve really struggled with – I rebel against routine almost as soon as it is set! But routine is AMAZING for my creative practice. Since becoming a mum, the necessary anchoring of parenting has been incredible for my creative practice. But, recently, that routine has got too much. I’ve been craving variety almost desperately. That need, however, does not need to be met in a big way, by big travel, or big changes, but instead can be met simply by taking a different turn. The other day we were driving down a road we’ve travelled along regularly in the six years we’ve lived here. We decided to turn left instead of right and were rewarded with the discovery of an extraordinarily beautiful little nook of the estuary, with an ancient church, and some gorgeous wildlife nooks. I was reinspired, and headed back to the studio with my brain buzzing.

I’d love to hear from you how you have reignited your creative practices after a lull. To me, looking after ourselves creatively is one of the greatest kindnesses we can give ourselves.

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