When I was younger, I wasn’t intentional with my gifts or creativity. Maybe I didn’t know I could, should or that I even had the right to ask more from myself and from those around me when it came to my creativity. Honoring your creativity can be done like any other kind of daily practice. And, when you simply walk out and show up, you will, in turn, make little daily changes that will have a huge impact on your life. When we show up with intention, we learn more about ourselves, seeing and understanding more about who we are, why we exist and what we can become. What a life we get to live!
I think it is easy to look back and have regrets about how we let the time, creativity and passion slip through our hands because, at the moment, we make many excuses as to why we can’t create. So often our excuses are based on the fear of what happens if we DO show up, and we are not happy with the results. The truth is that if we do not make intentional changes right now when it comes to our creativity, then we will soon look back on this day with the same regrets. We will see with age and loss of time that we had it all right in front of us, and we allowed the world to distract us.
I have been a creative my whole life, and there were years I allowed excuses to keep me away from my truest self. But now, through seeing myself for who I am…who I was born to be and having a glimpse into what can be when it comes to my creativity…I could never not live as a creative again.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
— Arthur Ashe
Becoming a mom 19 years ago is what woke me back up. Unlike many creatives that have to figure out how to include their businesses, families and children into their creative schedule, I had to figure out how to include more of me and my gifts into the day-to-day. Figuring that out led to a creative business. Without intention, honoring and mindfulness, that never would have happened.
I couldn’t have written about this mindfulness and honoring years ago, but with age and practice, I can say with confidence that creating habits and rituals in my studio brought such beauty, learning, peace and deep joy to create.
My creative space has been a kitchen table, an unfinished basement, a dining room and now a studio separate from our home. Each space was me creating where I could with what I had available. Don’t let your space be an indicator of your creativity. Your practice and openness to try is that gauge.
When I come into my creative space now, the first things I do are open the windows, find a record that fits my mood, light sage or a candle and start to tinker. It is during the tinkering, arranging and cleaning up that often something catches my eye, and I start creating. With focus, my next step is always to intentionally pull my tools together. Too many choices can distract me so by choosing a palette and bringing my favorite tools together, I am saving more energy for creative decisions and not art supply decisions. The other tools are not far away if I feel I need them, but this focus really brings peace into my process.
Before beginning, I take the time to be open to the process and, for me, that means quiet meditation
and prayer and just an invitation to trust myself. I have often made art that I loved and then feared I could never make something that good again. I think I come each time to creating with that same fear, and I have to push past it by starting.
As I am creating, I take photos with my phone to document the process. The main reason for doing this is to remind me of the journey and to see that every piece has an ugly stage. It is so rewarding to look back on a piece and see where I could have given up and then, see what happens when I pushed past the ugly! I also have to mention that sometimes a piece just ends where it is, and you paint over it.
There is a difference though in knowing when you have given your all and then, moving on.
Creative rituals and habits within my creative space have had huge impacts on my creativity, but the most intentional act I have done to honor that I am a creative is to schedule when I’m at my best for creating. Nothing has had a bigger impact on our business, my creating and the value my family now also places on this time. My most creative time is in the morning after I have had coffee with my husband, taken a walk, sat in the quiet and enjoyed my devotions. It is in this sacred creative time that I can often be tempted to do chores, answer emails, package orders or a million other things.
All of these things can be done later in the day and done well. My creating deserves the best of me. Honoring the time of day when I am the most creative and the most open to the process gives me permission to learn, explore, play, brainstorm new ideas and to just be open to what is next.
If you can not be ok with making mistakes, experimenting, knowing that not all art will be good art and not loving yourself enough to allow yourself to play…then who will? Don’t wait for others to give you permission to create just for the sake of creating. So many good things come from it, and the least of that is amazing art.