Another piece of concept art for my book. I may end up with one piece for every chapter at this rate. Today is a day with lots to get done. I have some serious writing to do, as I am behind in my word count.
We have had stuff around the house and kids activities. All and all a lot to get done. I have not had as much time as I’d wish to go visit and see the other artists who are participating in AEDM. There is such a wide variety of styles and techniques.
This morning I am thinking about what exactly developing a creative rhythm means to me and what it looks like.
I have come to accept that creativity has a rhythm, what I tend to think of as an ebb and flow much like the tides. High and low tides are not thought of as good and bad, but rather as parts of a whole. Sometimes there is a a lot of water, and sometimes a lot of sand. I swim in the water and I walk on the sand. I have found that by recognizing and embracing this natural rhythm in my creativity I am better able to move through the periods of low creativity by setting up exercises and activities that encourage the smooth cycle from one to the other.
When the tide is in, I create. When I am feeling creative all kinds of ideas come into my head. They range from ideas for epic novels, to copy for the website. The painting that has been stuck, I suddenly know what to do with it. I have the most brilliant ideas for rearranging the studio to facilitate better creation, or how to rearrange my work space.
All of these are good, but learning to prioritize what I am going to do in this super creative moment is key. Some of these activities will feed the creativity, and others will bog it down. So I assess where I am, and what are my time constraints are. If I am in the studio, I make a note of the novel idea, the website copy and the studio redesign. I am in the wrong place for the novel, and the others are things that the process with bog me down and waste creative high point. It is the idea of them that is important.
During times of low creativity, I take care of the things that need doing. This is the time to implement that brilliant studio redesign, and while I am doing that work, it is also time for taking in or filling the well. The taking in of art as part of the process is something that I have come to enjoy. It is important to replenish what you are doing with not only visual input, but also theory on the process. One way of doing this is by listening to different people speaking on artistic and creative theory such as the podcast, The Accidental Creative.
It was actually by listening to the podcast, that I realized how much of my time was spent out of rhythm with my creative process. The podcast is designed for creative professionals, helping them develop the tools to be healthy and productive in a create on demand industry. One of the biggest problems I had was time. I might not be facing the problem of having to be “on” every day, but my limited time caused all my creating to be essentially create on demand. My goal, to be making my living through the creative process, rather than expending all my creative energy making a living was my demand. Back in 2007, I started listening, and was exposed to the ideas of Seth Godin and David Allen, and the idea of creating unnecessarily. I start to learning how to live with a creative ethic, learning to practice and to take the time to create for the shear joy of creating. I listed to podcasts such as
AC#90 in which Todd Henry talked about the importance of prioritizing time for creating. I realized that I had stopped growing creatively, I had stagnated. I decided to make it a priority.
Speaking of making it a priority, I have some words waiting to get out of my head and it is time to be writing.