Embracing the Creative Journey

My first run of “Developing a Designer’s Eye” recently wrapped up, offering an immersive invitation to liberate our creative souls.  Many of the students who participated I’ve now known for more than a year, and to watch them blossom and explore through this journey together was both beautiful and inspiring.

Through the 5-minute timed writing exercises of the final sessions, many were surprised by how much their perspective on being an artist–or even being able to draw–had changed.  Over three gatherings, each a week apart, we had held the space for each other to grow, shift, and thrive.

“Developing a Designer’s Eye” is just one in a series I’m creating on design, with “Fundamentals of Composition” releasing in June.  Another run of “Developing a Designer’s Eye” is also scheduled for May, so if you missed the first one, there is still a chance to join!  Learn more here.

During the final sessions of the course, I participated in the writing exercises as well.  I’m including excerpts from these below, as inspiration on your own journey.  Feel free to try the prompts as well.  Take 5 minutes, keep the pen moving (outpacing the inner critic), and you too may be surprised with what is ready to be heard.

My New Creativity Habits Are (current ones or those you are claiming):

  • Being organized enough so that finding what I need to express myself doesn’t hamper actualizing.
  • Capturing ideas and inspiration.  Even if I can’t act on them right now, at least they haven’t run away.
  • Allowing myself playfulness.  Not everything has to be a masterpiece.  I can try things just to try them without expectations.
  • Learning new things to add to my creative repertoire.  No fun just doing the same thing!  The more tools and ways of expressing I’ve mastered, the more options available.
  • Taking breaks.  I don’t need to flog myself into finishing.  Fresh air and exercise can help me get a new perspective on an idea or project.
  • Being ok with not being instantly good at something.  Beginner’s mind.  Mastery comes with practice and you need to start somewhere.
  • Building nurturing creative community.
  • Staying true to the core of what I love.  Remembering why I love it.  Reminding me and it of its loveliness.
  • Being kind to myself, reframing from overworking myself and therefore squeezing too hard.
  • Celebrating the wins, even small ones.  Finding the good in the situation and cultivating it.
  • Holding my inner peace, even when there is turmoil around me.  Always looking for the way forward.
  • Finding the learning potential in each experience and project.

I’ve Learned to Watch Out For:

  • Being too hard on myself, having too strict of an agenda, demanding top performance all the time.
  • Crazy-makers and naysayers–inside or outside.  I need to create a bubble of safety around my art practice.
  • Not taking care of myself, which is a form of blocking.  If I’m exhausted or ill, I don’t have the connection or aren’t available to creative energy.
  • Sticking to what I know works.  I need to find comfort in taking creative risks and chasing after “what ifs,” even when I’m not sure how to get there from here.
  • “I can’ts.”  Denial of possibilities, especially creative ones is a no-win situation.  Permission, permission, permission.
  • Overworking myself in productivity mode.  Taking time for rest and creativity mode.  Having boundaries for personal space and voicing when something isn’t working.
  • The chewing, gnawing, grasping nature of doubt, which turns into denial, then goes straight for worthlessness.
  • The procrastinator, the excuse maker, the distracted, the needy, the insecure facets that wish to creep in.  I am not them.  They wish to subvert, divert, to convince me that they are reality when they are not my true nature.
  • The clouding of true-sight, of losing a firm grasp of what I love, what calls to me, and my own innate worthiness.  I must hold onto the light, the line, the calling–journeying onward knowing the way will unfold with each step.
  • That which is not my ally or true friend:  the flatterers, the manipulators, the thieves, and the jealous.

I’ve Noticed a Shift in My Perception About:

  • What I can teach.  How this course is the real work to be done, and how that can impact others.
  • The worth of my time and how I manage and spend it.  Time is our greatest asset.
  • How much I am still learning and growing as well, that I certainly don’t have all the answers but know enough to reach out a hand, to invite others to join me.
  • How important it is to nurture creative community, for myself and others.  The notion of the artist as a lone wolf is such a toxic myth.
  • My own barriers and fears, that “not good enough” is just slamming a door to possibilities.  That it’s ok to not be good at something, without it having any relationship to enough-ness.
  • Remembering that my core is as a storyteller, with lots of ways to manifest.  Staying true to that core keeps my light shining.

What does embracing the journey of a life infused with creativity have to offer you?  I invite you to jump in!