When it comes to arts and humanities, being creative, it helps to love what we do. We all have seen those dramas about accomplishing dreams. Usually the individual has a friend, parent, counselor or coach helping to guide them with positive words. They make for an uplifting movie experience but in our lives finding direction and accomplishing say, a body of work, a book or portfolio, can be a personal and professional challenge.
Very often creative folks are somewhat more solitary or even introverted and find they are more on their own when it comes to building a positive approach to creative work. For whatever reason we often need to parent ourselves, be our best friend that provides the creative affirmations and helps us throw away the limiting ideas that, if not recognized and faced, can become negative beliefs. There are ways to build strengths and faith in our own creativity.
After re-watching the movie Ghost Busters I found myself thinking – ghost busting; no kidding – to be creative it can become necessary to remove blocks, detours, and distractions, in order to stay in touch with your inner muse, guides or angels. This is not a new proposal to solve a mystery, affirmations can help us to make changes that we want to make in our lives.
Look at the ghosts in our heads and expel them each time they come up. True effort must be made to be positive and in this way eliminate the negative distractions, ideas, or associations to contradictory ideas which interfere with creativity.
Friends are important but people who make unwanted comments about our work or distract us with their agendas, or by taking over our space will do it again if we allow them to do so. Creative folks tend to have connections to material that can also make them open to being mislead in the name of virtue or grace that sometimes happens when we think we have a friend that actually has needs beyond our scope. It sort of comes down to a matter of time. Whatever one finds is their own creative rhythm, time is a factor that can be found to reach beyond our time inside of the “studio” or creative space (like a walk on the beach). It takes time to work at our creativity and breaking through whatever blocks we may have. Defining our space and speaking affirmatively supports our creative self. Allowing yourself to do something creative for even twenty minutes or a half an hour can bring about a most needed boost in our attitude.
Whether you are a writer or a painter, a film maker or a musician, your creative being has channels or wave lengths that connect you to sources of creativity from within as well as your surroundings, God or the universe, nature, or the Earth if you prefer. This source is there for us to receive whether through sleep dreams, reading and writing, working at our craft, or simply by consciously being open to it. There can be obstacles that we encounter and we can deal with them in a conscious way through creative affirmations. Recognizing our own limiting ideas can be a major step toward feeling good and doing our work.
One of the best resources for learning how to discover or recover your creative self is the wonderful work done by Julia Cameron in her book and recordings The Artist’s Way. Early in her book Julia lists 20 Creative Affirmations such as, “My creativity heals myself and others.; I am allowed to nurture my artist; I am willing to learn to let myself create.”
When I first was told about The Artist’s Way I was given some tapes and listened to them while driving. This became one of the ways I could focus on Julia’s material while driving and listening, which is actually an ancient yogic way of making positive suggestions. Reading and writing are also ways of making affirmative suggestions and writing is an important part of The Artist’s Way. Julia calls this writing “morning pages” and they are also called “brain drain” because what you do when writing morning pages has nothing to do with writing your prose or poetry but something similar to meditation, the kind of meditation that lets your mind go on about whatever it is, anger, jealousy, doubts, all out on paper and for pages at a time. Then you don’t look at them or show them to anyone.
I don’t know if Julia’s tapes have anything to do with it but now when I have to drive somewhere, and in Maine that is almost anywhere, I often call it driving meditation. A time for my self alone to think about things, maybe creative ideas, to ask questions, to make affirmations.
Julia believes that with work like morning pages we are putting our thoughts and emotions out into the universe and that somehow they are listened to, something, someone hears us and it can set things in motion. I believe that it is true and I’ll bet anyone that writes a journal may have experienced this awareness, too; when we write about our issues, at least we get them out there, we speak through our hands writing and the issues no longer are taking energy from our mind and heart, and this alone allows us some freedom to see more clearly and find in this way many answers to our questions.
Here are links for Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way:
Here is Dan Blank’s blog. He works with writers and publishers and often has very good newsletters that are helpful.
This book, The Business of Art by Lee Caplin, gives a lot of information about what is involved in “going professional” with your art. It is something that at one time was not really a part of curriculum at fine art schools but is important for somebody serious about what might be the next step after getting their BFA.
For me, doing small things sometimes reconnects me to my creative self. This week I spent some time cleaning and photographing some of the type casting tools for the Ludlow I have to post on typophile.com . Other days I spend maybe 30 minutes painting or taking photographs. It has a balancing effect and changes my outlook.
It goes without saying that designing a book gives me great satisfaction. Visit my design Website here.