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The Creative Process is Like Glitter – It’s Everywhere!

You know I love that glitter. I also love people being creative everyday. See how I put those together?

I had the chance to talk about the creative process with my friend and colleague Nicole Fende on her podcast – The Sci-Fi Biz Show – All the Boring Bits Made Better.

First, a little about her show. It really is Sci-Fi for small business and she’s done it brilliantly. Nicole is a numbers person with a profit-making mindset – and she’s immensely creative with a flair for fun. We’ve collaborated for years on various projects and I’m honored to be a guest on her podcast.

We talked about the Creative Process, how it works, and how it underlies every creative act – even the everyday creativity that we may not notice anymore. In listening to the episode I was struck with how much fun we’re having.

Our talk ranged over creative laziness in popular offerings, the brain on creativity, the importance of curiosity, tips to be more creative, the creative process steps and slime. It’s a very digestible 36 minutes  long.

BONUS FUN THING

Every episode starts with a short discussion of a Sci-Fi/fantasy/horror work of the guest’s choice. I chose “The Princess Bride” because it’s fun, positive and THE QUOTES!

You can catch the show on iTunes, your favorite podcast source (I use Stitcher) or download it here.

The Description:

  • The creative process is one of the most misunderstood, overlooked, and underappreciated processes on the planet. Monette Satterfield joins us to discuss this deceptively simple approach. She shares insights on overcoming potential roadblocks, puts the time frame in perspective, and demonstrates how we can use it in business to grow our profit. All with references to the Most Quotable Movie.

A process for creativity – smart or sacrilege? Listen in and decide for yourself.

Find it online:

Check it out and let me know what you think in a comment or a note – I’d love to hear from you!

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Creative Possibilities Stash Pack – Now with More: Papers, Items, Creative Fun!

Mixed Media Inspiration Kit

Artist Ephemera Mixed Media Kit

I was looking at a mixed media artist pack the other day and thought to myself – actually I just said it out loud because I talk to myself pretty much all day – you know what would make these even more awesome? More Creative Stuff!

So, that’s just what I did. I added more papers and more cool studio stuff to each kit so you get over 50% more creative goodness for the same price!

I still hand paint, pick and curate the items in the kit so they’re a sampling of the fine and unusual offerings from my personal stash. And, I’ll probably talk to myself, and you too, as I choose and coordinate your kit.

Go ahead and grab one today and make amazing things with it – I know you can!

 

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Creative Warmups – Flexing Your Creativity

Warmups are a way to deepen and develop your creative practice.

Do you warm up as part of your creative practice?

Yes, I mean a physical, doing something kind of warmup. Just like you’d do before your workout or sport. I’ve found that spending a few minutes with a warm up activity helps me ease into the more complicated project I’m working on. So, what does a creative warmup look like?

No, Cleaning Up Is Not a Warm Up

Some people clean the studio space or work area before starting but that’s a preparatory activity, not an actual warmup. That’s because creative warmups have specific characteristics.

Directly related– If you’re getting in the mindset to draw, perhaps you want to doodle some little figures and shapes, painting may call for swashing paint around practice papers (I use these in collage projects and the really pretty ones go into my Artist Ephemera Kits) and writing might need a page or two of hand-written free-form journaling. The important thing is that the warmup contain aspects of the creative activity you’re getting ready to start.

Easy and low expectation – A good warmup is easy enough for you to do that you don’t have to think much to execute it and you don’t worry about the outcome or finished result. Before I work on dimensional pieces like mixed media dolls, I like to make tissue paper flowers because they’re easy for me (once I learned how) and I don’t really care how they turn out. Some of them have been pretty but some have been sadly misshapen – either way, I don’t care, so it’s a good warmup.

Fast and simple – Warming up should only take a few minutes with minimal planning and supplies. Keep a warmup kit handy with your favorite materials so you can get started fast. The idea is to get started quickly and involve your hands and mind in a project related activity with a minimum of fuss.

Everyday Creativity

While warming up and project work are both creative acts, larger projects are deeper and more thoughtful. But, sometimes all you have time for in a day is a warmup activity. That’s OK – everyday creativity, no matter how small, is what keeps you moving forward in your creative practice. Just keep making stuff!

Do you have a favorite warmup or is this a new idea for you? I’d love to know!

 

Studio Exclusives:

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To Create is To Work – But It’s Joyful Work

 

The good news – creativity can be developed.
The bad news – it takes work.

To create is to work. That’s why art and other creative output is referred to as “artwork” and a “body of work.”

That doesn’t mean the work is drudgery; it can be joyous. But, the nature of creative exploration has to encompass trials, missteps and outright failures or it won’t lead anywhere worth going.

As you expand your creative practice and output, you learn about your chosen craft and how to work within its constraints while bending them to your own vision. This intersection of practical knowledge and experience is where inspiration lives.

The difficulty is persevering on the path to get to that intersection because you don’t get there overnight. It takes time – maybe a few days or a few years, depending on complexity – and the road on the way is sometimes frustrating.

Learning to find reward in the creative process itself is how to remake the work of creating into joy.

How do you find joy in creating even when it doesn’t go as well as you’d like?

 

From the Studio:

 

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Creativity is a Skill – Practice, and You’ll Get Better at It

Creativity is a skill – Practice, and You’ll Get Better

I think the idea of having a creative practice and moving forward in small consistent ways is overlooked today. We’re inundated with images, stories and achievements of other creatives that make it seem that these things just spring into being in one dramatic creative act. We see and hear without context so the creative work that went into something is submerged beneath a glossy presentation. It happens so often in our daily lives, in the stores and online that we lose sight of the reality that to create is to work.

But, it’s not drudgery! Creative work is joyful work – it’s being engaged and alive and present with yourself – your best self. Sure, sometimes you’ll swear and walk away in disgust, but occasionally time itself will stand still and you’ll look at what you’ve made with wonder at how it came to be.

That beauty is the fruit of your creative practice.

Practical Practice

So, how do you practice creativity? Like most things that you think of practicing – piano, yoga, soccer – creative practice is performed frequently, with intention and with high standards regarding the results. Creative practice can be the smallest action to the largest: from carefully preparing a gorgeous Bento box lunch to designing a large showy perennial flower garden.

The key is that the small creative acts support the large ones. Making that pretty lunch reinforces the skills necessary to tackle the much larger project of a garden. The elements of planning, material selection, color and texture considerations, composition and presentation are common across many creative projects.

Everyday creativity adds up to a creative life.

What large and small ways do you practice your creativity and how could that be better? Let me know – I’d love to hear from you!