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:
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.
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!