Tips to Getting the Creative Process Back
Its time. Time to just do it.
Time to start being crazy creative again! Geeking out on all the things I love, like doodling with india ink pens, attacking the canvas with messy oil paints, diving deep into my spirituality and using creative words to bring more fun, inspiration and adventure to my life and to others. I have been working in the commercial side of art for so long that it created a creative block in all my favorite artsy-fartsy areas of life... you know? The areas that make me, me. So I was faced with a few BIG challenges:
1. decide what you want to do!
2. find time to squeeze in old hobbies
3. overcome the creative block
The best way to overcome any block is to just start doing and the best way to overcome time management is to only do what is absolutely necessary.
5 TIPS TO GETTING YOUR TIME BACK:
1. Prioritize what you need to do only.
I learned this tip from The Société, a group I am proud to be a Founding Member of, and I love this suggestion! Make a list of everything you intend to do this week. All of it, small or large. Then, cross off anything that can wait till next week or further out even. Next, cross off everything that you can delegate. Your list should now be down to about 60% less than what it was, leaving you with the ability to take a deep breath! It's great to show initiative, but only add extra when you actually have more time.
2. Stop doing 💩 you hate.
Get rid of everything in your life that causes your stomach to churn, your anxiety to attack you, your jaw to cramp, your eye to twitch.. stress is killing you! Just say, "that isnt going to work for me, no thank you." Then find what will work. Close that door to negative town so other doors of opportunity may open. How will you have the opportunities you want if you are too busy to take them on?
3. Delegate more.
Get a babysitter, hire an assistant, a maid, anything that will help you save time. Even if it is one hour a week, get help.
4. Get organized and stay organized.
Seems simple but it is an ongoing process.
Start with going paperless! Use your credit cards and debit cards fro everything! Track purchases on e-statement, rather that mountains of receipts everywhere.
Take photos of kid's artwork and only safe extra special original pieces of art.
Invest in storage to conceal items, like a credenza, file cabinets or a closet system.
Read magazines then throw them away!
Get rid of unwanted subscriptions, make your "feed" what you need. Everything is online and searchable now anyway; only seek what you need. 🤗
5. Multi-task well!
Find two or three things you can do easily, without a lot of thought and the quality wont suffer. Technology helps a lot here. Things like voice recognition have been insanely helpful to muti-tasking...
Jotting ideas down as they come to me via voice notes while I get a long hike in.
Listening to webinars while I meal-prep.
Bonding with my 7 and 4 year old, lovely children by reading to them. (Kids books are so free from judgment and expressive. Perfect tools for thinking outside the box.)
Which leads me to my next set of tips....
5 IDEAS TO GET PAST THE CREATIVE BLOCK:
1. Get out! - of your own way and your head... surround yourself by what really drives you!
If you are unsure of what that drives you, then think back to when you were a kid, a teenager or college student. You know, those years when you actually had time to get bored. (!!!) What did you do to pass time when you were younger and more pure? Go back to that! For me it was writing poetry, doodling, painting, listening to music and being outside as much as possible. Want to know the best part? I didn't care where I was or who was watching, I just did it because it was who I was, and it felt right.
2. Get out! - of your office, home, cubicle and join your peers in online groups, in-person meet-ups, conferences, workshops, etc.
Establishing a peer-set is something that is very new to me. You have peers all throughout schooling, its automatic. As a grown-up, you may not always connect with others on a regular basis. Your work may just be that, "work" and not really a reflection of who you are on a deeper level. Social interaction is so important to reminding you of who you are! In my case, pretty much straight out of college I started my own Graphic Design company and have worked from home solo since then.
I've always known that I am really good at finding my own inspiration, yet for the first time since 2005 I have been craving peer structure, support and inspiration, so I set out to find peers who:
understood my creative crisis and urges
could cope with the stresses of being an entrepreneur or mother, or both!
had similar interests
I started this search at the beginning of the year as if I was on a life or death mission, because if I am really brutally honest it felt like I was dying. I felt the best parts of me were quickly fading away and the light that burned deep within my soul was now just a small flicker. And that scared the shit out of me!
Since January, and amidst my busy work schedule, I have set out and achieved so much to help push forward to who I want to be. I have:
participated in a full-day yoga workshop with Yoga by Candace
attended the Adobe Summit
completed a color psychology course by Professor Jill Morton, Color Matters
signed up for a Color Design Course with my color idol Leatrice Eiseman
followed people and organizations I love on social media and
subscribed to the newsletters I actually read, not out of obligation but out of interest
The domino effect of these actions and meeting so many influencers has been incredible! #grateful
3. Find someone who is already doing what you want. See them in action, study their work, research their successes AND failures, then see yourself in action. In the past couple weeks I have been to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (see step 5 👇🏽), had numerous calls and emails with expert Career Coaches, attended a book launch Adrienne Young, Author of Sky in the Deep, who I met at the yoga workshop (see step 2 ☝🏽). This all helped me visualize. Seeing Young standing up there proud of her book, I began to see myself as a writer, getting published and interviewed, just like she was. As I listened to her I stood solo Mia and took notes. (the following week Young made New York Time's Bestselling list, wow! 💥).
I gained insights from other published Authors that were there too, who were not very friendly at all, but I was there to use my time wisely... so I probed! Then I made a resolution with myself that if I ever became a nice published Author I would inspire other writers to follow their dreams, not shun them away as these women did to me.
This experience of goodness, and awkwardness, gave me so much drive!
4. Set affirmations, goals and visions EVERYWHERE!
Inundate yourself with anything that will help remind you, fuel you and hold yourself accountable to becoming your best future self. Try some of these steps to get started:
set an alarm that goes off 3 times a day with keywords that I want my future self to resemble:
Creative | Calm | Healthy | Kind
make your desktop, wallpaper, screensaver backgrounds an affirmation of your goals. Mine are: "Write More. Delegate More. Paint More. Play More."
create vision and goal boards - There is science behind it and I believe in it!
make a written list of your why's - why are you setting out to achieve something? Refer back to this list anytime you have doubts.
Even if it is only 10 minutes a day toward your end result and even if you think it totally sucks, let go of judgement and just do the damn thang!
During my day trip to SFMoMA, one of my happy places, I noticed a theme (other than modern art)... Matisse, Motherwell, Stella and Klee... they didn't take themselves too seriously. They had FUN and they let go! These artists were not comparing themselves to others, but instead using others' comparisons as fuel.
Whilst enjoying a break in the sculpture garden next to a disgruntled head, who I named Arnold, I officially decided I am going to be a published Author too! I began to write feverishly and said to myself, 'I am going to be a writer and illustrator of children's books, where I can create in my own silly, beautiful and whimsical way.' Before I could finish my rosé, I was achieving what I came to do... I was doing.
Fears quickly melt away once you dive into your passions. You can't wait for others to create your ideal life for you. You have to go out there and get it! For me, after jumping into what I love, I leave feeling solid about my own experiences, credibility and visions. When I let go of judgment, expectations and conformity and the creativity flows.
We have to remember WHY we spend the money, time and energy on what we are doing and not invest in something unless you love it. I want to write because, I want to bring light and laughter to the world, and show others profound truths through beautiful stories and visuals. I can make a positive contribution to society! This is the WHY that keeps me moving forward. When you have something you are passionate about you don't worry nearly as much, because the fun is in the doing and all anyone wants to do is have fun... right?