“When I get my ego out of my art I can experience the freedom of non-attachment to outcome. What a sigh — no, a yell! — of relief. When I approach the empty page as if I’ve never done this before, I can access the simple vastness of not-knowing. And not caring too much about it, either. ” Katerina Cosgrove
I wrote about our negative self-talk in the last blog. And I have to tell you, I heard a lot of it this past week. I guess after I wrote about it, I was more tuned into it. So, if you are still saying I can’t, I am going to say, give yourself permission to be “wacky” for an hour each day. Do something you say you can’t, or you never would do in a million years, and make a real mess! If nothing else when you are done you are going to feel better and have a good laugh. Unfortunately we have been schooled to have something to show for our labors, this is counter productive to getting your creative juices flowing.
So many of our problems are rooted in self-expectations. We take ourselves to seriously. If you approach something with the attitude of just having a good time, and leave your ego out of it, you might find you enjoy it and you really can be creative. The mistake we all make is in thinking that certain standards exist and that we must meet these standards to establish our place in the universal hierarchy of the art world. However, creativity proceeds from a relatively unencumbered exploration of potentials in our world and within ourselves
Playing is good at all ages, and one of plays best products is having fun. Guess what? One of the greatest motivators is fun! Fun leads to spontaneity, and that leads to creativity. Think about what you enjoyed doing as a child, take an hour and go do it again. I get the feeling that that might be a real side benefit of being a grandparent. You get to play because of your grandchildren and you have fun! They give you an excuse to do thing that you normally wouldn’t do as an adult. It validates your desire to play.
Let’s face it, how many of us are going to the park to swing on the swings just for the thrill of it? But if we have a child with us we might just do that. We might finger paint, play with clay, color and make scribble designs, build sand castles, and make mud pies. But if we did these things as an adult people would think we are “Wacky”. But, the truth is, we should do these things to loosen up and find our inner child, so we can be more creative. So, go ahead and be “wacky”, if even it only for an hour a day once a week.
How many times do you hear people say, “Oh to be a child again”? Well why not take an hour, or a half an hour, and be a child again. Have you read a good children’s book lately? There are some really good messages in them, humor, and tongue twisters. The pictures aren’t bad either!
I found a game of “Jacks” in my desk draw the other day. I spent 20 minutes playing “Jacks” on my drafting table. I’m not as good as I used to be, but I had fun and found I was very relaxed after, and I was able to laugh at myself.
I am not saying to get out your old roller skates, jump ropes, or hang from the monkey bars. I realize we are not as young as we used to be, and we have limitations; but within our individual limitations we can find things we did as children that are fun and will allow us to tap into our inner child, which holds the key to our creativity. Next time you are blocked, you feel your work is getting tight, and your ego is getting in the way of your creativity, go do something “wacky” for a while and laugh, and let your imagination soar.
From a series of paintings I did just to play with a new tool. Just for fun! No expectations!
“No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination”. Edward Hopper