Honoring Creativity and the Flow

Inverse Windows, Day 171. July 9, 2017.

I always get a little wistful and sad at the end of the 100 Day Project which officially ends on July 12, 2017.  One of my favorite things during the 100 days is to look at #The100DayProject list of Instagram posts and see all of the unique creativity. I spent five minutes before writing this article and saw amazing posts in that short time. I saw an artist, Christine Hilbert (@ChristineHilbert) who takes heirloom jewelry and adds her whimsical illustration around the jewelry.  I saw an artist @tangibleculture who is cross stitching the planets. I saw an artist, Joe Mills (@JoeMills2) who is spending 100 days coming up with very creative topography for Chicago icons, buildings, and sports teams etc. This was the first two minutes of looking at this page of hashtags from the 100 Day Project. One of my Studio Notes readers, Chris Raymond (@ChrisARaymond) has been doing the most fascinating art with a theme of architecture in her project #100daysofreimaginedarchitecture . It can lift your spirit when you see so many different forms of creativity and people willing to share it.

Not sure why it inspires me so, but it really does help me get into that studio every day. However, in some ways, social media can be a trap of the comparison game where it can paralyze you into thinking, "I can't create anything that looks as good" or "I don't know what my unique style is yet." Those are not reasons to stop creating. In fact, they are reasons to create more. We will never get better without practicing our art or craft. We won't find our style unless we actually practice it over and over again. And there will be many flops on the way. That's just how things are in the creativity field. But you have to get to the other side, where you start making less and less flops. Then you create more and more of what you like. 

Creating art that lives up to your idea of your art is a good feeling in itself. 

Luckily for creators, we get the added benefits of the feeling you get when you are creating: getting into the flow and living right in the moment.

The flow feeling alone is worth the cost of admission and can be a valuable tool to keep you wanting to create more. Getting into the flow while creating is like sitting in meditation. The benefits are calming your thoughts, focusing only in the moment and ultimately, clarity of thought.

Your best ideas about your art come from states like these flow states. This is not an intense focus but involves an open mind and a light touch. 

Try it out. Go to wherever you have your art supplies. Make sure you are not interrupted and have nowhere you need to go for awhile. Now just create. See if that feels like the word “flow" implies for you. 

What struck me about the four examples of artists I mention above is how unique they each are. I never in 1 million years would've thought of using heirloom jewelry and trying to illustrate around the jewelry. I would’ve never thought of such dynamic topography and using it in a way to honor a city. Cross stitching the planets, well, I would've never thought of that either.

I guess it inspires us to see others create to confirm that we also will be able to come up with very unique interesting ideas in our own art. 

It's a way to celebrate and honor creativity in general when you admire what other people are creating.