Letting go of reasonable ideas and finding your creative flow

by Julie Claire on June 30, 2016

june 10ish 2016 Julie painting Colorplay copy

Finding your energy, where it is versus where you think it should be, is crucial for unlocking your joy and experiencing moments of creative freedom.

It can be so subtle and yet so easy to mistake frustration or discouragement for an indicator of what is actually going on with your creative life.

Recently I felt a sense of futility when in my studio. Futility, the energy stopper. “Why bother–it all looks the same….”  You know this one?

But I was lucky and I happened to have a warm body come through the studio that morning (my husband who is a ceramic artist).  And after giving him the 2 minute version of what was happening, he happened to notice something.

“Seems like those two drawing over there you like right now, you’re interested in what’s going on there.  Is that right?

“Yep” I say.  I just really liked their energy, simple, and pure.

And he said, ”  They’re both small.  Everything else you’ve mentioned is big.  Maybe you just want to paint small?”

Whoa!

How simple.  And how true. I checked in with myself and could feel I was only interested in making smaller marks that day.  And I happened to have this pile of canvas boards and some new pastels to mix with the paints.

Synchronicity began to show up between me and my ready and waiting materials.

I realized I just wanted to do some simpler, quicker “immediate paintings”  (my made up phrase) not the more involved pieces.

My creative light turned to green and  I dove into a series of little paintings of no significance but great freedom.  That’s simply all I was up for.

This is what I mean when I say “find your energy”.  Sometimes it does help having someone else notice the obvious.  Sometimes it just takes  asking yourself before you jump into a half hearted effort what it is you would do if you were going to enjoy yourself.  Smaller?  Bigger?  Pencils versus paint?  Or perhaps even a time limit on a painting process?

Whatever it is, do it!

  • Bottom line:  Go for what is present for you NOW versus the good idea you had a day ago.
  • Big and bold is not always better.  Sometimes subtle and small might want your attention.
  • What feels good? What has a spark of joy?  Or irreverence perhaps?

I always find a gold mine of energy waiting for me when I go off the list of reasonable ideas.  It never lets me down.  

In this summer of hot long days, what a gift it is to rekindle your wild spirit and your lighthearted creative self.

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