Many people are suffering form creative anorexia. Just like our bodies need nourishment to survive, our souls need nourishment to flourish. Living a healthy life requires that you fill your creative reservoir. Many people view this type of activity as unproductive or wasting time. But to be healthy, it’s important to feed your inner artist. This will also help you become more creative in other activities as well.
I remember when I was in college, I would get an assignment for a design class, and the first thing I would do was to take a walk about and look around. I went to stores to look at packaging, or to the bookstore to peruse magazines and books. I’d look at color schemes and design layouts, and even things that didn’t necessarily relate directly to the assignment. I’d take notes, and draw things out. I had no particular agenda, just putting visual images into my mind for marinating. This would help stimulate ideas. Some would come in handy for later assignments.
After college, I got a job working as a designer. Wanting to be industrious, I felt it necessary to work at the computer all the time. I felt that wandering around looking at things was not exactly productive. At first, my creativity seemed to flow just fine. I had new ideas and concepts that the clients loved. After a while, I ran out of ideas. Wanting to still be productive, I developed a bag of tricks that I knew clients would like. I figured they didn’t really know I could do better. But I knew. I struggled to figure out why the fresh ideas had stopped.
Seeing my frustration, my boss at that time took it upon himself to educate me in the practice of creating balance in my life. He would give me little excursions to go on and tell me not to do any work on the weekends. He would ask me what I had done for fun. During the workday, he would tell me to get out and take a walk. I went out and walked around downtown and started looking at different shops and environments.
My boss understood the creative process and encouraged me to continue to put images and experiences into my soul so that I could be more creative.
I started taking art classes which got me back into making art for non work related purposes. It was while doing these extracurricular creative activities that I began putting together the business idea of Art Village. You never know what creative endeavors lie within until you stop and let your creative self speak to you. I believe that no matter what occupation you’re in, in order to do it well, you need to take times of creative rejuvenation. Do something out of your daily routine.
I encourage anyone who is feeling blocked for ideas or stuck for answers for a particular problem, or just feeling overwhelmed and stressed, to get out and go on an artists date. For an experiment, this week, decide to block off an amount of time to feed your inner artist. It could be for one hour or one day. Write it on your calendar. This is your time to take your inner artist out. If you are too busy to carve out a tiny piece of your time, then that is all the more reason to do it. If you can do it this week, make an appointment for next week and the next. Arts Saves Lives!