The idea of wasted time has always created a lot of internal struggle for me. When I was 12 I already felt like I was running out of time, wasting my childhood away. It’s sad really, how much of my life I have spent feeling like I should be doing something else, and I’m determined to change that thought pattern.
Magic. What do you think of when you hear the word? Men in tuxedos waving silk scarves? A boy with a zigzag scar on his forehead? A card game played in the corners of comic book shops?To me magic is what creativity feels like when it’s working properly. It feels like a tiny tear in the shiny gloss of everyday life where something not of this world can sneak in. And it’s something I have spent my whole life seeking.
I met Dallas at a Creative Mornings event shortly after she had moved to Edmonton. Right away it was clear that we had lots to talk about and I've really enjoyed getting to know her as she settles into our city. She's very generous with her wisdom about creativity, social media, and running a small business, and, of course, she takes beautiful photographs. I can't wait for our next tea date!
These last few months have been tough for the world. At times like these, it's easy to believe that we're surrounded by hate and fear on every side. While my heart breaks every time I hear about another terrorist attack or hate crime, I also have a relentless hope in humanity and in our ability to overcome these struggles. Albert Einstein said that "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe."
Every time I move to a new home and have to set up a new studio, it takes some time to figure out, to find a rhythm and a system. Finally, after a few days of knee-deep hard work, a lot of help from my partner and months of tweaking, my studio feels clean, functional, and inspiring. I walk by and can't wait to get in there and start making something.
I've been following Tara's work for a few years now and am inspired by her in so many ways. Not only is she a talented painter but her mission is similar to mine: helping people access their creativity. I've been enjoying watching her painting evolve, and the dreamy ocean photographs she posts on Instagram always brighten my day.
It's hard to make creativity a priority in our lives. There's always something more important to do. And it can be hard to feel relaxed doing it when our inner critic can be so mean. Sometimes it feels more stressful to work on a creative project than to just zone out with a book or a TV show.But creativity doesn't have to mean doing something hard, or coming up with something brand new. It can be easy and relaxing, and still give us the satisfaction of saying yes to our creative selves.
Last week I finally finished the creative experiment that I started way back in November. I got the book Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists, by Marion Deuchars, for my birthday last year and I decided that I would do every single exercise in the book, and document my progress on Instagram. I thought it would take me 4 months, but it ended up taking 6 1/2. I'm so happy to report that last week I finished the final exercise.
So. You want to work on being more creative everyday. You want to establish a creative practice, you want to jump in on those projects you've been dreaming about. But you have no idea where to start. Should you take a class? Should you start a 30-day challenge? Should you ask your friend for help? Should you just start messing around and see what happens? The choices spin around in your mind and, day after day, you do nothing. It's too hard.Starting is the hardest part of any project or practice. And when there is no clear starting point, it's even harder. Here are some ideas on identifying what exactly is making it so hard to get started, and what to do about it.