(Want to win a copy of this book? Details at the bottom of the post!)
Welcome back to the Everyday Artistry blog! After a long hiatus spent getting this new website up and running, I’m happy to be back! My writing muscles are feeling a bit tight and need to be stretched and worked again, so bear with me!
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 first learned about magic from books as a kid, when I would be able to see through time and space to a different reality:
I became more aware of it when I started paying attention to art, and found that certain pieces gave me a twinge of electricity and opened up entire worlds of possibility.
I started to crave interaction with the magic - I didn’t just want to observe it, I wanted to participate.
I wanted to craft my own worlds.
In the years since, I have been doing everything I can to make magic part of my daily reality. I’ve been learning to feed it, nurture it, and let it grow. I’ve worked on calming the parts of myself that fear the magic and want to snuff it out.
And I’ve spent my days chasing the ethereal beings called ideas, hoping to work with them to make something beautiful.
Now my second biggest desire (besides bringing these ideas to life) is to help you discover where magic is hiding in your life and to develop your own relationship with it.
If you’re not sure what magic feels like, here are some of the ways it might be showing up:
That fluttery feeling you get when you start to make something new.
When your heart starts pounding and you feel like the air is full of electricity. When every little thing seems to carry a weight of meaning and ordinary things feel extraordinary.
When you start working on a project and suddenly everything you encounter seems to be part of it and you can pull thread after thread after thread into it.
When you forget about time and get lost in examining and photographing a seed pod or chasing a woodpecker through the woods.
When a new idea shows up in your brain fully formed and you can’t wait to get started.
When a skill that you’ve been struggling with suddenly clicks and you feel like you’ve been doing it your whole life.
When you collaborate on a project, throwing ideas back and forth, and watching them become bigger and better than they ever would have been had you been working alone.
When you do something that terrifies you and feel a rush of joy when the fear subsides and you feel connected to your true purpose.
The warm glow when you hold up something you made and know that, no matter what anyone else says or thinks, it’s beautiful and perfect.
When you fall down a rabbit hole of research, learning the most random facts and cherishing every single nugget.
When those facts start to magnetize in your brain to other random facts and you suddenly have made a connection that has never been made before.
When you feel like you can touch the edges of the universe.
How can we find magic? By soothing our fear, ignoring our inner critic, taking leaps, being mindfully present, and trying new things. We don’t give up. We keep trying, no matter how dark things get, no matter how ugly our work is, no matter how pointless it all seems.
Magic won’t happen on its own. We need to seek it out, every day.
Driving to work we can notice the colour of the sky and how different it is from yesterday. On the bus we can listen to overheard conversations and feel the different rhythms of speech and enjoy the stories being told. In the grocery store we can appreciate the way the colours blend on a mango or an apple.
We can make time for reading novels and poetry, visiting art galleries, going to concerts and plays. We can read about anything and everything that catches our attention, and start making the unlikely connections that lead to magic.
But most importantly, we can do the things we feel called to do. Paint that apple, write a story about the couple on the bus, photograph that woodpecker and knit one that looks just like it.
Magic comes from curiosity and wonder. It comes from movement and action. And most of all, it comes from love.
To celebrate my new website and our constant quest to find creative magic, I’m giving away a copy of one of my all-time favourite books on the subject: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to those who entered!