Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

DISCIPLINE + CREATIVITY

DISCIPLINE + CREATIVITY

Autumn Leaves

Creativity and creating is a weird, slippery beast. Sometimes it's natural and easy to catch. Sometimes it just seems to slide out of all attempts to hold it. It just does not happen. 

Often before I create I hear those words of doubt. Often I resort to just putting marks on a page, or bashing out some words, and hoping for the best. It just does not flow.

Sometimes I put up barriers up of my own. Washing clothes, housework, taking another silly photo to post on Instagram, being sucked into a time vortex somewhere, faffing in the garden, having another cuppa, doing errands, writing lists of things I need to get to rather than getting to them...and depression and anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.... when really ...I just need to START

some mockups for a client, not used

Of course, some of these barriers are very real... real people, real commitments, real needs. I have a family, a home, a job. Apart from creating.

The creating thing is central though, and it all rests with me. The lovely, but also the most difficult thing about being answerable to myself about my creativity though is that if I do not push myself, if I do not find my way around or over those barriers, then I only have myself to blame.



No-one else ultimately.


mistakes happen

And if I don't not stay focussed and disciplined, I know from past experience, I end up feeling awful, just terrible. Because I know that I can do better. I am not doing what my head and my heart needs. I know I am letting myself and those who believe in me down. When I let fear,depression, anxiety, laziness, and momentum fade....Inertia takes over... then I lose. Big time. 

pot plants in a row

The fear of that feeling. The fear of those feelings... is motivator usually to get it all happening again. It pushes me, propels me, drives me... even if it is only one little step everyday, I try to take it. I try to stay disciplined and think about the race, not the sprint. There are lots of days I just gogogogogogogo, and do tonnes. Amaze myself. And others not so much. And on those days...

I will sometimes spend too long in bed, lingering over coffee, procrastinate and not achieve much. And I feel insecure and realise I am not helping myself much. AND THEN... Like an arrow that uses negative force, the pull back, to propel itself forwards again, I harness that insecurity. When I let go - I zoom forwards and into action. I start creating.

arrows

So sometimes I ignore those distractions, the voices in my head. And my home has become messier, a bit rougher around the edges and my garden has weeds and blank spots. And I do not engage as much on social media as I am told I should to build up my followers, and I may not bake cakes for the kids or be on the P&C or at every school function, and I do not go out for coffee as much as I once did. And I ignore all those emails about how to improve time management, and be successful, and be better, better, better...

leaves

Because if IGNORE ALL THAT, then I carve out the time and the space, and use that discipline, the benefits are immense. The muse, the flow, the mindfulness has time to play. I invite it in, flirt with it, and it charms me. It amazes me.

Because if I push myself, get some mojo happening, the universe will often step in and give me a nudge, a little spark... and let me know I am on the right path. 

And there is nothing better than an email saying WE WANT YOU AND YOUR WORK,(and want to pay you for it!) or a letter from a friend or follower saying I LOVE WHAT YOU DO, or a blank page that instead of looking scary and empty instead makes you feel FIZZY AND JOYOUS, and thoughts and colours and ideas just start to tumble out. And then creating something you like the look of after all, and feel happy with. 

happy flowers

It is truly the best. Ever. Feeling. 

Of course,inevitably the fizz fades. (Damn!)

Inevitably I begin to wonder if what I a doing is really absolute crap and why am I bothering. Ugly little doubts creep in.

Maybe it will always be that way, a cycle of up and down, reflection, quiet contemplation and distance, followed by fear and looking for new experiences, then propulsion going forward, going through all of the feelings, having no idea, then creating anew and invigorated again. 

Maybe I am okay with that. 

All I know is that if I don't make, do, create, paint, write... and I don't have discipline and push through... then nothing good will come of it.

cactus, detail

But whatever, I really have to go now. I need a coffee, and there is a set of new paints waiting for me, and a drawing-a-day challenge to complete. There is also a few loads of washing and children to hug and talk to because they have just got back from school. And I want to talk to them and see how they are. Time to let go of this caper and pause it for a little while. You know how it is.
See you on the flip side muse.