Prime Your Pump
Have you ever been so excited to get into your studio and create that you jumped in too quickly and went nowhere? Have you ever been brimming with inspiration, eager to try a new technique only to stall out almost immediately?
At times it feels like there are too many ideas. What should you work on? The painting that's due at the gallery next month, or maybe this one you wanted to enter into a show but the deadline is this week, or maybe the small collage pieces you keep putting off, maybe you could work on those? Every idea comes up like a fury, you think you've got it and then... you question it, you doubt yourself and soon your time in the studio is over.
Other times you move ahead on your idea, start painting, but soon enough your inner voice starts to talk. "You're wrecking it", "I don't think that's the right color for this painting". "Why did you make that mark?" "You're wasting your time and supplies". It seems you can't turn the voice down or off and soon your time in the studio is over.
For years I would go in and out of phases like these and imagine I must be missing something. Some important piece of information that would have me creating in ways I only dreamt of. Over time, I've developed both mental and physical ways of "tuning in" before going to my studio for creative time and I can assure you, all of my most successful ways involved the same mindset:
Get ready to be ready
Getting ready involves preparing yourself mentally for the flow of creativity to rise up and be expressed through you. Removing distractions and becoming aware of your senses sets the tone and allows you to be in the receiving mode. Preparing yourself and your studio will become practiced over time and you'll find it easier to move into your creative space and time.
Let's explore some practical ways you can achieve this mindset. These steps work best when they are easy, repeatable and positive.
Set up and nurture an altar in your creative space. This can be as simple as placing a fallen leaf on a shelf. There may be thousands of ways to honor your creative spirit in this way but there is only one you. Only you will know what works for you. Your altar could be the first and last moments of time in your studio as you enter and exit so the repeating pattern of placing a leaf or lighting a candle validates in your mind that this space and time is just for creativity - however it wants to show up.
Walking, yoga or any form of physical movement are all powerful ways to clear your mind. Your body influences how you think so what you are experiencing with your body can affect your thoughts. Use this to your benefit and go for a brisk walk or run before (and even after) you are in your studio. Let it become a regular part of your studio practice. Over time you may find that new ideas and solutions to problems come more easily when you're not in your studio.
Give yourself permission. This is so important! We all have responsibilities and obligations in our lives and tend to put ourselves last. Give yourself permission to be first. Give yourself permission to start in any direction, to allow and accept what comes, to be grateful for the time and space you've given yourself.
Start slowly and find one or two things you can add to your studio time. The more you practice your 'way' of being in your studio the less confusion, overwhelm and criticism you'll experience. Over time, you'll find more ease and joy in your creative process.
My creative coaching program is a one+one approach into the how's and why's of your creative process. Together we'll discover a creative roadmap you can follow to build a healthy relationship with your creativity that will last beyond your next showing. Check out my program here and get in touch with me for a free chat to see how I can help you Prime Your Pump!