We talk a lot about creativity and the process, but I don’t think we pay enough attention to what feeds our coils, what gives us the gusto to create in the first place. Creative block is also a huge issue, where we want to create, but can’t - often a symptom of a lack of feeding our creativity, not a sign that we should quit, that our best days are behind us. Although this will be different for everybody, I want to talk a little bit about what feeds my own creativity and why it is important to pay attention to what and how we feed that part of ourselves.
Why do we need to feed our creativity?
It’s magic, it’s energy. It cannot be created or destroyed, only changed; from energy within us, to a creative work outside of ourselves. It doesn’t come from nowhere, we have to foster it, and we can’t destroy it, only cultivate it when it comes knocking. We cannot draw from an empty well, and as rainfall fills the ones in the ground, we must shower our creative well with inspiration and grace.
How do we feed our creativity?
Consume creative works! I would say to especially consume creative works that are not in the same creative vein as you are exploring. Don’t get me wrong, consuming creativity that matches your passion - paintings if you love to paint, reading is you love to write, music of you like to play instruments or sing, but it is so important to consume work that is different from what you do too; to take in nature if you create D&D characters, to engage with music if you love the written word, look at paintings if you love textiles, do some crosswords if you enjoy dance, workout if you like embroidery and vice versa.
By exploring inspiration from other sources it can help us beat the sameness trap. Sometimes when we only draw inspiration from others who do what we do, we can start cultivating that same look or style. That’s not to say that if something is working in your industry that you should actively avoid it, but especially when you’re exploring your own creative voice, taking input from different disciplines can help you navigate your own sense of creativity without morphing into someone else’s voice.
My Top Sources to Feed My Creative Soul
Creating! - First and foremost engaging with my creativity regularly is the best way to feed it and let it grow! I write or play with pastels or dance or create content every single day - whether its for five minutes or a few hours. Digging into my creative practice and making the time to create is the biggest way I feed my creative soul.
Consuming creative works - I love to read. I try to read for at least fifteen minutes everyday - sometimes it happens in my lunch break, sometimes in bed, but reading always helps me feel connected to words, and gives me fuel for my own writing. Spending time with the hubby is crucial to my day, and sometimes it feels like I can’t possibly fit everything in, so we make it a point to consume visual content together - Netflix is our top choice, but Crave has its top tier too. Engaging with others’ creative works allows me to appreciate the scale and versatility of creativity out there in the world.
Exploring Creative Mediums - My creative medium of choice is writing, or dancing, depending on my mood. However, I keep a sketchbook for pastels and illustrative pens - which I am no good at, but quite enjoy. I love colouring and looking at paintings and design. Museums and history are great sources of inspiration too. Music is one we all enjoy as a source of creative fulfilment and expression, and is one of the best places to enter that creative zone and find snippets of inspiration.
Listening to Routines, Rituals and Rhythms - This will have to be one separate blog post, because we all know how much I love dissecting the nuance of words, but one surefire way to feed ones creative soul is to entrench it in ritual, routine and find your rhythm for creating. By listening to these patterns in our lives we can unlock hidden sequences in ourselves and discover avenues of creative passion to pursue; the more aware we become the more free we will feel, and freedom of expression translates to freedom to create.
Acknowledging Creativity in the everyday moments - If we can learn to see the creative moments we engage in every single day, whether we are actively creating or not, such as problem solving at work, admiring the sunshine through the trees, innovating with coworkers, playing with our children and parenting in collaboration with your spouse, then we can feed the well of creative energy inside us. Stopping to realize we all engage with creativity everyday can begin to build our confidence in our ability to be creative, inspiring us to pursue creative expression.
Feeding your creativity is necessary to keep engaging with the world in creative ways. If we do not first fill the well, we have nothing to draw from; and the best teacher of all is experience. So go out beyond the studio, the desk, the job, the home and find experience in living a creative life the way you deem fit, and watch the well of creativity fill to overflowing.