"Creativity cannot always be attained at will. There are fluctuations that occur in the process. A certain amount of down time is necessary for the creative process to run its course. Putting the right things into the brain is preparation so that once those down times take place, the intuitive part of the brain has something to draw on for inspiration and content." WILLIAM G. COVINGTON, JR., Creativity and General Systems Theory.
Late this summer as we began planning our move into this house and JC's surgery, I made a promise to myself that I would not panic and fill up my days and hours with outside work; that I would allow myself at least the three months of autumn (and through the holidays) to teach my classes, organize the house, and make things.
It has been over a year since I've had space and time to create, over two years since I was recharged at an art retreat. I know I don't need an event to get going, but it takes time. Time to let the mind start to wrap itself around ideas. Time I haven't had in such a long while.
To make time, I've had to watch my spending, watch my desire for things, and be more conscious about where and how I spend my days. I stay home a lot, which works for me in more ways than one. When I'm home, I stay up on the house and it is fairly tidy, which frees up my mind to think about making something instead of vacuuming. When I stay home, I'm not out finding things to buy or filling up my hours with nothingness. When I go out, it is to ride a horse, or run errands from a list, or spend time with JC or friends. Or do some work that requires getting out and away from the computer.
Staying home has also lent itself to starting a morning yoga practice, which also helps to focus the mind and the intention each day; and that has felt helpful for the creative process.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was running down too many "rabbit trails" (thanks, SF) and so have reduced the options in the studio. I signed up for a local drawing and painting workshop, where I am surrounded for a couple of hours a week by other people making things and being inspired by what I see going on there. That workshop is also reconnecting me to my long-dormant drawing skills (there's quite a lot of terrible drawing in my sketchbooks to attest to that and also to attest to how long it takes to get back into the groove).
I'm so excited about this time. It is racing by, and the holidays are right around the corner with all the travel, baking, and socializing that goes along, but hopefully I'm laying down a framework for a life less filled with distractions leaving more time. Time to sit in the studio, try out new things, dance around to good music, and see what comes of it all.