A Guide to Cultivating Creativity
THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTICITY
I just listened to a great podcast by Andy J Miller (also known as Andy J Pizza) about building a creative career and having the fear of not creating something original. And a really good point came up about being Authentic, what he said was,
“Don’t worry about being original, worry about being authentic”
I feel like this is why so many artists get trapped and don’t become successful. Maybe it’s just because the older I get the more I realize the best work comes from within. I think when you have clarity of purpose, clarity of your message and clarity about who it is you’re striving to become, your work will naturally reflect that. And that’s about as authentic as you can get. When you’re faking it, people can tell. When you’re faking your message, it’s noticeable. If you’re constantly taking from everyone else, people pick up on it.
CREATIVITY IS AT THE CORE
What is at the core of everything? Creativity. What brings things into existence? Creativity. You cannot have life without creativity. Unhappiness and disconnection happens when humans do not believe they are creative or that they can’t connect with creativity or develop creativity in some way.
For artists and people who are already tuned into their creativity, I think the biggest struggle is, “how do I use it?”. We’ve grown up in a world where we can cultivate our creativity but traditional education does not teach us how to use it as a tool in the real world. There is a gap between the creative world, creative people and the working world and business people; and the reality is both worlds need to overlap.
I’m going to quote a passage from The Power of intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
“The power of intention has to be creative or nothing would come into existence… The very fact that we can breathe and experience life is proof to me that the nature of the life-giving spirit is creative at it’s core… the face of creativity intends you toward continued creativity to create and co-create anything that you direct your power of intention toward.”
Creativity is not one thing in itself; creativity is the umbrella that encompasses many elements. Many people say they are creative, but what does that actually mean? It is a generalization. Creativity encompasses inventiveness, imagination, innovation, individuality etc. To me, being in a creative state of mind means being open to everything and content with nothing. Meaning, not a single thing can only be looked at from one angle only. With 7 billion people on the planet, not a single person views any one thing in the exact same way – this is why teamwork, collaboration and community are so important.
How can you create something that many people want, need, talk about or purchase if you are only creating it from your perspective? Being creative means you are able to see something from many perspectives, within yourself. Empathy teaches us to understand and share the feelings of another, but you can still only see their perspective through your perspective. So when you’re creating something it’s still only from your point of view, even if it’s more than one view.
When we work on collaborations, there is a back and forth, another consciousness seeing the same thing through a slightly different lens. This process is fucking epic.
For me, the easiest way to begin to cultivate creativity is to do. The simple act of doing something, anything, can trigger amazing results. When you begin to become familiar with your creative vibration you can harness your creativity and begin to build momentum.
We have a beautiful way in the art world to describe the state an artist reaches when they are creating, called “The Zone”. It’s a mystical, magical place where time falls away and you are simply in the act of creation. I have been in this state many times; I’ve painted for 8 hours straight and felt like only 30 minutes passed, refused to get up to eat or use the bathroom and fallen asleep while painting.
Below are some things I do to cultivate my own creativity:
1. Read, a lot. I read every single day. Sometimes I read a chapter - sometimes I read three. Reading is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get our imagination turning gears. Read something that gets you excited and eager to create! On my reading list right now:
· The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
· Now or Never, Preston Smiles & Alexi Panos
· You are a Badass, Jen Sincero
2. Meditate. Some people get weirded out by meditation because it’s spiritual or they think it’s a group of people sitting around chanting, “oooooommmmm”. Here’s the gist, meditation allows for thoughts to flow freely. Yes, there are meditations for you to clear your thoughts, but you can also use it as a tool to cultivate ideas. Pay attention to the thoughts and ideas that come to you and make sure you have a sketchbook nearby!
3. Get outside, even if it just a walk around the block. If you’ve been sitting in your room painting for four hours, it’s time to take a break. In The Zone and don’t want to move? I get it, I really do. But trust me, your body and your brain will thank you.