"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."
"Starving Artist." This trite title is true in so many more ways than its original meaning. While there are plenty of artists -- artists and creatives of all forms -- thriving and living the high life, there are also those of us who may not be physically starving or living in poverty but starving in the sense of lacking creativity. When you are an artist, there is almost no struggle as disconcerting as the times of creative slumber. For some it may only be for a few days; for others it can be years of detachment from their creative side. As for me, it was a separation lasting a year or more.
Art is something that has been in my heart from the moment I was old enough to wield a crayon. Lack of creativity was something I didn't often experience in my childhood and early teen years. There was rarely a moment you could find me without a pencil and paper or a paint brush and canvas; if neither of those, I was daydreaming or making mood boards of the ideas spinning in my head. "Escaping" my creativity just wasn't possible, and a creative starvation was something that never even crossed my mind. Creativity became something that I took for granted.
The older I got and the more realities I had to face, the less my creativity showed up. It was often put on the back burner for the "important" things of the day--- until one day. Around 17 years old, it vanished completely. It vanished at least in the form of creating art as in paintings and drawings. I just didn't have that drive or focus anymore, and I entered my creative slumber truly for the first time. I began to follow my passion for styling and I left my art behind. While there was nothing wrong with finding a different outlet for my creativity ( Fashion is something a large part of me had always wanted to do) the mistake I made was pushing my other forms of art away from me.
Although I didn't realize it then, I was mentally locking away my artistic side. I didn't think I needed that part of me and felt very fulfilled in what I was doing with fashion. So, I took a year sabbatical from creating anything in the form of paintings and drawings. Toward the end of that year, I started to realize that there was really something missing in me, my creativity didn't flow like it used to. I fought so hard to find inspiration in any way that I could, and I just never got it. I was looking in all the wrong places for creativity instead of really seeing what was around me. I was searching for what it was that inspired other people, not what it was that inspired me! And it was starting to affect all aspects of my life.
Long story short, I stopped searching, and creativity found me again! In the oddest sort of way. With the announcement of my sister's pregnancy, I decided to start illustrating again for the baby's room. I began with the easiest sort of rudimentary things -- little animals dressed up suits and bows. Slowly, it all came back to me. When Pantone announced its color of the year, it hit me that I should start creating weekly illustrations inspired by that color. That way I didn't have the chance to let go of it again. I was forced to keep up working on it, and it really didn't seem forced at all any more; it flowed from me freely just the way it used to, and I've seen a huge change in the way I view everything, even and especially in my styling.
So, I hope for all of you out there that are suffering a creative slumber in one way or another, I hope you find this as a help -- a help to stop looking, stop searching, and stop waiting...let inspiration find you, and you will truly find your place back in it again.
That's All folks!