Monday, November 1, 2010
Create in the Midst of Chaos
Sometimes life "gets to us." We are always in the midst of chaos, in the middle of "to-do lists," deadlines, and laundry. Yet at the same time, we still MUST create. It is a difficult balance. Most people do not do it. Most people come to four types of conclusion:
1.) They do not create at all. (A terrible tragedy.)
2.) They create sporadically, only when the timing, the mood, the inspiration hits, when all circumstances fall into place. (This is not only very rare, it is also very impractical and you become at the mercy and whim of fate.)
3.) They create, but not very deeply. Just skidding the surface, the potential of the artist you are meant to be. They half-heartedly create. They remain on the outskirts of their skills, and subject matter.
4.) Or They withdraw from life, they break up with their spouses, withdraw from friends, hobbies, any and all pursuit except for art. (This is also very extreme and in the long-run very damaging to your creativity. As all creativity stems for being engaged with life).
Although the above four solutions are possible, very easily doable, they all prevent you from both fully living and fully creating. So how do artists create in the middle of life, in the midst of chaos?
For starters, name what you are "in the middle of."
For example, Seal is in the middle of:
not enough sleep
fear of failure
fear of not finding the right style in her art, etc.
growing pains in her experimental skill sets
Now that you have listed your chaos. How do you plan to continue creating despite of it? You have to find your own answers for that because each answer will be different and personal.
For Seal, art needs to be a priority for her. Her laundry, dishes, and friends wait, until she creates first thing in the morning. Then afterward, she will address her emails and call her friends. She doesn't withdraw from life, but she lets the people closest to her understand that she loves them and at the same time, there will be hours or days before phone calls are returned.
Seal also likes the AA saying, "suit up and show up" regardless of what's going on in your life. Meaning: show up on the page. Paint, draw, doodle - something - regardless of what you're feeling and having to do that day. (acknowledge your feeling "I feel blah, I don't want to paint" but convert it into action, "but I will anyways" "I will create today.")
State you intention and do it! "I will write for 15minutes before I go to work." A novel is made with one word at a time.
Other creative solutions people have come up with is: paying friends to do the laundry for you while you paint.
Quiet the chaos. Center your mind and body and focus on the intention of creating. Most seeming "emergencies" can wait until you create.
Remember to be gentle with yourself, this is a daily practice that gets better each time!