Going with the Flow


Before you can go with the flow, you have to find it. I have been struggling for a few days to come up with some design concepts. I tried some of the Little Art tricks: looking at art books, walking around the art store, playing with some materials. Nothing was working. I went back to the art store this morning with a color scheme in mind. And voila! The project started to come together.

Once I dove into the project, flow started happening. Just thinking about it did not work, I had to get my hands dirty. As the project progressed, the ideas just kept rushing in. Now that it is nearing completion, I am very satisfied with the outcome and it is nothing close to how I initially imagined it. It’s that magic “art thing” that happens when we trust the creative process. I trust that I have the skills and imagination to bring my creative vision to life. I trust that ideas will build on each other. I trust that whatever I do is more than enough. I trust the work to evolve in the way it is meant to. Similar to an endorphin rush, that “aha moment” of art making is what keeps me coming back for more. I trust that I can find it over and over.

I recently worked on an art project with a friend. She commented on how confident I was in the work I was doing. I asked her “what’s the worst that could happen?” because for me the worst would have been making the wrong line and having to start over.  She replied “failure, humiliation, not being good at art, messing up, feeling stupid.” Yowza. It illuminated for me how much can be invested in the simple act of art making and gave me renewed empathy for my clients. It also reminded me that something that is mostly fun for me can be treacherous ground for others.

What gets in your way of going with the creative flow? Do you find yourself bogged down by some of these negative self-statements? Do you get stuck in the planning phase? Is completion a problem for  you? I encourage you to attend to your process and discover what is preventing your creative flow. It takes time to feel comfortable moving in the flow of the process. Be gentle with yourself as you make your way.

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