How to Bump Start your Creativity
Today I have been dancing with paintbrushes – much safer than wolves, don’t you agree? It was something I tried in an attempt to get my creative juices flowing freely again.
I skipped being an adult today and went off to play with Claire. Claire’s the most wonderful art teacher and I leave her sessions inspired and absolutely bouncing with joy. I walk down her garden and through a magical archway that leads to her studio – and I instantly enter another place, access another part of me that mostly I keep buttoned down and sensible. I don’t have to be sensible in Claire’s studio. I can be playful and naughty and free, I can be messy and I can be wrong – except there is no wrong, there is only creating.
It’s great to be greeted by Claymore who enthusiastically comes for a cuddle and once he has made you welcome, promptly pops onto the or flops on the floor sofa for the rest of the session, totally uninterested in progress. A silent witness to our conversations. After the first session of our getting to know each other Claire now knows all my weak spots – my fear of getting things wrong, my propensity to being a perfectionist. So she shows me how it’s ok to make mistakes, how to not only fix them but to embrace them and use them as a serendipitous part of the work.
Today, only my second session, I worked again with watercolours, used gesso to create texture, pulled apart pieces of lace, added leaves and grasses. While the first stage preparation dried we went out into the garden with pencil and paper and drew parts of the garden without taking the pencil from the paper. It seemed the hardest thing in the world for a few seconds and then it became freeing, almost meditational. I ceased to think and only to draw. I suppose it creates the same space as free writing does, whereby you write continuously without stopping, without thinking, without looking up out of the window and staring at nothing.
We used toothbrushes, flicked paint with abandon, used the end of the paintbrush to scribble, rubbed it off with kitchen paper, blotted, scrunched cling film to create texture and added bleach. God, I can’t tell you how much fun it was.
When I got home I walked Harry and the sun was shining, it was warm and I could hear the birdsong, distant traffic and the odd aeroplane overhead. I just thought how lucky I was to be alive now, to be able to embrace all of me instead of holding back, holding in.
If you’ve reached an impasse in your creativity why not try something totally unrelated for a while, something you’ve always fancied but never found the time to do. Make the time now. It might be a cookery class, yoga or line dancing. Step out of your comfort zone. Being playful with paint has made me more playful with my writing. An added bonus I hadn’t even accounted for. What floats your boat? Go book a session of something fun.