I Think I Have Been Here Before...
Lately, I had the realization (love those moments!) that like nature, my creative career has a pattern. Patterns are a new phenomenon for me. I feel like that sounds so ridiculous, but they are! The notion that patterns exist everywhere and can actually be observed, relied upon and mimicked is a mindblowing information bomb my husband introduced me too.
Without getting too far off the point I am hoping to share, let me just give a little back story. Over the last 4 years, my husband has been expanding his knowledge of the natural world through studies of Permaculture, Systems Theory, Holistic Management, and a number of other uber amazing things. Look these three up if you are unfamiliar with them. These solution-minded concepts and frameworks can be applied to EVERYTHING. The ethics, principles and practical applications you gain from understanding and applying these are skills is earth moving. Seriously, this stuff is magic. And you all know how much I love magic.
Why am I telling you this? Well one, it is wicked cool stuff. Second I am slowly applying what I learn from our conversations to my business. And right now, my focus is on patterns. Over the last three years, I have worked through what feels like each minute with my nose so close to the mirror I can't see anything but my face. And lately, my face has been all freaked out. Waking up each day with no idea what I need to do, what I am aiming to do, what I have done and what all of that together means is getting exhausting. So I got to looking at my husband and what he does to solve problems in nearly everything in his life. This man OBSERVES.
Naturally, I am not an observer. This is funny because I am an artist and you would think those go hand in hand. I actually work really hard at focusing my mind on observation. And more often than not I forget to do that! So my plan is to observe, make a chart and analyze what kind of flow is present. What can I observe? To start I want to look at the last year and what my creative flow looked like each month and season. Here are a few questions I want to ask:
1. When was I creating artwork?
2. How much artwork was I producing at said times?
3. How much of the artwork was sellable and at what time was it sold?
4. When was I struggling to create?
5. During times of high inspiration and low inspiration what was going on in my life?
You get the picture. I aim to observe and notice any patterns that form and how I can set better goals based on the natural flows of my creativity. After all, my creativity is the pillar of my business. If I am not able to turn out work in a reliable fashion, there are no funds! Of course the path between turning out work and funds there is a deeper story. One of fulfillment, connection, happiness, gratitude and all the goodness my work brings me and those who connect with it.
Closing these thoughts I am back to the initial questions that sparked it all. They go something like this:
'Where is my inspiration? Why am I feeling so disconnected to my creativity? Will I ever create again? What if I am all washed up? I can't stop now! I love painting and making and dreaming...oh goodness, how will I whether this storm???'
Whoa. Intense. At least my brain threw me a little lifeline and said, "Hey! I have seen these thoughts before! And then they went away and we made lots of pretty things. Everything is ok." And now I can step back and ask good questions to put healthy expectations and goals around my creativity. I just love that.
Tell me, are you an observer? What kinds of things do you look at to gain more understanding?
P.S. I ask for my commenters to sign in to help keep the trolls away and keep this space inspirational and positive. Please consider creating a login. I would LOVE to hear your stories!
P.P.S If you have not seen Schitt's Creek (notice above reference) I 100% recommend it :)