Confession. I kind of hate being labeled as a 'creative.' Don't get me wrong here, it is an honor to be seen through that lens, and the company couldn't be better (In the beginning GOD CREATED). I like the idea, but I really am opposed to the label. It makes me feel a bit awkward, and has a bit of an inverse affect on me. It is almost as if the more people who identify me as a 'creative,' the more my 'creative process' seizes up and freezes.
I think it has something to do with the pressure of "oh you're a creative? what mediums do you work with? who are some of your favorite creatives? what does your creative process generally look like? how do you stay inspired?"….to which I want to scream out into the universe (and your face) "I DON'T KNOW!"
But yet I go on...
writing, drafting, dreaming, cooking, painting—creating...
I recently shared an e-mail correspondence with a good friend whose life has landed her in a place of creation towards a unique space of inspiration and answers to all of those questions that make me tense up. There is a certain freedom in talking to her about creativity, as there are no underlying sensations of suffocation or developmental pressure to compose something wonderful the moment our time together ends. There is a looseness in which conversation with her always seems to spiral itself around beautiful aesthetics. A looseness that I am able to then leave and rest in.
It is in the looseness of conversations with her, and a handful of other special relationships that link me to an ability to pull myself out of my mind's step-by-step drive, and allow the flow of creativity to just exist. And it is there, it is in that space I have come to find my favorite mediums, my favorite creatives, my creative process, and my general inspiration.
So for all my creatives out there putting way too much pressure on themselves, and thus feeling that all your endeavors are anything but original, here is some humble advice developed out of a season where that mind-set was mine with the strongest of intensities...
The best mediums are developed by embracing your season. Our senses are incredible at highlighting what is most familiar to us right now. Work with those things. Whether that is a taste, smell, or touch, draw from the colors, the feelings conveyed, even the literal composition of what is around you. Right. Now. The right now is what is real, what is raw, what is unique and original because it is your life, the space where no one else can lay claim.
Look for inspiration from anyone who is doing something that no one else is. Pray for individuals whose tastes are paralleled to yours to be discovered, and don't limit these individuals by their professions. When you ask the Lord for inspiration, it will come.
some of my currents: Francis Mallmann (the most tangible example of forming beauty from ashes in his masterful dishes and fiery techniques), Geoffrey Johnson (a connection to the feeling of his work and my personal, current season), Judah Smith (a genius in story-telling and conveying the gospel personally), my baby boy (watching a tiny human grow and develop as God continues to create his personality, body, mind, etc. is currently blowing my mind in every possible correlation to creating anything full of substance and life), Free People blog (colors and patterns speak to the part of me moving forward, the part that is chasing the colorful bounty of summer and all that she has to offer)
At the end of the day, creativity is everywhere, and honestly, we are ALL creatives. It isn't an elite group of people who see the world brighter than everyone else, it is the completeness of the collection of differing minds mankind brings forth. Let's forget about the label, let's eliminate the creative freeze, let's draw from what we know and are around, and most importantly, let's never stop creating.