Creative rhythm is something I have been discovering recently and fascinates me more and more. Maybe that phrase does not really exist but there is something about the pattern in creative process, the way it comes and goes and conditions as well as the sequence of it. Flow is more like a state of mind when the creativity flourish at its peak but the creative rhythm is more like a personal map built around time and cycle of creativity with equally high and low intensity. Personal creative rhythm is the step to see the freedom of your capabilities, ability to tune into it rather than being frustrated by constant fluctuation. It is like taking a boat on the seas and letting the waves rock you but still steer towards the island of creation...
I can only imagine that each personal creative rhythm is different and unique to the one who plays the game with creativity, however during many of my conversations with other creatives, artists, painters, art journalers, writers and even people obsessed with things like baking, I notice there is a common and collective pattern that once we acknowledge, we become not only more aware of our own creative power but tune into the more authentic and soulful orientation. I find it fascinating to observe my own patterns in that rhythm and seeing beyond each stage-understanding its temporary nature and aim. So here I am sharing my observations so far- feel free to let me know what your creative rhythm means to you- I would love to know!
The very initial phase is inspiration searching- the stage we all go through I guess. Looking at images of art, being in nature, feeling that something special about particular colour, shape, subject matter. Something that sticks in my head and keeps popping out on many totally random occasions. I would be thinking about that shade of blue and suddenly finding that somebody passing by is wearing exactly that shade of colour I need! Inspiration stars developing and nagging like never going away intruder. Then once I establish what I want to do the warm up stage comes it. I can find myself in that stage for days or even weeks- trying small acts of creating but still not brave enough to do any bigger project. I would feel inspired and stuck at the same time (yes possible!). I would create art that I tear into pieces or burn, journals will be filled with playing attemps of moving forward but without success. Shortly speaking inspiration pumped my mind with big vision when at the same time reality hits badly with mere attems. I used to get annoyed with that stage but years of creative engagement made me aware that it is a rather wonderful gift really. You just warming up, you play even if the feeling of inadequacy is winning. It is a temporary stage but necessary. Warm up is like an essential preludium to a big play and without it there no next step. Important thing is to keep creating. Then slowly without noticing when the new connection is formed- there is more coming up and I feel it. Gradually I move to more work being done in no time, art becomes less effortless, expectations are going away and flow stars to fill the mind and soul. And here the crazy, creative flow is being born but as quickly as it appeared it can go away. Sometimes it lasts longer moving from one wave of creation to the next one, demanding to be fed here and now! From a practical point of view I learnt one thing- when flows enters your life do not leave dinner on the cooker thinking you just pop to the art room and switch it off in a minute. Reality is harsh- it will burn, you will loose your food and any sympathy from the hungry and not so much impressed family. After that creative rhythm slows down to the stage of what I call flow hangover. Yu did it and you feel it was intense, almost too much.It is gone, the inner critic starts its entering with looking at the results of flow with less positive eye. It does happen to me personally more with filming than painting or art journaling. I have enough and do not even look again at the final result. Lots of self- doubt and comparison may start at that stage. Creative rhythm with its ups and downs is taking the artist tired soul on more difficult journey, creating torture of inner critic and fear. But also that stage slowly passes and acceptance is born, kind of "done and dusted" feeling. The stage seems be close now, the inspiration has been fed. There may be a quiet period now, without creating, there may be the famous creative block for few weeks. And then one day totally from nowhere the inspirations strikes again!(yes in many unexpected places and situations-let me tell you-the toilet and shower are the most common!) What a joy and what a crazy life of the creative soul! :)
The things I am learning now that goes with the whole concept is how to tune in and honour every single stage of that journey. How to not end up in frustration or sick expectations, how to be gentle with yourself and navigate through ups and downs with grace, patience and understanding. There are also moments when I started understanding that certain phases are meant not to be skipped, that every single has a meaning and equal importance. Flow is not better than the blockage- they complement each other to form a fluid and personal movement.
Feel free to share your adventures with your creative rhythm!
Wishing you lots of good creative journeys!
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