Life, family, business

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Where Does Creativity Come From?

phone 906Sometimes I struggle with finding inspiration for my creativity.  I paint, I draw, I write, and I play music, I sew, crochet, and make jewelry.  Some days, the ideas roll through my mind like waves on the beach.  I have to write the extra things down so I don’t lose them.  Other days, I can’t come up with an original idea to save my soul.  That’s what makes me wonder, where does creativity come from?

There’s so many theories about this, but it still doesn’t make me able to turn it off and on at will.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  There’s nights where my brain can’t shut off, coming up with ideas for blogs and painting ideas;  color combinations and ideas for flower beds and planting things.  Other nights I fall right asleep.  Some days I start painting or writing, and I’m disappointed when its time to put things away and go back to work, or to bed, or to do chores.  Other days, I can stare at my painting supplies and feel nothing.

I do believe that creativity comes from a place deep within us, within our brains and our souls.  But its not an all-access place, it can only be opened with a key.  Sometimes, the key is in the lock, ready to be turned by the lyrics of a long forgotten song, or the flash of a bird flying through the brilliant blue sky.  Sometimes the key has been hidden, and the lock doesn’t open.  I can try to force it open, but it usually doesn’t work.

I have learned that, in my mind anyway, creativity needs inspiration, and that inspiration is my key.  I can be inspired by many things, or sounds, or songs, or pictures.  I can  be inspired, but I can’t make inspiration.  I have to find it outside myself.  I have to be adventurous.  I need to see, and hear, and read, and sing, and be open to the possibilities all around me.  I need space, and quiet, and look deep within my heart and mind to find it.  I need to experience life in order to find inspiration to be life and express life.

But I also need to be able to look within myself to make that inspiration come to life.  I have to look within myself and find where it fits, what it’s doing, and what it stirs inside of me.

Art is life, and life is art.  Everyday of our lives is a picture we paint with our actions and thoughts.  We write the story of our lives on our hearts, and the hearts of those all around us.  We can choose to be an inspiration to others.  We can choose to be a song, or a story, or a picture, or all of those things in one.  Our lives are the one thing that we have to express, and we should make the most of it.  Every one of us is unique in our own way, and no one is going to have the same story or song, or picture as anyone else.  Each of us has our own perspective of life, the art of life; and each of us is an artist.  You are the ONLY ONE who can write your story, paint your picture, or sing your song.  No one else can do it for you.

So what will you write today?  Or paint? Or sing? What will inspire your life?  And what, pray tell, are you going to do about it?


The Dangers of Boredom

The snow flakes shimmer under a dull gray sky, twirling and whirling, and flying up in great swirls of wind.  The leafless trees stretch their naked trunks and branches upwards, into the gray, upon gray, upon gray.  The cold winds deter me from doing anything outside.  Even though outside is my favorite place, the unfavorable temperature and bone-chilling winds make it less bearable this time of year.

Here I remain, trapped indoors. The dogs are sleeping, as are the cats.  The husband and son gone for the morning and early afternoon.  What to do.  What to do…

So honestly, I have a ton of hobbies.  I think I’m one of those people who needs to have something to do.  I can sit and read quietly for only so long, and then I need to do SOMETHING.  Cleaning house is rewarding only to a certain extent.  I have to use my brain, my creativity, and my hands.  I love to paint, but my talent only goes so far.  I have a very large collection of houseplants that only need so much nurturing before they become angry in their winter hibernation.  I can only cook so much food for a small number of people.  I can write only so much before people stop reading it.  I used to enjoy sewing quilts for my children when they were young, but how many quilts does a person need?  I crochet to a certain extent, but its a time consuming process that yields yet another blanket, or set of dishcloths, or a scarf to add to my collection.  I make jewelry, and have a fabulous collection, even though I rarely wear jewelry. I have made rugs, sweaters, greeting cards, curtains, clothing, shelves; all sorts of things.  But what next?  What’s the next thing to do?

I think a lot of people struggle with the winter blahs: trapped indoors with no real sense of purpose.  Our great-grandmothers would probably tell us how lucky we are having all the modern appliances that make life so much easier.  I remember as a child, my grandmother had an old ringer washing machine, and doing the week’s laundry took the entire day.  They washed the clothes, ran them through the ringer-press to get the water out, and then hung them on the line to dry. Once dry, all the clothes had to be brought in, folded or ironed, and put away.  It was a great deal of work to keep their clothes clean.  For me to do a load of laundry, I simply put the clothes in, toss in a gel pack of detergent, close the lid and push the button.  Elapsed time: one minute.  Then I transfer the clothes to the dryer, toss in a softener sheet, close the door and press a button. Sure, I do have to fold them and put them away, but that takes a fraction of the time because I do a load every day or two and then fold and put away as I have time.  In fact, my washer is working right now as I sit and type; there’s nothing hands-on about it.

Our lives of chores have gotten easier, and I won’t complain about having a high efficiency washing machine, but now that the kids are older, I don’t have as much to do at home any more.  Its strange how the hurried days of childhood taper off so quickly.  I now have the time to do the things I always wanted to do, but it seems I’ve forgotten what those things are.  Perhaps I’ll learn a new language, or finally learn to play the piano. (I have one in my living room so I might as well!)  I think its important to always keep learning.  It helps occupy your brain, helps you use your creativity, and maybe its even something to do with your hands.  Never give in to boredom, there’s always something new to discover, or something to create.  I do treasure my time alone, since I don’t get a lot of it. But I still need to have something I want to do.  What are things that you do to occupy your time? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section! And thank you for reading!