Sunday, August 3, 2014

Scratchpad: Creativity in 3D

Scratchpad is the new catch title for my creative process, reflection posts.

Do you allow creativity to take up its necessary amount of space in your life?

This question came up when I was meeting with a couple of writer/artist friends last week to talk life and creativity and synchronicity.  (We have begun working our way through Julia Cameron's The Artist Way book, some of us for the second time .)  It started with a conversation about body image and how our cultural definitions of beauty and body often come from flat two dimensional images (photos) while we actually live in 3D or three dimensions.  We take up space.  We are in the world. We are objects to act and react against, a presence that requires others to coordinate around. Just as we must coordinate around them. We are beautiful and flawed.  We take up space.

Which brought us to the question of creativity in our lives.  Do we think of our creativity as the 3D thing it is?  Or does our fear of it and our desire to "control" it lead us to try and smash it into a 2D flat space within our lives? Do we scrunch it up into tiny disconnected pieces at the tired corners of our lives, keeping it root bound?  And are we frustrated and discouraged that our attempts at executing our artistic work feel stilted, unoriginal, and uninspired?  What if we instead allowed it to be the breathing, fluid, bulky, 3D presence that it is.  Would that allow it and us to flourish more fully? Would that make our work more enjoyable and effective?

We often hear that creativity and inspiration and process are different for each of us.  That it is something we will discover as we go about doing our work. One writer  Jane Vandenburgh in her book Architecture of a Novel even goes so far as to argue that each individual work (novel) has its own rules and shape and way of coming into being that we cannot know ahead of time. We can only discover it bit by bit as we work our way through. The process of that discovery takes up space and requires a willingness to experiment and make a mess.  Have we given ourselves that space? And have we been gentle and kind and forgiving of our stumbles and mistakes when we do?  How would our creativity and our productivity be different if we took intentional time to nurture it and cultivate it and allow it to come to life in its own particular 3D shape?

What about you?  How have you given space to creativity in your life lately? How have you watered it and allowed it to come to life?

Best wishes in your creative endeavors this week!

On a side note, if you are a writer and interested in "puttering away" more at craft this month, consider joining Gabriela Periera's 29 Day Conquer the Craft Challenge. (HERE)

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