On Creativity: The Ebb + Flow

The Ebb + Flow of creativity can be frustrating. Click through to see the ways I'm finding my way back to the flow!

It’s been a while since I’ve created in my usual way (painting, collaging + writing) and it feels kind of strange to have been away from it for so long.  I miss my quiet time in front of the canvas but these days of diapers and trying to catch up on sleep, I can’t seem to figure out how to get back there.  I used to take a painting class once a week, I painted in my studio at least one day a week and I wrote regular blog posts to spark ideas, too.  I miss it terribly!

I remind myself that I can still follow my artistic whims, I just need to figure out how and when.  I may not have a block of 2 hours to paint, but I can grab 10 minutes to draw something or connect online.  I have to remind myself that I’m creating a new normal now–I need to be more gentle with myself as I figure out exactly what that is.  I really just enjoy exploring the idea of creativity as a whole and can use that as my guide.  

But what happens when life changes and you no longer have the same amount of time to do what you always did to create?

It’s the ebb and flow that happens with any kind of major change (and little changes, too).  I’ve been here before and found my way back, I know I can do it again.  When I resurface, the starting over point is usually to check in with myself and explore just how things have changed.

I’m still an artist, but I’m different.

Even my space to create is different.  My studio is no longer mine and it’s a disaster, so that doesn’t make it quite so easy to bounce back to painting!  I had to pack everything up and shove it in the corner to make room for the bed we had to move out of the new nursery.  Needless to say, it’s not a very inspiring place at the moment:

Disaster studio


But I know it’s not forever.  See those shelves leaning against the table?  That’s my starting point to get back to creating.  Once I put them up, I’ll be able to move my supplies up on them and be able to make room for more organizing!  One step at a time…

Here are a few others ways I’m trying to get back on track:

  • Regularly check in with fellow artists, even if it’s just to see what they’re up to on Facebook.  Inspiration comes at the most surprising moments, doesn’t it?
  • Stand in my defunct studio to see where I can begin to reassemble it (see picture)
  • Make a simple sketch in my sketch book when I have 5 minutes of quiet.
  • Connect with you on my blog again (aha!)
  • Walk through the paint aisle at AC Moore and check out the new products.
  • Write down ideas for future paintings in my phone.  A lot of times this happens in the middle of the night while I’m nursing Marty.
  • Remember to take it one day at a time–the fever to create will come back.

If anything, this time has been amazingly affirmative.  It reminds me why I love to create (to have some type of expression + connect with others) and that it’s not going anywhere, no matter how long the break is.

Love, Steph

P.S. Want to share your own creative journey?  In honor of connecting again, I created a Facebook Group for creatives so that we may encourage each other when the ebb + flow happens.  It’s a very new group, I’d love if you joined conversation.  All you do is put in your details and then request to join the group on Facebook.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there!