ARE YOU CREATIVELY HYDRATING?
— Written by SP Founder, Lauren Trend
As far as water is concerned, we’re told to drink at lease eight glasses a day. You’ll chug down three to four litres if you’re a gold star student.. Almost all of our ‘health concerns’ can be aided with a huge gulp of water. We know this - but why don’t we do it? Or why do we complain before realising it might be the root of the (or a) problem?
The same concept can be applied to our creative practice and / or our relationship to our inspiration.
I feel it safe to assume that we are all all-to-familiar with feelings of stuck-ness, feelings of lacking inspiration. But before we continue to sit in frustration and outwardly communicate just how uninspired or blocked we might be - can we be real with ourselves about how much ~water~ we’re actually drinking?
Which, begets the question:
For the purpose of your creative self and practice - are you creatively hydrating?
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I have been drowning (ironic!). Stuck in minutia. The mundane every day tasks that we find it hard to draw inspiration from. I have been feeling weighed down in my body and by my workload, trusting that all seasons come, and go, albeit frustrated that I’m unable to explore or find the creative freedom I had once so readily and ease-fully held in my hands. I have felt frustrated and witnessed myself complaining about the fact that I am “uninspired”, before realising with one swift reality check that I had fallen out of touch with a lot that lubricated my creative practice and/or flow..
And so, I’ve written myself a list; of all the things that fill me, that hydrate me, creatively. I intend to turn to this list when feelings of “meh” arise, and know that if I expect to receive the fruits of my (creative) practice, I must first water their seed. Perhaps some of the below might help you, too?
And I’d love to learn; what helps you creatively hydrate?
SUGGESTED CREATIVE HYDRATANTS:
Those who follow me on instagram are well aware of how much I love the ‘saved tool’. I refer to my use of it at almost every SP workshop. I am constantly checking back at all my saved posts to notice what might be inspiring me at any point in time. Its often imagery of bathrooms, black and white, but lately there’s been a little yellow. This made sense given i was missing the warmth of summer. When you save or aggregate images, (think Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr) try noticing what your selection is telling you. It’s a great way to begin.
It’s a concept I know like the back of my hand. But its a practice that still takes well, practice!! This article here was written quite some time ago - but remains one of the most visited and relevant, for me, too!
One of my favourite exercises from our recent ‘Art as Meditation’ Workshop with Bobby Clark. We had sheets upon sheets of butchers paper and drew on the paper in front of us without looking down. Another free drawing exercise I have come to love is drawing without taking the pencil off the paper - free line drawings. They don’t have to be perfect, its the process, the loosening up, that is the point.
With a pen on paper. Again - a practice that I always know will serve me, but it’s often the things that become so familiar, we do with half the effort (or not at all!). This month I am making a commitment to write at least once a day. In my SP WORKBOOK of course. The prompts make it so easy. I don’t have to worry about what Im going to write, I just open a page and surrender to the process.
Trying new recipes.
Moments before writing this I jumped off a call with my Ayurvedic practitioner, Meredith. Touching base with her and running through a number of new recipes to try couldn’t have come at a better time. I mentioned that I had felt stuck - not only in my work, but digestively too. And of course ~everything is linked. ~ Cooking is an act of creativity. An act of meditation. Fuel to the creative fire, for sure.
Cut and paste.
Get out any old magazines, books, newspapers and start cutting and pasting. Collage. How often to we bother to get out hands dirty now in the digital age? If it’s not collage - what else can you readily put in your hands for the purpose of creative process? Clay? Plasticine? Playdough if you’re a mother? Put the phone down and get busy making a mess on your living room floor.
Put music on at home or go out to the club. Move your body. The key focus here (again!) is to circulate energy. Using movement as a conduit for creativity has proven to be beneficial, time and time again. If it’s not dancing, can it be a walk around the block? A yoga practice? A spin class?
Respect the ideas.
How can we expect ideas to come, if we don’t have enough respect to write them down when they do come to mind? in the shower, whilst we’re driving, after meditation. I have an “Ideas” section in the back of my SP workbook. I am scribbling there, jotting everything down, no matter how small or grandiose the idea.
Take a visit to a gallery.
Take yourself to the gallery on a day off. Take your time, and take your phone to take photos. Set yourself a creative task to capture all the works that speak to you. At the end of a gallery visit, I like to choose one work that spoke to me and write about it. Freely. Whatever comes to mind.