From time to time I am asked how I make time to create every day. What I believe is that I don't make it, I take it. Being involved in some sort of creative activity on a daily basis has helped me in more ways than one...being both a contributor to my physical health as I move around so much from working on the floor to the drafting table to standing while I work on my feet, and to my mental health as it is really the one time that I am totally present. There are a three ways that being creative every day helps in my life:
1. REFLECT... I find that practicing any creative act, from sketching to painting to mixed media, allows me to focus on what is important to me. As I work, I often reflect on what is happening in my life and find it easier to make decisions while using my hands in conjunction with my brain...hand-eye coordination which also seems to connect to my heart. I even sketch out the clothing and other items I plan to pack for a trip or a workshop or talk and that simple act of doodling solidifies and clarifies things in my mind.
2. PLAY...Art, though at times it can feel like a serious business, is really play. This form of play tends to help my mind make connections that it might not otherwise. Play is good for the heart and soul and allows me to sort things out without trying too hard or worrying. It also improves my skills.
3. DOCUMENT...The act of creating allows me to document my journey in this life. As I look through journals or series of work, I begin to see patterns which help guide me in the direction that I should take. It also reminds me of where I've been and where I'm going as well as what I have accomplished along the way. Plus it's always great to see improvement along the journey.
Being creative on a daily basis doesn't need to be difficult, it just needs to be accessible. I keep a journal beside my bed to take notes and to sketch, and another small sketchbook in my purse to jot down ideas and doodles. I always keep a pochade (paint box) ready to go should I decide to paint anywhere from my living room to a cafe. And I have made space in every single place I've lived in order to paint...from a writing desk with drawers of pencils in my youth to a plastic bag lined dining area in my first apartment and, finally, to a small studio in my current home. The art supplies are handy so that I'm always ready to begin.
Honouring the Ancestors
Great Places Plan