The creative process. I remember in school my teachers would put so much emphasis on the research part of our projects. As students we would all roll our eyes and think they were exaggerating. But when I got home from school, my favorite thing to do was to lock myself in my room, roll out my mat, put on my favourite house music mix, make a cup of tea and set up my sketchbook beside me. I would write down or doodle ideas as I moved through a free flowing self-guided asana practice. I was just doing this intuitively but I didn’t realise that what I was doing was in fact a part of my creative process. I was still conditioned to think that ‘’research’’ meant lurking google and pinterest for hours on end only to get lost in a sea of comparison. This method never works. I only really developed my artistic ‘’style’’ when I stopped looking at other people’s work and allowed myself to get things down on paper free of my own barriers. I simply moved my hand as I moved my body, sometimes I’d end up drawing full concepts right there on my mat. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that your creative process reflects your life. It lives inside of you, along with your inner peace. For me, my wellness practice is my creative practice and vise versa. They fuel each other.
But how do we free ourselves of barriers against our own self-expression?
In order to free ourselves from creative barriers, we need to look at creating as an act of self-love. The process is the nourishment. Kind of like eating food to feed our body, we have to feed our creativity too. We have to intentionally make space for it and this space needs to be non-judgemental. It needs to be sacred. For me, feeding my creativity is directly attached to feeding my soul and doing my inner work. I look at creative nourishment as a self care practice. When I set the intention of doing inner work to inspire my creative work, it pours out of me like water. I can’t even hold myself back. On paper, I consider myself an illustrator, painter and designer who teaches yoga (That’s how I make a living). But the activities that inspire this work are writing, meditation, movement, energy work, sound healing, singing, spending time in nature, connecting to diverse communities (The list goes on). I simply visually represent what I feel as I’m doing these activities. Both simultaneously fuel each other. It’s forever evolving but it’s honestly the most important part because it helps me grow as a person so I can share my story through the creative work. I didn’t want to make this post about telling you exactly what to do in order to become more creative. I don’t think there’s a one-size fits all method of doing it.
I truly believe everyone is capable of expressing themselves through a creative outlet. I just think we don’t spend enough time nourishing our creativity. We see it as this ‘’talent’’ only a few people are lucky enough to have. But the truth is, we all have a right to create. Creating allows us to get to know ourselves on a deeper level. It allows us to take our feelings and manifest them into the physical world. It allows us to show our pain in a constructive way and share our joys with the world. Most importantly, it allows us to experience vulnerability with ourselves as we create, and with others if we choose to show our creations. I believe we need vulnerability more than ever in this world we live in. So, I encourage you to just try. You don’t need to express yourself in just one way. Try dancing, show up to that workshop you said you were interested in on facebook. Talk to others about creating, share you desires and your fears. Journal about your experiences. Go on a walk and take photos on your path. It doesn’t matter what you choose, the more you allow yourself to explore, the more you will discover and the more you’ll naturally be guided. Look at your creative outlets as a path to self discovery, set the intention of getting closer to yourself as you explore. Rather than feeling pressured, just have fun, smile, breathe, cry if you need to. Take the words ‘’I’m not an artist’’ out of your vocabulary. We are all creators and I’m on this journey with you :)