Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.
- Mahatma Gandhi
I woke up this morning thinking, “it’s the first day of the new year, I gotta make something out of nothing.” I’ve got this thing about New Year’s Day. Whatever project I do that day has to be creative. You never know when you’re going to get a groundhog moment and this is the most likeliest day for one to happen, right?!
Kinda similar to having a case of the blahs, calling in rain to soothe a creative drought is like inviting inspiration to strike. Except as I’m currently going through my once-a-year detox, I was feeling a tad lethargic. My brain was a bit foggy. Yep, I’m inviting inspiration to strike in the fog. I’ll need to turn on the fog lights!
So here’s how I did it.
- I read several sections of “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Any other creative inspiration book would have done the same trick. I sometimes pick up “Infinite Possibilities” by Mike Dooley or “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. You’ll have your own fave book which you’ll vibe with.
- I grabbed my half finished scarf from the cupboard and knitted several rows. Then I knitted some more rows. And more. Ever noticed how knitting is quite meditative? Try it sometime.
- I picked up my sketchbook to look up the next theme word to draw. I have a yellow post-it note on the inside cover page of my sketchbook with a list of words on it. The idea is to come up with an image in my mind which corresponds to the next theme word, then draw that. So I started sketching.
- Go back to the top and repeat for the next two hours, give or take a few…until you notice your mind become relaxed and ideas start coming quick like lightning.
Boom! I could see the ideas striking when it started to take less and less time for the images in my mind to translate onto the sketchbook. The images were forming while I was knitting and the moment the image took shape, I put down the knitting and picked up the sketchbook. Just like that, I went from being in a muddled haze to absolute clarity.
If you’re not into sketching or knitting, feel free to replace with whatever light amusement you prefer. Like pottering around in the garden, reading cookbooks, polishing your silver, cleaning your vinyl records, shimmying to some zumba tunes, building a lego Taj Mahal or rearranging holiday snaps….whatever floats your boat, the possibilities for play are endless. But the key word is “play”. If you’re inviting a new spark to enter your creative space, you don’t want to feel like it’s a chore. The creative process is like play, so breaking down those blocks should be like knocking lego bricks.
Before I knew it, I had the title and the first sentence to this post. Then the rest of it just flowed. And I got four sketches finished, as well as loads of rows on my scarf. I might actually even finish it before the weather turns. Bonus!
Here’s to a fabulous, phantasmagoric creative year ahead!