As I’m an entrepreneur with several companies and brands and I work in visual and creativity field, it’s sometimes hard to find the time and the mindset to do anything visual or artistic just for fun. I have found few ways to trick my mind to let go and just create.
Working in creative field with different projects sometimes overwhelms mind completely and it’s hard to do anything without thinking how it could be implemented in some project or commercial use too. Even the smallest drawing grows to be a possible sketch for poster, postcard, notebook or something even bigger including marketing plan, social media channels or a client who would benefit of it.
Of course this kind of of interdisciplinary thinking has some serious values and I use that method a lot. Almost all of my ideas and sketches or parts of them end up in some work related ensemble. The problem is that if you are always in work oriented mindset, you’re never really on your free time or having a holiday from work and that’s what I’ve been trying to tackle lately.
Drawing, painting, brainstorming or creating just for fun it’s surprisingly hard so it doesn’t really work the same way that my actual work does. Throughout the years I have produced lot of different methods to do exactly the opposite, to be able to create when I’m not in the flow or feeling creative at all. (Yes, even we professionals have those moments.) So the first step to do something just for myself or for fun was to brake that loop and find new ways to see the creativity itself.
Set up a blind-date with your creativity
Yes, it sounds crazy, I know. Or at least a bit schizophrenic but it works. The original idea is from Elizabeth Gilberts bestseller book Big Magic** which I read about a year ago. The main idea is to stop thinking creativity as something you should or have to do (I can totally relate on that one some days!) but to see it like it’s your secret lover you desperately want to see.
Elizabeth speaks about getting dressed and putting some lipstick too for these exciting secret meetings but I didn’t go that far. What I did was that I started to think about how we could see each other (me and the creativity) in our office when there’s no one else and how we could spend the whole day together, just two of us. I could see myself almost winking. The point of this mind game is to be interesting and exciting enough to creativity to show up.
And do you know what is the most surprising part of this absurd internal blind-date setting? It worked. I went to meet my
lover creativity and we had an absolutely amazing time together. (You can see some of it in Aura notebook, which was born from our passioned relationship.) We have been seeing each other quite a lot since the first date and I still get butterflies in my stomach every time we meet.
Random improvisation method
As going for dates takes time and preparation, I needed something easier and lighter too for the moments when I don’t have that much time, energy or focus. I call it a random improvisation method and its whole point is to grab anything you have at hand and start doing something. Anything. Cut the magazines, doodle on the backside of the electricity bill, painting with blueberry juice, anything!
The point is not the medium itself but letting your mind free to wander. Doing something activates new paths in your brain and one thing almost always leads to another. When the ideas start to flow, just go with it. If something doesn’t work or feel fun, stop and grab something else. Scissors, flowers, fabrics, more coffee, camera, watercolors. Whatever it is, just don’t stop, only change the thing you’re doing and see where it leads you.
That’s how I ended up painting clouds you can see in the images. Just randomly trying out some ink, watercolors, silk screening, cutting clouds out from a magazine and actually painting in magazine pages too to avoid the white paper panic.
Yes, some of my tools seem professional, expensive and not like something you have in hand back home. Don’t get lost in that path. Give it a try. As I said, it’s not about tools, it’s about setting your mind free. Paint with cacao, put some milk in bath tub with flowers and take artsy photos, film a stop motion video with a free mobile app or cut out letters in advertisement mail and arrange them to form a modern poem.
Let go of your expectations
One thing that is common for both of these methods is to let go. You need to let go of your (or others!) expectations of the end result and the action itself. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere. It doesn’t need to be something you can sell. It doesn’t have to look like an actual horse, cloud, coffee cup or anything. It doesn’t have to mean anything. You are doing this for fun, remember? For yourself and for fun. let go of all the expectations and free your mind. Set the date (put some lipstick), grab something nearby, try out something new. Whatever the method is, let the magic happen.
Would be awesome to hear if you try out some of the tricks told in this article! Comment section below is your and you can always reach me via social media too. In instagram I can be found with name @ainoawashere and I appreaciate a lot all the comments, insights, ideas and DMs, so do not hesitate to share the love!
Have an incredible creative summer!
** This is an affiliate link, if you buy the book via this link, I get some cents to pay my late returning fees to public library