I dug up a bunch of junk from all over my studio in these past few days and made a mess. And it felt so damn good. Like this picture on the right. See? There's cut up paintings, a bottle of wax I hadn't touched in a while, an old pasta sauce jar that I use as a water container, a hairdryer....that I exclusively use to dry paint, a clean palette with fresh paint, a cutting knife and a million other things that this image can't really show.
An invitation for creative flow.
This helps liven things up in my stagnant studio. New ideas arrive and take root. Music is often playing in the background. My mind is buzzing. A lot of questions get asked. A lot of trial and error happens. Perhaps, its even possible, ever so gently, to slip into the illusive creative flow state that us artists chase after so madly. There's much I have learnt about getting into flow. It's not something one can sit and wait for. I've tried. A lot. Nope. The only times its happened is when I actually do stuff. Doing is the only thing that helps. Doing it this way and that way and then that other way.......until that one way clicks. And then doing some more of that. Bam.
It's a thin line though. Being in flow and letting it take over your life. It can be hard to slow down when you are in it. You sort of feel like making the best use of it.
What I haven't figured out is how to not be burned out by doing too much. It's too easy for me to do too much of what I love doing, but slowly and steadily this leads to burnout. And then this affects every other thing in my life. My art suffers. My relationships suffer. Mental health suffers as a result.
Over the past couple of years I have identified a need to maintain some sort of a creative endeavour, no matter what stage of life I may be in. It only ever brings me closer to who I am. It grounds me.
The last few months when I was not making any art or writing, felt like a divorce from my core self. I felt disconnected, unsteady, and lost. Then just as quickly as the spark had vanquished, it was back as soon as I picked up the brush again.
I started writing again as a result. Writing helps me just as much as making art does. Helps me process life.
I got more physically active.
My mood and morale improved.
I met a bunch of local artists for lunch, which felt great, despite of all the anxiety I was feeling.
I was able to complete a long overdue painting.
Thought up ideas for my next series.
Simply said, it brought joy back into my daily life.
Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy pace with your creative tasks? I definitely do. How do you prevent them from over-consuming you?