Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nurturing the Idea Machine

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Acquaintance of Kelp Forests  Kelp, Driftwood, Vintage Silk & Lace 56 x 41 x 41 by Christina Chalmers

What helps me stay on the creative track...

1- Exercise
A lot of my best ideas come in the last mile of a run. Endorphins put their spin on my thoughts, and even if they sometimes don't sound as exciting to me once the euphoria has worn off, I'm always thankful that I wrote them down while they were fresh.

2- Respecting the mind/body connection
Another sure fire method to stoke the creative fire is to practice meditation or yoga. The key to this is to be consistent, people!

3- Hanging out in the studio
This is as calming as meditation. It's productive too, because you often end up organizing and cleaning, which in turn frees you up for the next big project.

4- Travel, even if it's just to the closest big city or new neighborhood
New sights, sounds and smells, meeting new people, eating different food and seeing everyone else's creativity can jumpstart you out of your creative rut.

5- Creating and reinforcing new habits to best serve my current needs
I was having a hard time carving out a full hour in the mornings for writing and decided to write just a few minutes, with no pressure to reach a number goal, every morning before work. When I saw this 250 word challenge, I realized that I had been consistently hitting 250 and that it's a reasonable goal for me. Setting the bar low takes the pressure off, and I find myself wanting to write more.

What tricks have you found over time to help you in your creative practice?  


  1. You have some very good tips here on how to get motivated in the studio.. I especially like the last one... to lower expectations.. I think setting them too high is a recipe for disappointments.

  2. Donna, thanks for dropping by. "No expectations" is a good policy, in life as well as art!

  3. Hi Deborah, I agree with all of these suggestions, especially the one about hanging out in the studio. When I'm stalled I start tidying and organizing, and ideas begin percolating in my head. Next thing you know, I'm off on a new project!

  4. Mary Anne, I certainly think spending time in the studio is the most important thing we can do--I know sometimes I could kill for more time in there!