9.10.2011

Weathering the Storms of Creativity

Heartstrings Rust

I know, I wrote a few days ago that I was going to rest.  That I needed to rest.  Several of you commented that resting is hard for you too.  So I'm wondering, how important is rest to your creative process, and how do you do it?  My rest this week has consisted of lounging on the couch submersed in my tea and in a pile of books like I haven't been since before my girls were born--but somehow, I've been accomplishing a lot of tangible, practical things too!

I think the key is that my attitude has been one of rest and relaxation--truly enjoying the simple things in my day with no pressure to "get things done."  This seems to free me up on the inside and helps me to focus, instead of running around crazy inside my head during the few quiet hours in my day.  When I am calm and thoughtful, instead of overwhelmed by everything I need to get done . . . I realize that I actually got some things done!  And without feeling like I was doing anything at all!

Creativity can be such a delicate thing, can't it?  Powerful and all-consuming at times, like a storm overtaking every thought and breath.  But at other times inspiration seems to shimmer like a mist that you can see only if you look at it kind of from the corner of your eyes while squinting.  Or like a dream that you can only remember when you stop trying to remember.

Carl King says that Creativity has an "evil twin" called "Destructivity"--the "imagination gone wrong" and "used as a movie theater that plays an endless loop of worthless sounds and images"--those depressing thoughts of never finding success, not feeling like your work is valuable, wondering if you even have anything important to say.  (From So, You're a Creative Genius . . . Now what?--a simple, practical, sarcastic, and kick-you-into-gear book that is hilarious and also offers some surprisingly deep, even spiritual wisdom for artists who want to focus their creativity into a career.)

rusty heart detail 2

I'm learning this week that the key to avoiding these destructive patterns is REST.  I find that my creative heart is so susceptible to frustration and discouragement when I am packing my time full of "chores" and pressuring myself to produce, produce, produce, not giving the Spirit enough room to inspire dreams and experiments and yes, even tangents.

I'm learning that "resting" is really "trusting"--keeping the faith that this creative life is about something bigger than to-do lists and business plans.  It's about something bigger than success as it is measured by any amount of sales or money in the bank.

rusty heart detail

Living this creative life is a fight--a determined fight to find the good even on a bad day, and to give thanks for the beauty that can come out of even some of the most difficult circumstances.  It's a fight against those destructive lies that seem especially intent upon plaguing the hearts of those who use their hands to craft artful outpourings of the Love that is written in the stars.

All of us can live the creative life in one form or another, even if we never have our fingers covered in paint or tangled in yarn or picking out chords on ivory keys.  Living is creative--simply breathing in and out with determined hope that we can make the world a better place just by seeing it with love in our eyes and by thankfully accepting it as a gift that represents only a fraction of Ultimate Love.






linking with friends at Studio Sneak PeekPaint Party, and Artists in Blogland...

36 comments:

  1. Oh wow this is so beautiful. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  2. What an amazing piece! It's almost Zentangle yet a little different from other zentangles I've seen. It's a real work of art.

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  3. Storms of creativity - such a good description! I liked what Faye said about the Zentangle feel...I would never have been able to say it, tho' it was dancing around the fringes of my mind...beautiful as always!

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  4. Wow... what a neat piece! An attitude of rest and relaxation... maybe that is what I have been missing. No matter what it is I am doing, if I have that change in attitude, it might make all the difference. Thank you for sharing that Sadee! Beautiful post!

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  5. this is a beautiful and creative piece! wow.

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  6. Very creative piece ... love your line work - crisp, clean and such strong emotion. Wonderful!

    Keep going and knowing that you're on the right track. :)

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  7. @Faye Thank you! I was just saying last week that I wanted to try a Zentangle, and here I sort of did without even realizing it! :)

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  8. @Hybrid J Wow, thank you for your encouragement! I love doing line work; even if it does get a little tedious at times, it's always worth it in the end!

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  9. really cool drawing! nice work!

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  10. This is such a cool project! I love all of the details- enjoy the idea of resting and letting go of all of the busy thoughts...!

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  11. oooh Zentangle..... Yummy. I love the heart image and the color you used, sepia instead of black and white. The writing my friend, YES YES YES! Speaking such nourishing words.

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  12. Funny how what we think and probably know in our head is what we should be doing there is something that keeps driving us in other directions. maybe resting is that...going in another direction...or trying a different medium or different themes or something new that you've never done before...i seem to be in that place right now...RESTING, but still creating! Your drawing is Amazing and beautiful!

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  13. Beautiful piece! Keep Resting.

    I simply follow my heart...or muse...or spirit...and allow myself to sit and read novels, or make art, or read blogs, or go get groceries, or call for my granddaughter (that happens a lot), or where-ever I feel led. I find this lifestyle Very restful.

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  14. Resting is hard for me sometimes, too, but the benefits far outweigh all my distracted to do lists. Being quiet with Jesus every morning is really helping me to see what needs to be done and, more importantly, what can wait. I do like to spend a couple of hours each week looking at beautiful books, magazines, Pinterest for inspiration. It is relaxing and renewing at the same time for my artist's heart :)

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  15. Wow,what a great post. Love your designs! I want to get this book now. I know rest is a good thing and really enjoy my sleep. Hanging around doing nothing is a great way to recharge but I know a lot of us feel guilty when we relax. For me it is a nagging little critic in my mind saying "get up, your so lazy!" Always fighting with that little curmudgin.

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  16. creativity vs. rest, or creativity creates rest, such a hard concept for me at least!

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  17. I had not realized that there was research between creativity and destruction but I have definitely experienced it. So interesting the correlation between rest and trust as well. That speaks on A TON of levels.

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  18. Sadee your zentangle heart is spectacular!!! Did you know also what a talented writer you are? You really have a way with words! I'm saving this post for future inspiration, its the perfect pick me up when the to do list gets overwelming! I love the part where you said resting is also about trusting! So true! Deb

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  19. @Joni Nickrent Thank you, Joni! I like how you say "resting" can be "going in a different direction" and that creating can still "count" as resting!

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  20. @bohemiannie! art YES--following your heart! Resting can mean different things at different times, can't it? I need to give myself permission to read more novels too. Thank you!

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  21. I love your words as much as your drawings.

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  22. Well, I kind of leave resting for the time when my muse goes awol. :) But I'm quite good at that so I don't seem to have any problems. :) Great post!

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  23. I am so glad I found your blog. I love reading your posts...they make me think & reflect. Love that! As hard as rest may be at times, we need it. It makes those bursts of creativity sweeter.

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  24. @Geckostone Thank you so much for your kind words! I am blessed to know that my words inspire in even the smallest of ways. Thank you for reading!!!

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  25. Wow - such a fantastic post... beautiful, thoughtful words paired with a great image!

    xo
    Kristin

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  26. thanks for your insight in this whole matter you discussed here...I have inspiration and creativity problems a lot. Good info and thoughts here my friend

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  27. This post was soothing to my soul! Thank you for resting and for sharing your rest. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. Your painting connects fully with your words, as always. ;)

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  28. since you are taking a rest I wont tell you I missed you at sneak peek Friday. ;)wink. Hugs. Wanted to send you some restful thoughts.

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  29. Amazing words of hope and rest! I was greatly encouraged, thank you.

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  30. Hi Sadee, I woke up this morning thinking that I hadn't seen you in blog land for awhile... somehow my blog dashboard had missed you. I'm glad your resting and your ok...I find creating is my way of resting. I would do it all the time and forgot the chores altogether. How's the language going? Learning a new language is very very frustrating and draining... little by little it gets better. :) I'd go months thinking I was getting nowhere then bang my French would take a humongous leap forward.. baby steps back and then another leap... other friends said it was the same for them... hope your having a relaxing Sunday... :)

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  31. @AnnaYou are so sweet, Anna! It makes me feel good to know you were thinking of me! :)

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  32. @Catherine... Thank you so much for thinking of me! I have really missed my online friends too these past couple of weeks. You are so right about the language--I was just thinking about how slowly it was going, and then this week while my family was visiting it hit me how much more I'm understanding! We were travelling all over Hamburg and I was translating conversations and even television!!! :) It's good to know that this two-steps-forward-one-step-back thing is normal among new language-learners! Thank you for the encouragement!

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  33. Sadee, you truly have such a gifted way with words - very wise and intuitive. It's quite beautiful.
    I believe rest is so incredibly important. If something is trying to get our creative attention, how can it if we are full of noise? I really do believe that inner calm makes us much more productive - it makes it easier to be in touch with our inner grace (whatever that might be) and it's harder for destructive or doubting thoughts to reach us in that place. I'm in awe of the hand that makes your artwork.
    P.s. Thank you so much for your sweet encouraging words on my blog.

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  34. Gorgeous work. You're so right about rest that often we get more done when we take some time out. Off to hit the couch with a book myself.

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!