art, self help
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The artist’s creative process

If you have ever started a project and found yourself completely consumed by it; then you can start to understand the passion an artist will pursue their work with. Many of us have heard of “being in the zone” or “time flies when having fun”, both of these phrases are indicative of what an artist may experience during the creative process.

Typically this process begins with an idea. The idea is the catalyst and the inspiration to create a piece of beauty and amazement. When an artist begins with their idea they open their consciousness up to what I am going to call the flow of creativity. This creative flow is what allows the artist to lose themselves and let the work create itself. Yes there is some conscious portion when artwork is made but mostly it is done via seemingly instinctual impulses. Every line drawn, every chip carved, is all part of an organic creation process.

The artist will typically enter completely into the zone when the piece had started to take form. This trance like state the artist enters in is much akin to some forms of meditation. The creative process uses the artist and the artist merely becomes a vessel to give birth to something greater than themselves. How though can one enter this seemingly euphoric and consuming process known as the creative flow?

This will require a bit of thought especially if you are not an artist. We first need to identify something that we are passionate about; even if it is only cleaning the garage. The important thing is that our mind can be consumed by the activity or pursuit. Once the subject of our interest is identified the next step will be to begin a task. It could be as simple as picking up a piece of trash; or typing a google search; or readying your paints and canvas. As we prepare for the task at hand we must only keep focused on the subject and goal. Anything else is distraction. It is our mind’s natural instinct to wander. By giving it a task to obsess over we are able to conquer other basic instincts. Let the thoughts of your subject of interest take over, flow with them. Before you know it you may find that several hours have passed or that you have even forgotten to eat.

I can’t guarantee this will work for you first try but; do not give up. Succumbing to the creative flow is similar to mantra japa meditation. The repetition of voice and thought allows both body and mind to coalesce. With enough practice you may find yourself losing more time than you anticipated. The artist’s creative flow is an empowering process and can leave its benefactor both exhausted and satisfied.

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