That Artsy-Fartsy Creative Flow
The funny thing about an artist's "creative flow" is it can be as mysterious and illusive to the artist as it is to their client. In all honesty, an artist's creativity is it's own personality. It's like a child that only wants to come out and play when it feels like it. When it doesn't — well, that's known as "artist's block".
Additionally, I've noticed a consistent trait amongst my fellow artists (myself included) that I think is associated with their creativity, and that is an inner child.
I've seen it in many shapes and sizes, but really boils down to a "child-like" awe of the world that has in one way or another created it's own space in the artist's personality.
...Andy BOY is it picky! I am almost embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure out how to coax that child out to play. It doesn't want to play if I try and force it — I have to be in the "mood". The house has to be relatively clean. I have to be in a positive mood. I can't think about that one irrelevant argument I had with someone six months ago. I can't carry on a conversation very well while I paint. I can't have loud noises in the background, and I usually have to wear headphones or soft music in the background in order to concentrate.
I sound like a hipster, don't I?
I wish it weren't the case. I wish I could "schedule" when to paint, regardless of what was going on or how I felt...but I can't.
It boils down to the inner child wanting to feel safe. If it doesn't feel safe, if it feels guilty from lack of chores, if there are loud distractions — it's not gonna play.
BUT...when it does, it's amazing. When the planets align and I'm genuinely inspired, it all just falls together. It's an almost hypnotic state of mind when I'm in a groove. Once I feel motivated and the brush (or whatever) hits the paper — time flies by and that's when I really feel that inner child letting loose.
The trick is a matter of getting in that state-of-mind. The best artists already have this down to a science. I'm still working on mine.
However, I'm learning a large part of that mentality is my environment. If I create an environment that is conducive to my creativity, that inner child will want to come out to play more easily.
Eventually, I hope my shift into creativity will be as easy as maintaining that creative flow.