Hidden In The Most Unlikely Places

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

Perhaps the point of childhood is to learn all the creative skills we will need as adults, in addition to all the other important lessons. Having the ability to generate enough ideas to kickstart action and get into creative work is the stuff we learned on the playground with our friends. When we had a chunk of time to fill and we knew what our mission was, we didn’t need an inspiration board of ideas. We quickly tossed around the most viable and opportunistic options first and progressively got more imaginative as we went.

So what happened? How did we arrive into adulthood, moving into the work world and forget how to become inspired? Why are we obsessed with productivity hacks? As if we are machines, not creative beings? Why are we looking for the right answer? Or a template to complete with examples of responses from others? Where did our imagination go?

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”    ― Roald Dahl

Personally, I’ve tried to rig my social networks to be a constant source of inspiration. Particularly my instagram feed. I’ve curated it so I will see a few awesome images every time I look around that platform. I screen capture those gems and save in a folder on my computer. Sometimes I grab stunning wildlife photography, a hilarious comic or an amazing creation. I never know what I’ll find, but every few days there will be something worthwhile.

I found this photo on twitter. A child created bird trading cards, kind of like baseball cards. What a fantastic inspiration! Take a known thing and iterate upon it, yielding something new and interesting. Plus, the very act of writing out all these statistics, helped this child learn a thing or two about birds.

Of course my ‘inspo’ folder contains a little bit of everything. This one is a simple reminder for what to use the folder for! These little creative love notes are essential to have lying around, posted here and there. In my opinion, one cannot have too many. Sometimes I have gathered them onto one ‘page’, printed in colour and framed them. In some rooms a may have a cluster of these inspirations.

That is the nut of it. We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot create when we are depleted. Taking care of ourselves means different things. It is critical to understand what that means, on any given day. Sometimes I find this means rest, other times it is simply sitting down to a project and seeing what happens. Playing. Just like when I was a kid. Don’t think about the end result. Create for the fun of it from whatever pool of inspiration I can draw from.

I believe the magic of a creative practice is anchored in how normal it is. Meaning it is part of a lifestyle, not something separate. I want all my moments to include the joy of creativity, not just the few weeks of a year when I can escape my normal life for a vacation. It seems so sad that we live such a stressful existence, most of the time, so that we require a recovery period. I truly believe we can ‘create a life we don’t need a vacation from’.

By pursuing a creative life, it seems logical that our level of wellness will be enhanced. As the DailyFinds this week have explored, there is much to be gained from practicing creativity. Enjoy these DailyFinds if you missed any of them this week.

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi

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By joining, you will receive my weekly DailyFinds essay. The topics are diverse, but creativity is always at the heart. I look forward to connecting with you, feel free to send me an email – Christine@DailyCreatives.com

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