May 13, 2011

Creativity, Muses and a Way to Initiate Creative Flow

by Rebecca E. Parsons

In 2007 I began a journey to rediscover drawing. I drew a face each day that year…I called them the Daily Muse and documented the process on Cre8Tiva’s Blog. Here is what I wrote about them in July of 2007:
My muses are so named so because they inspire me to think or speak meditatively; to ponder; to meditate…I think of them as a source of this artist’s inspiration…

In classical mythology the muses were sister goddesses, originally Aoede (song), Melete (meditation), and Mneme (memory)…more commonly, in ancient Greek mythology, muses are the 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who protected the arts: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy)…

I have so many to share with you because this is my Year of the Muse…I am drawing one face/muse per day this year…I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…

Some of you have asked about my process for creation of the Muses…each original is 8″ X 8″. I draw late at night after I go to bed…I only have my journal, a graphite pencil, a stump and eraser…I allow the face to take shape on her own…they are drawn with graphite on heavy watercolor paper that has lots of texture…I then scan into PhotoShop CS3 and layer with a background I have painted…above is the untouched original sketch…below the resulting CADA- Computer Aided Digital Art…

This drawing is called ‘At Prayer Muse’ because he appears very spiritual and centered. He is called upon to bring me to my center prayerfully..as most of you know I consider all art is prayer…music, dance, visual art, writing, poetry, graphic design, etc…. all is prayer to me. I also feel that when I am lost in the flow, I am closest to God…absolutely in the moment, fully present in my life and in the universe…this is a deeply blessed time and my best work usually comes from these periods.

What is creative flow? Wikipedia defines creative flow as, “the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. A Zen-like state of total oneness with the activity.” You have at some time become so completely absorbed in a task that the world fades away, time flies, and your creativity flows freely. You experienced that magical, mystical space known as flow!! Ahhhhhhhh….

So, how do you get in the flow state where consciousness ceases to be and true art is happening?

Today’s aMUSEment – I have a way to initiate and sustain creative periods because I have paid attention to the times they occurred. Here is my process:

  1. Set an intention – I am going to (write a short story, finish a painting, learn a dance) today.
  2. Make an environment conducive to creativity. Soft music, a humming fan, deep breathing, slow rhythmic movement, all work for me.
  3. Make sure that you are not interrupted or distracted. Turn off phone, ask you family to please leave you alone, put a Do Not Disturb sign on door, wear earphones or earplugs.
  4. Have all tools and materials ready and know how to use them.
  5. Resolve to let go of self-judgement. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  6. Play. Play. Play.
  7. Practice. Practice. Practice. The most important step!

Thank God when you realize you have been there.

Have you been in that magical, mystical moment of creative flow? If so, what helps you get into flow? Share your experiences with us…a good article on flow is Mark McGuiness’ Poetry in Practice: Creative Flow here.

U BE Creative Today!

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