There are two points I’d like to make about creative practice.

1. everyone’s is different, and

2. because everyone’s is different that means you can’t do it ‘wrong’. Oh, and

3. it’s ever evolving, just like you. :) Oh, and also

4. I’m not the creative practice guru, just a person with a perspective borne of experience that may be of use to you.

So that’s not two points. I’m an artist darling, not a mathematician. ;)

I’m the first to admit that my definition of ‘creative practice’ doesn’t look like what you might consider the ‘true meaning’ of the term, and therefore I think that makes me especially qualified to talk about this, because not everyone is built to go the ‘same time, same way, every day’ approach.

I like to think that what I lack in consistency – of action, style and subject – I make up for in motivated curiosity and wild enthusiasm. Practice doesn’t have to mean sameness or even regularity. It’s your practice, you decide.

That said, there are things I do that when combined constitute a creative practice, because I am creative every day in some way. I thought I’d share them with you, kind of like a creative practice buffet, so you can choose what you like the look of and play around with it for yourself.

Even if you already have a system, there’s nothing to say you can’t experiment. I am all in favour of the mix and match approach; one size never fits all.

So here we go ~ a few practical ideas and angles to think about to help you build your own practice, one that suits who you are, not who you think you should be.

{I’d like to add that round here there is a definite art focus, but these points can be applied to any creative area.}

making a space

By which I mean both literally and figuratively. You don’t have to have a full on studio – a corner of a room will do, a small table or basket of goodies you can pull out whenever you like/can. Also a space in yourself and in your life, where you acknowledge this part of you and encourage it to blossom.

designating a time

I’m not gonna lie – I never do this; it causes instant resistance in me. However I’m aware that many people have non-negotiable structures built into their lives, like work hours, childcare and so on, so having a specific time or times for creating can be useful, especially if you write them into a calendar as though they were a date with someone you care about. {Which they are.}

having the basics out and ready at all times if poss

Makes it so much easier if you don’t have to clear up and lay things out each time. If you can’t leave things out, at least have a container for all of it so that it’s just a case of pulling it out when you’re ready and dumping it all back in when you’re done. Anything that will make the process easier is a win.

create a ritual

I love this idea and usually forget, although preparing my materials is much the same thing, but something as simple as lighting a candle, making a cup of tea or setting an intention before beginning can create an energetic space you learn to associate with creating. Something to begin and to close it would bracket it nicely.

letting it be simple

I know I’m not alone in over complicating things that really could be very simple. The more you allow it all to be simple – from ideas to process to materials – the easier it is to actually do it, as opposed to just thinking and talking about it as something you’d love to do in the future. {The one that never comes.}

letting it not matter

This is not the same as the process not being meaningful. It can be as meaningful as you choose to make it, but as soon as you put importance on it, it begins to calcify and that causes resistance, which leads to procrastination. Let it just be the thing you’re doing right now, no grand expectations or life changing meanings attached.

commit but be kind

Even if you’re not consistent, you can still be committed. Committed to yourself and your own wellbeing, committed to taking action, to practising, to honing your craft, whatever you like. You could affirm your commitment as part of your opening ritual. Try not to let commitment become solid though, as like importance, it can without awareness become a barrier to actually doing the thing we want to do.

keep an open mind

Let it be what it wants to be, especially if you don’t feel you have any marvellous ideas or sparks of inspiration. See how soft you can be approaching your materials, how little need you can have for it to result in something ‘good’ or even something you like. See what happens when you play with it from an angle of curiosity rather than planning or even desire.

Do you have a creative practice? Do you find it restricts you or sets you free? What one thing could you do next time you go to make something to make it easier to develop a habit of it?

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