Hard to Catch Inspiration
I recently read a blog where the writer mentioned she had on her ‘To Do’ list to incorporate more creativity in her daily life. So she added to her list to ‘be more creative’. 1:00pm – 2:00pm do something creative. I applaud this person for wanting to bring more creativity into her life. I am all for that.
I have to tell you my Muse operates a bit like my rescue horse who is hard to catch. I understand her issues and know why she doesn’t want to be brought into a small, dark space (stall) even if it is for something good in my mind- grooming, feeding etc. Anyone who has horses knows that hard to catch horses are a pain in the patooty!! You have to think ahead for vet and farrier visits because if they even get a whiff of an impending appt. you can just forget it.
My horse would rather avoid being boxed in. Small, dark spaces feel confining and restrictive and very uninspiring. It doesn’t matter if it is freezing rain outside…. she would rather be there than inside– if you are dead set in getting her in- that is. If I let it be her choice and act like its no skin off my nose if she stays out in the freezing rain I have a much better chance of getting her in (which is where I REALLY want her to be because it makes ME cold and uncomfortable to see her that.)
My muse is like this too. I would add ‘to be more creative’ on my To Do list if I thought I would stick to a To Do list… but unfortunately my mind doesn’t operate like that. My muse enjoys coming out when I am doing un-creative, necessary, boring things. It comes out when I should be doing something else. Like taxes or bookwork or laundry. My most creative moments are when I should be doing something else. By the way I am avoidging those things right now by writing this blog entry.
My hard to catch horse isn’t always hard to catch. Just like inspiration can come over me like a glorious flood of sunshine…. but most assuredly, if I had the intention of being creative it would bulk and buck and head for the hills!
Horse people know that horses can sense a person’s intentions. When I want to catch my horse and time is tight I can not let on to her that I feel strong intentions of catching her and confining her in this (in my eyes) lovely, dry stall with food. No. I have to act like I have all the time in the world. I have nothing on my mind but to hang out, enjoy the scenery and just hang out with the herd.
When I remove all goals, all expectations my hard-to-catch rescue horse is like putty in my hands. She’ll follow me around like a puppy dog and I could do just about anything with her. But boy, the minute she senses a tight time frame or agenda she wants nothing to do with MY plans– My to-do list.
Same thing again with my Muse. I got a string of commissions during the late summer and fall which then created a waiting list. (This is a GOOD thing!!) I got backed up. I usually can only paint one painting at a time. I generally need to start and finish a painting before I go on to the next. I wanted to begin to press myself to learn how to work on several at a time– step up my production- Be more efficient with my to do list. Well needless to say this was not working. I am slower than I’ve ever been.
So what to do?? I’ve now decided my artistic side needs to not think about anything to do with numbers– time, money, schedules, lists. The more this creeps in the less efficient I become as an artist. The harder my muse is to catch. My muse doesn’t want to be taken into the dark barn and confined. My muse is a free range spirit. So basically I need the exact opposite of what it seems every other time management expert recommends for people– goals, expectations, schedules, lists… numbers.
Like the rescue horse open spaces and freedom is where the muse romps. Now I play. I feed this free spirit and try not to confine it with too many numbers and an amazing things happens– things flow and get done. Not because of a to-do list but in spite of it.
People don’t have a choice in the kinds of brains they have. One brain type isn’t better than another but some sure can be challenging if they don’t fit into the norm of what our culture and society want. I am sure the woman who wants more creativity can see the value in the freedom and exhilaration one feels when creating and she is trying to incorporate that in her life the best way she knows how. My husband and I have talked about this because he is very heavily left brained. For him to be creative is foreign. He needs a job description, a schedule, a goal, criteria, professional journals and data…. He feels like a fish out of water as I do when I am forced into his working environment. Some days I would give anything to fit in with a regimented agenda. To be goal oriented and efficient with time, numbers. I have felt very humbled the last few weeks because my son, who has a brillant, creative mind also lacks organization. He needs me to help him with this. Me. Okay.. I can do this (knees shaking). I will not in my power allow him to feel badly because he is a creative free spirit but maybe not the most organized person in the world.
So my point of this entry… be yourself. Work with your strong points. My rescue horse is finding over time that her stall means good things too– food, being able to eat with out competing. As a professional artist I am finding too that learning how I need to work (even if it means my work must be play) that is progress. One way I get paid is when I is to paint commissions so let see how to work this out! I am stepping out and helping my son feel more pulled together so assignments he does well get handed in on time. We will find tools, crutches and our own way to do this. Its okay to think differently. That is what being creative IS!
One of the things I really appreciate is being a part of an art community and the people that support this community. If you are local I will be in my studio painting my white horse as part of a painting demo during March First Friday in downtown Canton at Second April Art Galerie. Please stop by. If you are not local my work is for sale online at http://www.suesteiner.com/ or http://www.abstracthorseart.blogspot.com/ As always I appreciate your interest!
Take care and take some time to play today! Sue Steiner