|Chillin with a view|
Aloha! I'm in Maui, baby!
There's something about island life that pulls me back and winds me down. Reggae music always pops into my head whenever I think about Hawaii. Life is just slower and much more relaxed here.
This is a much needed family vacation. Actually it was a Christmas gift given to us by my parents. Its been wonderful to spend quality time with the kids and just chill and watch them enjoy life.
I ran barefoot on the beach the beach today. It wasn't much... maybe a little over a mile. Other than that I haven't done jack except for some rolling and stretching here and there. I make a fine slacker.
But what did you expect from a bonafide Generation Xer? Even at 40 we are still the slacker generation, but I can't help but feel like I've let my generation down recently with all my dedicated training, business focus and lets not forget the most slackless job of them all... parenting.
In fact, I would argue that slackers are innately creative people because of their inherent desire to procrastinate. I personally think that a necessary shut down and reboot of our brains is key to innovative thinking. We often think that original thinkers are born brilliant, but psychologists who study creativity in people say that it's possible to engineer creative thinking to some extent. But in order to do that we need to relax.
|Happy Hour with the hubs|
Apparently our minds need relaxation to stimulate alpha-wave radiation in the right hemisphere which ultimately helps us problem-solve. Yeah. That little bit of news-worthy material required some research. Damn. I lost sight of my slacker goal already. I guess you'll have to do the rest of the research yourself.
Its funny, inspiration for me occurs organically and sporadically. Its something I don't cultivate. It just happens. Usually at unexpected times. My best ideas take shape when I'm not deliberately thinking about them. In fact, I find it a little annoying at times because it catches me so off guard. I'm usually not in a situation to do anything about it and often find it difficult to remember to record my ideas.
But, I suppose my muses have a tendency to slack too and lately I've been wondering what island they're on because they bailed on me a couple weeks ago. So here are some of the ways I cultivate creativity and call my muses back:
- Quit - If I'm having trouble with a concept, design or painting, I just quit and come back to it later. Making myself suffer through bad idea after bad idea doesn't do me any good.
- A long run - I used to almost always have inspiration right around the five mile mark. Even without pen and paper I was able to clearly visualize my ideas.
- Laugh - I'm a sucker for slapstick, but really anything that makes me laugh seems to stimulate ideas. All too often inappropriate ideas, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
- Change my environment - When I was in college if I needed inspiration I got in the car and drove over the hill to Santa Cruz. I would hang out by the beach, spend the day drawing on cafe napkins, or take a walk in the rain forest.
- Throw a party - surrounding myself with people almost always stimulated my brain. In fact, while in college I hosted regular "Friday Night Dinners" where my friends and I would gather at different houses, bring a dish and we would have a big family style sit down meal. With lots of beer of course. Sometimes we would talk about our art projects and brainstorm ideas with one another.
- Read or look at art - Reading blogs and articles or watching video art online. (See video below) Check out Sonia Falcone's video light installation that was on exhibit at the Biennale in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
- Listen to music - Certain music just lights me up. I have eclectic taste, but the different styles and artists speak to me in different ways depending on how creatively "stuck" I am. I have been able to dig myself out of a creative black hole just by music alone. I found this song by Michael Franti and Spearhead that has recently fueled my creative "fiyah."
So you might be looking at this list and be thinking that those are all just great ways to procrastinate. I guess you can say that, but as a creative professional it isn't easy always being "on." Looking at a blank screen while trying to design a logo happens a lot. If I don't find ways to kickstart my brain and get my creative "fiyah" burning I might lose a client. Learning how to relax and let go so I can open my mind is essential to getting myself out of a rut - and I won't deny that a cocktail or two always helps. *grin*
Now if I can just convince the government that regular vacations in Hawaii qualifies as "concepting" maybe they'll let me take it as a write off. Heehee.
Are you a creative person or a slacker or both? How do you get inspired?
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