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Low Slow Days

The development stage never looks like the final design. There are all kinds of phases in the creative cycle, including low slow days.

My fellow artistic creative thinkers, let me share with you a snippet from a friend’s creative journey (with her permission, of course).

My friend reached out – she felt she’d lost contact with her creative force. She said, “I’m agitated, I’m in a phase of non-creating. I feel skinless like my body has fallen out of the space it’s supposed to be in. I can’t create anymore”.

Oh, how I related to her feelings! I’ve often said as creatives we wear our skin inside out. We feel raw. We are sensitive to our surroundings. We absorb what’s going on and often it feels like there are no boundaries. Sometimes we take on the world’s turmoil and it immobilises us.

My friend and I had a little chat – mostly about how there are no rules to our own creative feelings. It doesn’t matter how slow, or how low or mellow our creativity is, all that counts is that we don’t allow our vulnerability to let us ‘quit’. No one is measuring our creative output. A slow day is nothing more than a slow day and does not hold any other meaning.

Whether we are wildly painting magnificent canvases or doodling little hearts on a paper napkin, it matters not. But somehow it does matter that we gently do something with our pens or paints in our low times, because as we look back and see the diversity in our own creative releases we gain confidence that every phase passes – and we realise that we do not have to feel a certain way to be creative.

Not feeling creative happens to every artist for a thousand different reasons. This is the time to go with the flow and drift and give up the stress of consciously trying to create. The creative mind thrives on the complexity of new things but complex discovery is not a constant state of being. Creativity flows from a relaxed state of mind. Rest is essential. Put aside the limiting belief that we have to feel it or be creative all the time.

If we think of the incubation stage in any lifecycle, we’d realise that in the development stage it never looks like the final design. An embryo doesn’t look like a hatched chick. We can give ourselves the grace and space to know there are all kinds of phases in the creative cycle and sometimes it looks like lying on a couch staring into the sky. Sometimes we need to do nothing other than hand it all over to Jesus and lean against His shoulder.

Relax and enjoy all the unique stages of being an artmaker.

On our slow low days, we can enjoy someone else’s creativity. Scroll through Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube and soak up other people’s arty-smarty endeavours – or not!

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