Ingredients in creativity - Flow

 

The ever-shifting arc of creative flow - what is flow?

Flow state can be observed and experienced as a complete merging of self with the work.

I lose all sense of past and future, the present is all that exists. The part of the brain that houses my inner critic is temporarily turned off and tuned out. 

When I am free from judgment, my own and others’, I have an immense amount of space for my ideas to be put into action. There is nothing more stifling than the voices in my minds telling me “you can’t”. 

Painting in watercolor is very much about living in flow. One wrong stroke and the entire piece is forever changed, no erasers or painting over with this medium. I can easily sit in front of my paper for hours, contemplating (read: agonizing) the next placement of my brush. 

When I find my flow state there is no pause, no hesitation. I have an idea, an impulse, and balls to beyond the fucking wall it is.

There can be no innovation with internal walls. 

All creatives grok the concept of flow state - some use tools to jump them out of their critical mind, others simply take action when it naturally happens - that sudden burst of inspiration.

If I only worked when I felt inspired I would make half a portrait perhaps twice yearly. 

I CREATE inspiration by doing the work, and by being aware that feeling free in my actions is, to some extent, a choice. A choice to be aware of the inner voices cautioning me to stay small, to remain in safety and comfort. A choice to lay those voices to rest and move into creation regardless of their chattering. 

 

There are a million different ways you can approach finding your flow. Movement, meditation, breath work, drugs, sex, heightened emotional states. 

I encourage exploring the combinations that best serve your life and your art.

 

Happy flow.