Monday, March 26, 2012

Tap Into Your Inner Artist

A process of discovery — this is what the creative journey is all about for me. It’s not about processing a vast array of fancy techniques, having an amazing idea, being born with special talents or knowing exactly what you are going to do before you start. Nope. For me, creativity starts with a desire to release something that is usually kept inside — a yearning to express yourself without words and the acknowledgement that it is important to let this thing out. From there, all you truly need is an open and curious mind, trust in yourself and the materials, time and space to create. I know the last two (time and space) often serve as great excuses to not start, but as with anything in life, it’s all about prioritizing. You can make time and space if you choose to prioritize your creative health.

I know it’s easy to believe that only a select group of special people can actually be artists. I used to believe that too. However, I am now thoroughly convinced that all human beings are artists; we were all born with immeasurable amounts of creative potential just waiting to be released. Children tap into their creative powers easily. However, society has a slick way of convincing us that we do not have the skills, talent or ideas needed to follow a creative path. I believe it’s about time we start reclaiming what is naturally ours and activating our creative forces!

If you don’t already have art supplies tucked away somewhere, start by taking a trip to your local art supply store. Enter with an open mind and allow your intuition to guide you to the supplies you are supposed to work with — charcoal, oil pastels, colored pens, paint, clay? What is calling to you? Don’t think too hard. Just gather some supplies and get out of there. The next step is to set aside some creative time (start with an hour) and a space to create (this could simply be your kitchen table).

When you are ready to start, put on some music you love, light a candle and write an intention. Perhaps it’s something like, “I create with ease and joy” or “Creating is nurturing my soul.” Remember this is a process of discovery, so approach it as that. Learn about your new tools by trying them out in different ways. PLAY. Remember, you don’t have to know what you’re doing and it doesn’t have to look “good.” Think of yourself as an explorer in uncharted territory. You are not supposed to know what lies ahead. Can you find joy in simply exploring and playing with color, line and shapes? Again, listen to your intuition as you reach for different tools. How does the pen want to move across the paper? What colors are calling your name? Listen closely and surrender fully. There are no mistakes. There are only new discoveries to be made and a wide-open path leading you back to yourself.

This post was written by Flora Bowley, Painter, Teacher, Author, and Inspirationalist for

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