Last week I sat down with inspiring Anja Jane – artist + illustrator on Bowen Island. We had a beautiful chat on Nurturing Creativity. Here are the highlights + link to the video interview below!
Create a sacred weekly solo date. An enchanting expedition. Make it playful, beautiful and fun! When we create we are drawing from our well, If we are in productivity mode the well becomes depleted. Artist dates are a way of filling our cup by getting inspired! Here are some suggestions of artist dates I love.
Learning/playing a musical instrument.
Collecting stones/leaves/flowers from nature and creating an altar.
Take pencils/watercolours into nature and draw. I love drawing microscopic moss!
Make a playlist, find a quiet spot in nature to dance.
Make sure you defend your artist dates ferociously. If I hear the excuse “I don’t have time for this!” read the next point!
We can’t hear inspiration if our thoughts or the noise is too loud and busy. I suggest going on a media detox. Try it for a week. This includes reading books, social media, netflix, films, documentaries, podcasts, news. Notice how quiet things become, how angry you get, bored? It’s in this space that we can truly listen. A mediation practice helps with this too.
Making the Mundane Sacred
This is a beautiful tool I’ve learnt from SJ and her teachings. You are in charge here, I believe it’s our jobs as humans to make our lives as beautiful and rich as possible. There are so many opportunities to do this. Rather than gulping your morning tea whilst scrolling instagram, you can create a sacred space and sit mindfully in a tea ceremony. Try taking a sacred bath and fill the bath with flower petals that you save (this is a great Artist date!), burn some incense, light candles and listen to beautiful restful music. How about making a nourishing breakfast, putting on some jazz, brewing the coffee mindfully, picking some flowers. The ordinary becomes luminous and even psychedelic.
Notice how you talk to yourself. I like to envision the negative voices in my head as the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. Those voices come in many forms and speak many unhelpful untruths. One may be imposter syndrome voice “I’m not good enough. Notice yours and let it speak, then soothe your fear with words that come from love and wisdom like “I’m enough, I love you” Starting a morning journaling practice could also be helpful. It is here we can write our fears and our dreams. We learn to create despite those fears.
“Every Blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers grow, grow” The Talmud
Movement Based Nature Practice
Most blocked creatives are cerebral beings. Stuck in thoughts fears which can manifest as procrastination and perfectionism. We need to move into the body bypass the thoughts and connect to a world outside ourselves. A daily walk, yoga, running. I like to combine movement with meditation but figure out what works for you. Where do you feel alive, free and at peace. Where do those ideas drop in? For me I love to carve out a day of adventure in nature. Starting early in the morning and pushing my physical limits. I start early in the morning hiking, kayaking or ski touring, moving my body in a repetitive way for long periods of time. Here I get into the zone. This fills my cup.
*Some of my guidance and inspiration comes from The Artist Way | A Spiritual path to higher creativity by Julia Cameron I have read this book twice. Each time setting up an artist way community and support group. I recommend it as guidebook for nurturing creativity.
Find Anja’s artwork here!
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