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3 structures to fuel your creative practice (#100ABSTRACTFEELS Reflection #1)

I’m amidst my first 100 day project (ever!!!) and only one week in, I’ve already learned so much. I’m publishing a weekly post about my experience, as a way to reflect and to offer the tools + lessons I’ve gathered along the way.

Whether you have a desire to begin a creative practice, enhance your current practice or even begin a 100 day project, I hope these reflections will offer you whatever you may need in this moment.

 

Tip #1: Structure your creative space in a way that will make you want to create.
I’m a mess. My art supplies are typically spread across my desk, paint splatters all over the floor and my car is full of unused paint from a mural I did in July!

With this being said, I don't let my messiness control my practice.

I feel much more OPEN to RECEIVE during my creative practice when my space is inviting. When my art supplies are organized(ish) in my desk, when my brushes are cleaned properly, when I have a stack of my favorite watercolor paper ready to be painted, I feel so much more grounded + excited to make.

There are a ton of tips on Pinterest on how to organize paintbrushes / markers / watercolor paints -- or work with what you’ve got. Michael and I bought a super cheap used desk from Facebook Marketplace last year, and it has become my creative space / unofficial studio. We live in a tinnnny apartment + I’ve learned you don’t need a ton of space to create. When I paint on large canvases, I spread a tarp over our walls and floor and lean my canvas against our biggest wall. It isn’t ideal (and paint always still manages to make its way to the floor!!), but I find when I allow myself to be creative with the space that I am blessed to have, I am more inclined to actually create.

Picking up my space after a painting session gives me a sense of closure from the project from that day + creates space energetically for me to approach a new canvas the next day. I have various paint types organized into large zip loc baggies, so if I’m working with acrylic or watercolor one day, I am not shuffling through my drawer trying to find my materials for the day.

Find a system and spacial structures that work for YOU and the space you have today. Drop a comment below - I'd love to hear what ideas you have to keep your self + your creative space organized!

Tip #2: Set aside nonnegotiable time to create.

I work for myself right now, so I’d assume this one would be easy for me. But it is not! Committing to making something every day for 100 days is a big commitment for me - even when I have more time than most to create. And I know for myself, and for many of us, if we don’t have it on our calendar, it will not happen.

I have gotten really clear on my weekly/hourly cycles over the last year, and I know that I feel a creative peak first thing in the morning after I journal, meditate and drink my espresso. That peak typically fades, when I move to managing my business for a couple of hours, and then I have a peak right after lunch to create. So my 100 day project has looked like:


5:30 am

Journal, meditate, read

6:00 am

Coffee time / kick Michael the F out

6:30 - 8ish

Painting pt. 1

8-1ish

Biz time → Lunch

1-2ish

Painting pt. 2

 

(most days)

As you're jumping into a new or even existing creative practice, begin to listen to your body + what she is craving as the day goes on. Try to schedule even just 10 minutes of non-negotiable creativity time and see what transpires. You may think your creativity time is best in the morning, and you may realize you're more creative at the end of the day once all of your to-dos are done.

Be flexible, make space for changes and be compassionate with yourself.

Drop a comment below - What obstacles do you imagine may come up during your non-negotiable creativity time?

Tip #3: Your inner voice will try to get you to not create.

So you have your time set aside, your kids are asleep, you kicked your husband out for the morning (my move). But then that little voice in your head begins to tell you:

You are not good enough.

Who do you think you are to take this time for yourself?

Do you think you're Picasso or something?!

You will never be successful.

How can you be taking this time when the laundry needs to be folded?!

My self-sabotaging voice kicks in HARD in the moments leading up to my creativity time. I've learned that she is here to protect me + I'm working on building a relationship with her that comes from listening and compassion.

Creating is such a vulnerable experience, and it can be really scary. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach a point where it’s not scary. And our ego WILL step in to protect us from fear, from creation, from trying something new. So practice awareness of your inner voice + notice when she shows up.

In a women's group I'm a part of, one of the tools we've learned is to find an empty container (mason jars work great) and when fear / anxiety comes up, grab your container and give that feeling permission to go into the mason jar for the time being. That feeling will be there when you're back, but the physical action of placing your feeling in the jar + closing the lid will give you space to commit to your creative practice with ease.

What way does your self-sabotaging voice try to protect you? Drop a comment below!

 

 

As always, I'd love to hear from you. If publicly commenting doesn't feel in alignment, please always feel free to email me (c@flowandroot.com) about your takeaways, reflections + any thoughts you have on this share.
Sending you love, light + creative energy!
Courtney
xo

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