What does a “successful” artist look like to you? One who with a constantly producing – nose to the grindstone – type of persona? This is one approach to making art, but isn’t creating really about opening the heart and expressing emotions?
Nurturing the childlike sense of play is invaluable in creating a meaningful life. All too often traditional work ethics from the past have nearly extinguished the spark of play. As creators, in particular, play is essential – not a luxury.
Play is part of creativity.
Creativity is a process composed of many activities. All too often we focus upon bearing down and getting the work done. Yes, this is necessary, but it is not the only part of making art. All too often the drive to produce gets us stuck in our intellect or in the groove of an old tape about doing it “right.” The “should’s” start to drag us down.
Play is an investment.
Play is not being sidetracked or distracted. Taking time to romp through your imagination is a way of honoring yourself as well as filling the well of ideas, inspirations and getting into the flow state of creating joyously and with ease. Think about the times when the words or the ideas or colors seemed to come together by themselves. Play opens that door and reinforces that path.
What does play look like?
Play does not have to be an official act. It can easily be incorporated in simple, daily activities.
- Notice colors in the vegetable isle in the grocery store
- Walk in nature – in the woodland or along the shore
- Attend a musical event
- View a museum exhibit
- Chat with a friend over lunch or coffee
Simply try changing the lens of how you see the world.
Give yourself permission.
Playtime often opens the flow of inspiration. Befriend the child within and allow time to play. Writing a list of what makes your heart skip. This can be your playlist. Take time to experiment and notice how you feel. Many times the outpouring that occurs after play is astounding us all.
Give it a try.