My commitment to creativity in these lock-down days

Creating

You know, where there’s change, or where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity. 

And even though I hate being forced to be kept at home, I may not deny that these days could be really productive if I do things well. But they should be fun as well.

So I’m doing this mini-challenge of dressing up everyday as if I was going to work and sharing it – and hopefully it won’t be just another selfie post for Instagram.

Is that vanity? Is that a waste of time? I like to think that I’m practicing some skills : I’m styling, I’m making aesthetic decisions, I’m getting practice with my new camera, getting comfortable with how I look and the act of sharing it. And I love when clothing reflects how you feel inside!


Is this all? 

Hahaha nop. I have plenty of creative projects waiting for my attention. And a lot of resources to check up, and actual work. But you know what, as I can’t pursue a balance in life (no meeting with people, no swimming, no surfing, no running, no biking, no beach time…) I may try at least to juggle different kinds of projects that can help me hone my skills. In this way, even if I don’t accomplish and finish all my projects, I will have improved myself!


What’s the point, if nobody sees it?

Would you dress up if no one could see you? In the past, I wouldn’t. When the days come and go and nothing changes, it’s easy to lose motivation (for anything) as there is no compensation waiting for you in a foreseeable future. Although, guess what? There will never be. The motivation that you need is knowing that in the future you’ll be a better version of yourself because you did what you thought you had to do. You decided it, you struggled in its pursuit but you did it, even if some days you failed. You progressed, you made an effort, and that’s what really counts. Even if nobody sees it. You know it. Every past experience adds up to who you are becoming, even if it doesn’t show. 

While staying home these days, nobody sees us if we don’t show up on social media (or personal messaging / calls / DMs). But we still decide how to do it. Will you be sharing this exceptional meal you’ve just cooked? Will you be showing your past vacations? Or will you enjoy this time on your own to do the work that is never shown? Like the household duties, the studying, the listening to your own desires? 

We have temporarily lost the freedom to go out, but we have won the freedom to stay in, to stay invisible, to do our own without asking for permission or approval. Let’s take advantage of that. And let’s keep our minds sane.

To Be Updated – daily 

Sunday 22/03

This weekend had a special feeling. Like time has been paused, like there was more silence in the world (probably there was). This is the start of some weeks that will be different. Trying to be positive here, but I already liked how weeks were. With no outdoor activities to do, it’s time to be creative and do more of the indoors stuff. But…

Monday 23/03

It’s never a good day when you start it by having to erase the hard-drive of your computer. So I got a busy techy day, trying to make my Macbook come back to its full functionality. But no time is ever wasted, so I cleaned my car 😛

I spent sometime too dreaming up this fantasy like scenario, peacefully playing with a typewriter, worrying about nothing else than the letters on the paper…

But on these calm days, I feel everything but peace…

When time stops and the magic happens

Tuesday 24/03

You know what? I’ve been wanting to wear this blazer since the day I got it. So, I thought, well, as it doesn’t seem as if I’m gonna have the opportunity right away, why don’t just wear it today? So yes, I loved working from home with this on. Why wear pajamas when you can look busy-chic?

Wednesday 25/03

Chose to show up on a quite cold and sad Wednesday in pink and black, heavy textured items. Maybe too much of a soft look for such a moody day. Wanted to bring in some light, but only got new shadows (did you get it ;)?

Thursday 26/03

Did I see the light? There actually was a window of time during midday when the sun finally shone in the sky. Then, it actually rained. When Thursday arrives, I always feel like the week passed by too quickly. It was no exception. I woke up with a firm intention though, that even if I’m not gonna be on fire all the time these days I’ll be making an effort to try to change my scattered self to a focused one. I’m well-known in my circles for always being over the place, I like so many things that I’m always pursuing multiple interests at the same time. It’s a great way to have a broad view of the world but also a good one for not going deep into anything. Now, it may take me a while to learn how to stop the multitasking, the multi-interesting thing, however, I must start at some point.

And because I woke up full of energy, I got myself my brown ankle boots, a pair of shorts with hose and a jersey to be comfy and casual. Ready for my tea party with my zoom friends. But where’s the booze?

Friday 27/03

There’s been moments of sunshine, so we can say the week has improved! Apart from that, though…

Saturday-Sunday 28/03-29/03

Let me take a break and reflect. The weekend calls for time away from the week routine, even in these lock-down days. I’d like to be able to embrace it like any other day and spend many hours on my computer, but, after being used to using the weekends for doing very different things, it’s not easy to not to do so. And yes, I skipped this commitment for the whole weekend. How embarrassing… Well, not really. Saturday was for exercising, cleaning, watching a movie and doing some crafts. Sunday was for sleeping until late -it seems I needed it, as I didn’t hear the alarm go off- cooking, painting and a bit of computer projects. I could have shared my go-to-gym clothes, but… Better days will come.

Monday 30/03

Do you know something I really love about working from an office, with set hours? You can’t get bothered with tasks that are not part of the job, no personal life or personal projects coming in. Time is completely blocked. That’s something I rarely get at home. Part of it is my fault, but it’s just easier for anyone or anything to take your attention away, especially when you don’t live alone. I honestly have a great admiration for parents and the like who manage to work from home. I should find my situation so easy!

But anyways, today I’m showing up again! Got the comfiest pants in the world, super-stretchy black corduroy plus the basic black blazer. And heels. Because you get a better view of the week over heels. 😛 Pink sweater underneath.

And guess what? Today snowed. 🤦‍♀️

On other news, I decided that today’s the last update for this post. I may keep on with something similar (probably a Me-Made-May article) but won’t be updating it everyday. Let’s see if I can create less quantity and more quality for the next edition. Also, doing tasks in bulks is more productive and I have to focus, so… See you at the end of the week!

I messed up ~ ink experiment

Creating

Did I get to tell you that I moved from creating with watercolours to trying my hand at inks? I may have not. Well, while on this blogging hiatus in my life, I decided to change my focus to using ink and a calligraphic pen to create new artworks and hopefully, one day, new patterns in a kind of a new style. It feels like a creative challenge, as I’m leaving behind the bright pastel colours I used to use these last couple of years but I’m gaining skill on using the “line” more (which I really enjoy). I’m also intentionally using fewer colours, being my palette mostly blues, a bit of brown and black – you’ll see what I’m talking about in a coming post.

So, while starting to try my hand at this ink thing, something happened.

Do you know that moment when something you’ve been fearing might happen finally happens? You saw it coming. You didn’t know when, but it was meant to happen, sooner or later.

That was the thing with using inks. I knew someday a pot would fall and spill all over the place. And so it happened. Even though I knew the time would come, I wasn’t prepared. I had not thought about what I would do.

So I just cleaned the mess. Luckily, the table didn’t wasn’t damaged, neither did my phone, which was right there and got some drops. However, I did realise while I was wiping the table with a piece of clothing that I should have done something with the ink that was now flowing down the sink. I hope next time I’ll think about putting all the liquids in another, bigger crystal jar – the ink would be dissolved in water but at least I could still use it.

it did happen again 🙈

( I spilled some ink again while I hadn’t published this post yet and I did store some of it into a jar, yay!)

So after realising I was losing all that ink I thought: “Couldn’t I do something with it right now? “. So, as quick as I could, I got that piece of clothing (intended to clean the mess) and I used it to create an abstract texture. Then I added some shapes more intentionally, even with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and voilà, out of a mess, I created this print below. I know I’m not getting into the history of art for this but… the takeaway is that not everything is lost when things don’t work out as expected, nor when accidents or messing ups show up. There’s always something to be done to improve any situation, you can always make it better.

So here it is, my free-of-guilt abstract. Truth be told I somehow still feel that abstracts are the art that those who can’t draw can still do, and because of that, I shouldn’t do it. Lately, I’ve been trying to acknowledge my blocks around creation, what I’m supposed or I’m not supposed to do, the reason why I “can’t” be an artist, etc. You know, the everyday reflections of a creative type. Maybe another day I’ll talk about that (I know a couple of books that help!).

I thought that the purple texture would make for a great pattern but as I am not that much into abstract patterns either… well, I just used the opportunity to play around. (You can actually save this image to your computer as desktop wallpaper).

 

So here it is to the creation of unexpected things. And playing in life. 🥂

~x~

Lena

 

Experimentation as Exploration

Creating

Creativity isn’t an easy friend. It is important to be flexible in mind to be creative. But, how to do that? What does it really mean?

Let’s remember what creativity really is: to make connections and see relationships were others haven’t.  When we use creativity, it is usually using a process. We need a solution for a problem (may it be a painting, a design, whatever). To get there, you can go through a number of steps in which you recognise the problem, look for references, collect ideas, etc.

One of the methods to come up with solutions or creative ideas is …. (guess it…) EXPERIMENTATION! (that’s right, you knew it!) And it’s what I consider the funniest part of the process. Kind of difficult, not too serious, blurred rules… But the most rewarding and playful part. That’s why I needed to write this post: it’s not always easy to accept that you need time to go through the experimenting phase.

7 Reasons to experiment in your creative process

1- To practice creativity and become better at it

We can’t think that we already are at the top of our abilities and just keep doing the same again and again. Experimenting will stretch your creative muscles and skills to reach new heights. Also, creativity is about making connections, and the only way to get better at it is practising. You’ll get used at doing it and sooner you’ll be getting more original ideas.

2-  To find new ways to express yourself

We have a medium in which we are comfortable, we have a style that defines us and topics we like to talk about. Well, that’s ok and right but, what about adding something else? Our works may be new and top (or not) at some point, but that doesn’t mean they can change. Maybe one day you’ll need to make them different. Just for you, nor for your audience. Or maybe you feel something is missing. Experimenting will allow you to keep growing and finding those things to add ( or subtract) and will give you new tools or expand your comfort zone, so your goals could grow too.

3- Discover styles or techniques that fit you

When you have to experiment, you have to try new things. And you have to do some research to find those. You’ll come up with new information, medium, materials and exciting possibilities. You may even try new arts, hobbies and crafts that could help you in your current creative problems. You’ll find out about other artists and inspirations too that can help you see your work under another light. Remember that a style is never fully defined and finished.

4 – Find out new things to blend into your work

Experimenting could be part of a journey. Or maybe just a trip downstairs into the closet of the forgotten stuff. Stories are part of our lives and can live through the work we do. When we live new adventures, they can become part of the solution.

5 – Have fun for the sake of it

No explanation needed. Enjoy it? Then do it!

6 – Become the next trend

Ok, this is not 100% realistic. Not because you experiment you’ll become popular. But maybe you will. Better experiment and be yourself than to spend the rest of your life just copying those who are popular.

7- Differentiate yourself from the competition

As I was saying, not to go with fashion can make you different, and at some point, some people will get tired of trends… And you’ll be shining in your corner of rarity. Be ready to sing your song.

Now that you know how good can it be for you to incorporate experimenting into your creative process, let’s find some ways to convince yourself (or others) that what you’re doing is for the best.

Imagination, the forgotten tool for creativity

Creating

I can’t stop hearing and reading about creativity: the creative entrepreneur, the creative business, how to be more creative, businesses nowadays need more creative people, etc. But I don’t hear that often about imagination and imaginative people. Why? What’s the difference? Why is not such a marketable concept as creativity? Is there really a boom in creativity? Why is that term so important nowadays?

Well, while imagination is not a very common word being used in business, words like “innovation” are the new fancy thing. Holding hands with innovation comes creativity, an admired skill as well. Every single business is looking for creative employees and every person is looking for ways to get a creative life.

But nobody says much about imagination. Although, it is a basic tool for creativity and innovation. Without imagination, you could not picture how something could work, or go wrong, what would be a new perspective or come up with a number of solutions. Then why isn’t it a skill we want to pursue?

In creativesomething.net we find this definition about the difference between those two terms:

“The biggest difference between creativity and imagination is that imaginations is thinking of something that is not present, while creativity is doing something meaningful with your imaginations.”

I like it. It says it clearly. Still, we can add some specifications:
Sir Robinson says that creativity is a very practical process while imagination allows us to think of things that aren’t real or around us at any given time.

So, how could we create something new? Nothing can’t be real without getting first into our minds through the imaginative process. Only using it first it is possible to be really creative. So, why aren’t there more articles about “ 5 ways to boost your imagination” or “The only thing you need to know about being imaginative and find success” etc?
My guess? It may be because to have an imaginative mind comes with some negative thoughts. Imagination sounds childish, like something you say about a child who is too often with his head on the clouds.

And we don’t want to be seen as daydreamers.

We think that imaginative people are like the guy on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. However, I would encourage everybody to embrace that skill. Because, how are you supposed to create something really new, be really creative if not playing it in your mind first?
This makes me think about the Endless Story, the book. It was fascinating to read, finding ideas so different and “creative” for a fantasy book. Well, it is supposed to be like that on fiction, right?

Why then most books or movies picture so many similar things?
My guess again?

I think we play too small.

We are afraid of playing big and we are afraid to put big crazy ideas into the world. Because they are difficult to accept for everybody at first. But if we try, and if we do, they can become really big things (or that worthy innovation). So why not try?
There is no doubt that creatives do use that skill, but why is that we don’t talk about it? Even in self-help or sports training, remember you reading the word “visualise”? I think that gets pretty close to “imagine”. And that’s powerful. Really powerful.

To conclude this post I’d like to introduce a couple more of definitions:
– Creativity is defined by psychological scientists as the generation of ideas or products that are both original and valuable. Creativity relies on imagination, the conscious representations of what is not immediately present to the senses.(Source)
Creativity is domesticated imagination. While this second is wild and mostly about impossible happenings, creativity is original and possible. (Source)

And my last question: Then, is creative thinking a way of using imagination? or is it the trigger for the creative process?

Further reading:  – The differences between imagination, creativity, and innovation