This is step 2 of my 7 steps in getting started with a creative routine. You can find step 1 here.
The Inner Game for step 2:
Begin with a Mission Statement
OK, before you freak out, don’t worry – this won’t be a polished, ready to display mission statement.
This one will be for your eyes only and will set an energy of purpose for you. And it is very easy to create!
One of the first things I do with my private clients is ask them what they want their art to give.
It is surprising how many artists never think about this. They have stories to tell or poems and visuals to share, but they don’t know why they want to share it.
Some think their work has to teach or be revolutionary in some way in order to give.
While it can be revolutionary, or teach, or inspire…it doesn’t have to do that to give.
So, what exactly do I mean by give?
The act of creativity is how we, as humans, operate and live. It is our life force. We cannot survive in a stuck, static, non-creative state. Creativity is the energy of the Universe. It is constantly moving us forward. It gives, provides and expands. Bottom line, life is always in a state of giving and receiving. We take in information, ideas, sensual data and food, so we can give through our work, our ideas and our energy.
No matter what it is that you wish to create, when you expose it to others, you are giving – an idea, an energy, a message, a state of mind, a feeling.
Even when we can’t articulate or completely understand exactly what in us changes because of something we get from a work of art, we still get something. It affects us.
Your work will have an effect.
When you know what that effect is, you empower yourself as a creative and you empower your work.
That is powerful energy that will propel you forward!!
How do you know what your work gives?
The easiest way to answer this is to ask yourself: What does my work give me?
Why do you do it? What turns you on about it? Why do you love creating what you create?
When I wrote paranormal, I got into exploring the mysterious and mystical. I explored the topics of power, relationships and home. It gave me hope and a sense of magic about life.
When I was creating multi-media abstracts, I was also exploring the mysterious and unknown.
My functional art was about the magical parts of life and lifting our energetic state.
When I played with paisley designs, I loved evoking play and whimsy.
Can you see a theme?
My art gave me a glimpse into the magical and mystical aspects of life.
That is what my art gave.
If you are just starting out, you might not see a theme or fully recognize what your work gives you. You might still be exploring.
But, I guarantee there is something that intrigues you and calls to you….a sense of something that you need to explore and play with. Whatever that is – is what you will use to create your mission statement. If it changes down the road, that is OK.
But for now, you’re going to write a very simple statement and put it where you can see it.
Pick the one below that resonates with you and fill in the blank:
- When I get excited about creating something and I want to make art, I start thinking about (fill in the blank)
- When I start feeling (fill in the blank), I want to create art.
You can even make a statement that says:
- When I think about having my own business, I get excited about (fill in the blank).
Remember, this isn’t a polished statement that will be in your bio, this is just for you, for now.
The reason it is so important to have this when you are getting started, is that it becomes a target for your focus. It is just like training your brain. It spurs your creativity because your brain knows to look for that topic/feeling and bring it to you.
It helps you be authentic and true to your gift.
It keeps you out of that space of thinking you have to create whatever the fad is at the moment.
It allows you to build a base of feelings and words that explain your art, so that when the time comes that you will create a polished artist statement, you won’t be at a loss.
The Outer Strategy:
Set up a Routine that is structured according to the Golden Triangle.
The rule of three – it works for design, writing, music, etc.
You can use it as a model for your creative routine as well –but in this case, there is a little twist.
We know the rule of three in regards to a beginning, a middle, and an end, or past, present, future, or introduction, body, conclusion.
The 3 is symbolized by the triangle and is considered the first perfect shape because it is the form that can be constructed by straight lines. In many cultures, the triangle is the symbol of the three-fold nature of Divinity: Father, Mother, Son; Osiris, Isis and Horus; Odin, Frey and Thor; Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. It is the number of manifestation, as in the phrase, “Things happen in threes.”
Three represents creativity. The triangle is the geometric symbol of the focusing of creative energy.
Church steeples, pyramids, a dunce hat, a witch’s hat, a cone – all represent the gathering of creative energies prior to their release into manifestation.
You want your creative routine to allow a gathering of your creative energies, so it can manifest into form: a completed project, a book, a painting, etc.
What makes up creative energy?
Your Muse/Creative Spirit + Your starting point (Desire) + the line from here to there – where you are now to where you want to be. (end result)
You’re probably asking, what does this have to do with a creative routine? I want to know how to have a system, a schedule, a workable, productive structure so I can start, build momentum and finish successfully. Right?
Read that last sentence again: So I can start, build momentum and finish successfully.
There it is, that is your golden triangle!
In order to start, you have to have a desire, (that end result you thought about in Step 1.)
You need to allow yourself the time and space to imagine and dream. You need to always have this time and space somewhere in your life. It can be in the shower, while doing dishes, on walks or sitting quietly in the dark. It matters not where, or how, you just need to provide that time and space for yourself.
This MUST be in your creative schedule somewhere.
The other part of the Start is allowing your Muse to speak to you. This is why that space and time is so crucial. You need to be able to capture and collect the ideas, hits and feelings that will pop up for you.
Have something in place to capture your ideas:
The next part of the triangle is to build momentum.
You have to be able to DO something with your ideas. Don’t wait until you have all the perfect pieces in place. Start with what you have an idea about.
- Outline the idea for a story.
- Get some info down about a character you see or sense.
- Prime and ready a canvas.
- Pull out the supplies you think you’ll need for an idea.
- Open a new document and just start free flowing what comes to mind.
This begins your momentum. You can’t wait until it is all perfect in your head. You have to start and build the first few steps/layers even if it is vague and shitty.
This means you need the time/space to actually work. This part of the triangle is your action. One step leads to the next, but you’ll never get to the next step if the first one is never taken.
You build momentum by working at your craft every day.
Even if you’re just experimenting, or trying something new or just sketching out an idea, you need to make it a part of your daily routine.
The first layer of a visual lets you see what layers need to come next.
Writing down a simple outline for a story lets you see what you might need to research or figure out next.
If you don’t have a time/space set up in your day to DO something with your ideas, you’ll never move past ideas.
Workspaces come in all shapes, sizes and styles – make yours fit who you are!
Here is my Pinterest board with creative work space ideas.
The more inviting your space is (even if it’s a chair you sit in with a table top of things you love and a special candle), the more productive you’ll be. It needs to be a space honored by you – AND those you live with.
The third part of this triangle is to finish successfully.
I’m going to speak to a topic that is tossed back ansd forth among creatives.
We can be folks who have many projects going on at once. There is even a term for those who have a variety of passions – mulitpotentials.
I considered myself to be one and was trying to learn a new way to work as one.
I’ve always had numerous creative projects going on at once. I had three different novels “in progress” (before I realized my true love was in coaching and teaching.)
If you asked me what ONE change happened in my routine that helped me be more productive and successful, it would be this:
FINISH an idea before starting a new one.
Creative energy is powerful and can be overwhelming and make you feel scattered. That can lead to procrastination, indecision, starting many new projects, or feeling as if you don’t know how to do something.
If, instead, you take all of that energy and focus it on ONE thing, like directing the sun with a magnifying glass onto something, you can ignite fire. You can create something beyond what you thought was even possible.
This focus will allow the ideas, materials, knowledge, etc., to show up to help you get to the end – successfully.
You might make course changes along the way-that is fine and part of any creative project. The key is to not go off on a completely new direction because you feel stuck, overwhelmed or inundated with new ideas.
Capture new ideas and keep them for later.
Working through a period of feeling stuck is something I’ll talk about in a later post.
As simple as these 3 parts might seem, when you are set up to acknowledge and honor your desire, hear your muse, stay focused and build momentum to a finished product, you will have a container for you to work within that inspires and supports you.
As you work within this structure, you’ll see what steps you’ll need help, support or knowledge on between Start and Building Momentum and Successfully Finishing. You can start tweaking your structure and routine to make sure you stay on track.
Please join us in the Create The Leap Facebook Community as we discuss getting started. (and have fun talking together!)
Are you ready to kickstart your desire to be a professional creative and manifest the lifestyle you want with your work?