Creativity is one of those slippery terms to define, but generally includes words like “new” and “innovative.” Do you see creativity as something you were born with – one of those innate talents like athleticism? Maybe, but just like that “natural” athlete works at refining skills, an author – or anyone working in a creative field (oops, there's that word again) – can strengthen creativity.
I'm working through The Artist's Way (Julia Cameron), and loving the insights from this creativity guide. In addition to dealing with the ways we shoot ourselves in the foot and learning to recognize the (ahem) less than supportive people around you, it also recommends … well … play dates for your inner child artist. Remember how much fun art was before someone told you to stay inside the lines and the sun must be yellow and the grass green?
While I do occasionally haul out the watercolors, I look for other ways to amuse that inner child. I had a free afternoon on a recent business trip.
Rather than hang out in the hotel, I took a walk.
C'mon, walk with me through Portland.
I knew Portland had lots of pocket parks, but didn't know about the linear parks in the downtown core. People read, napped, skateboarded, chatted, played chess, knitted – you name it. The parks were more than the area's backyard, they reminded me more of a community gathering spot.
Now as I got further into the park, I admit I was highly amused to discover that Southerners aren't the only ones who put up statutes of mounted men. No clue who this guy might've been. Even more amusing when you consider the laissez-faire attitude of most of the Pacific Northwest.
Other elements take time – slow down, let your gaze wander.
This church is nearly hidden by the trees, but isn't that a gorgeous bell tower?
Or ooh, what about the gingerbread detail on that house?
And can you go anywhere in the Pacific Northwest without stumbling upon a flower market?
So what about you?
What have you done lately to “feed your Artist Child?”