Sunday, November 25, 2012

Creative Fluency

Here's a concept for you- a very important one. It's called "fluency." You might associate this with language, as in "I speak fluent French," and you would be correct. If you really think about the word, it means that you understand and speak quickly and clearly, without having to muddle through.

And how do we build fluency? By immersion, and practice.

On to the story that inspired me to write about it...

Wendigo died last Saturday. Some people would say "passed away," but the truth is, he died and I helped. I have personally put three pets to sleep now (my husband helped too) and it is terrible every time, because it really does feel like you are killing them. Even though it is the humane thing to do, the end result is- they are dead, and you pulled the "trigger." It's a horrible guilty place to be. Poor little guy had no fight left in him, the cancer had riddled his body. So we came home to a house that felt empty. The danger is- we have two other kitties, and not to ignore them because of our grief.

When our dog, Kasha, died four years ago, I gathered up some mementos with great intentions of creating a memorial piece of artwork. That sits unfinished.

When we came home from the vet on Saturday, I knew I wanted to create something for my husband, for us, to remember him. We decided yellow was a good color for Wendigo (the color of his eyes) and he is white, so I chose an assortment of yellow and white papers and a 12 inch canvas. I used lots of other stuff, but basically created a canvas collage that now hangs in our den above the 5 foot cat tower that he used to sleep on. Now our old girl, Tigerlily, has taken over the top level of the tower.

I have been in a constant state of CREATE since moving to Austin. My supplies are out in the living room, and I do a live show almost every Tuesday morning at 8 am. Plus I've been writing a book, which involves a lot more creating and photography than my usual routine.

The point is this- I had an idea and carried it through to completion within hours, not weeks, months, years...It is because I have been PRACTICING constantly and have developed the creative fluency that helped me state, inside my soul, what kind of art I wanted to make, how I wanted to execute it, and I was able to quickly and easily make what I had pictured in my mind.

This is very different than anything in my past- when I would think about it, maybe sketch it, dig around various boxes of art supplies, take things out...put them back, start, tuck a canvas half-painted back away, and not finish. Heck, I hardly got started.

PLEASE- do yourself the immense favor of doing something creative as often as you can! When you are in a state of creative flow, ideas come more quickly and their execution is easier. You become your idea, and are able to see it through. Creative Fluency is the opposite of Creative Block, and it is a skill just like any language or instrument. Practice, and it will be at your fingertips, or the tip of your tongue.

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