Some people call it “the Zone” some people call it their “muse”.
There is something that happens to us when we are being creative.
It takes us to a place where time is a blur and the world seems to stand still.
When I am “in the zone” it is Good, things flow, everything seems to work, and when I am not “in the zone” It can be rather frustrating. I work a day job therefore I am limited on my art time, so over the years I have learned to listen, and observe what triggers my being “in the zone”. To get myself well on the way I browse through art books, surf my favorite artist’s websites for inspiration, play calming music, brainstorm, and most importantly I TRY my hardest not to get too frustrated. Over time I have learned the more frustrated you become about being uninspired the harder it is to get there at all.
I think that creativity often seems to come when we least expect it to. I only wish we could turn it on and off like a light switch!
It seems that lately my ideas strike me at the most unsuspecting moments, driving in the car, or doing other mundane tasks that have nothing to do with art. I have learned (lacking good memory skills) to carry around a journal with me in my purse wherever I go. So if an idea strikes I can jot down something to remind me later when those creative lulls come into play. Although it is much more convenient to be in your studio when your ideas run wild, it isn’t necessary. I have learned I don’t get to pick when I am “in the zone” all I can do is nurture the moment and hope and pray I can get there. When you’re having an unsuccessful “in the zone” moment.. pick up some paint and literally throw it around, glue misc pieces of paper together and cover it with splashed watercolor, do something, do anything just don’t think too hard. I think this day in age the more we think, the more we start to overanalyze. And I think the most important gift we can give ourselves is to make being creative and being “in the zone” a HABIT!
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
When athletes want to get better, they practice and know that with practice it builds endurance, and pretty soon they can run a mile without even breathing hard. I think the same can apply to artists! The more we make being “in the zone” a habit, and the more we try to channel that creative energy, the easier it is to get there at all. No one starts out as an Olympic Gold Medal winner,, they start out as an amateur and they work hard for that Gold Medal with PRACTICE.
Luckily my art studio resides in my unfinished basement of our home, and I am free to make a mess and not feel obligated to clean it up right away. I can tell my creative juices are flowing when within a matter of minutes I go from 3 square feet of table working space to 3 inches and I have paper, paint and gel medium flying all over. Often times my dogs will head to for bed for the night with paint speckles or scraps of paper on their fur! (bless their little hearts!)
We all get to that creative place differently, however we do it, whenever we do it, there is no right or wrong way, and we just know it’s the right place to be! If we could bottle it and sell it, we’d be rich!
When I grow up…..I want to LIVE in “the zone”!
Stacie Rife 01 2006 See more of her work here