Staying Creative

Staying Creative

by Lyn Foley on July 3, 2011

I’ve always been creative from the get go. I grew up way out in the country on a used-to-be chicken farm. The nearest neighbors with any children were miles away – so I played with what was at hand.  I played “store”  using leftover cereal boxes and cans to stock my shelves.  I sold “jewelry” I  made out of woven strings of dandelions and honeysuckle vines to any mice, chickens dogs or cats that I could herd into my vicinity. I cut pictures of people out of magazines, mounted them on cardboard to make my own paperdolls and created their clothes from other colorful magazine cutouts.

Where did these ideas come from? I don’t know. I do know that my mother always encouraged me to “make something up” – so I did. I’m still “making something up,” and ideas usually flow freely. There are times though, when I don’t feel too inspired. So what do I do?

If my well of creativity feels dry, I give it a break to replenish itself. I quit working. This is not easy for me to do. I must be an “A” type of personality, since I can barely stand not to be doing something, especially making jewelry. So I run around asking Jim for permission – “Is it okay to take the day off?”  Knowing how I am, he always says, “Yes, you need a break. Go relax.”  Somehow his permission helps, and I take my coffee (by a summer afternoon it is iced coffee) and sit in the living room staring out at the birds, the trees and the fields. I love watching our big Texas sky and if I stare long enough I will usually see an animal wander by – this morning a beautiful bushy tailed fox surprised me.

Other times I take a walk,  water my garden, read, or nap  – all things that my A type mind declares are just sinful to do during the midst of what “should be” a work day.  Yesterday, after reading most of the afternoon, I went along with my sister to a music concert. I rarely allow myself much time off ( I’m a full time working artist), and it was wonderful. I enjoyed the music, – and lo and behold, in the middle of being immersed in listening, an idea for a necklace floated into my mind’s eye. Today I’m going to make the beads I envisioned in that necklace.

I still don’t know where the ideas come from exactly. I do know that if I allow myself to open up, to breathe, to be, that my creativity  will appear.

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