Swipe the Beads, Leave the Creativity!

Yikes! My beadweaving needs a few more lime green delicas but the little girl-cat stole my beads! Yes, yes, I know they’re in the house somewhere. Obviously the little darling loved the wonderful tube that rattled! But where, oh where could she have stashed it???? Does this mean I need to buy the “CalystaBeads.com” domain? Could Calysta be angling for her own blog?

Because I’m forced to think instead of bead, I now present a few thoughts on creativity. It’s one of today’s buzz-worthy themes for business and life.

A slew of publications offer commentary on creativity: getting it, keeping it, practicing it. Like a bonfire, creativity must be stoked to maintain heat.

Here are five practices to amp up creativity. (NOTE: You don’t have to be an artist or in an artistic profession to benefit.)

  1. Take a walk. A change of environment produces an immediate change of perspective, good for whatever problem you currently face. The benefits of motion extend to mental as well as physical health. In spacious New Mexico, nature is easily enjoyed and one can walk outside most days of the year. Aristotle said, “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” So, take a marvelous walk and enjoy renewed creativity.
  2. Read. Many of today’s headlines tout creativity. My suggestion is to find something that appeals to you and makes you think. After I read Eric Maisel’s “Coaching the Artist Within: Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists and Musicians From America’s Foremost Creative Coach,” I further understood the value of implementation to knowledge. Maisel offers 12 skills aimed at helping you coach yourself. As he presents each point he offers an exercise to practice the competency as well as a story about its use.
  3. Celebrate a win. One of the easiest ways to generate more of one thing is to practice the art of celebration. Savor the moment over a cup of hot tea. Tell the story of your success to a supportive friend. Or, pause to remember the excitement of hearing “You’re juried in!” or, “Yes, we’ll take it.” All too often we fix our eye on the next prize and forget the joy of the moment. Celebrating provides nourishment from success.
  4. Complete a project. A litter of “nearly-finished” projects can stifle creativity. Give yourself the gift of completion and enjoy its many benefits: a sense of satisfaction, self-trust, and self-reliance. Just as exercise builds muscle, the value of completion builds on itself, adding confidence and character in the process.
  5. Schedule creative time. In “Walking in the World,” author Julia Cameron urges readers to use the Artist’s Date as a creative tool. To quote her description: “The Artist’s Date is a once-weekly, hour long solo expedition to explore something festive or interesting to your creative consciousness.” This practice helps replenish our inner well, thus promoting additional creativity.

These five practices work for any industry, anytime.

If, however, you’re looking specifically for beading inspiration, I keep a list “beading things I like to do” in the notebook under my workbench.

A few of my beading-inspiration list specifics:

  • Clip pictures of high-style from current fashion (not beading) magazines and paste in my idea book
  • Gather specific words that apply to my bead style (randomly elegant, vintage African trade beads, tribal-inspired to name just a few). Make a collage of those words and review them from time to time.
  • Worship at the “Church of Beads” or, translated, open each box and review the stash inside to refresh your memory about what you have and where it is stored
  • Task yourself to pull one box and make a new necklace using only whatever is in the box
  • Make a clean-up necklace using all the ‘onesies’
  • Exchange “treasures” with a friend to get the energy going!
  • Talk with other artists about what inspires them and why

What works for you? Add to my list in the comments below.

I’m tasking myself with getting creative today. My goal: find a way to complete the project that languishes because of the cat.