Have you ever had the experience of working on something you’re so immersed in that you completely forget the million other things you “should” be doing in that moment? Maybe it’s a song you’re figuring out on guitar, or a homemade birthday card, or even an elaborate doodle. And then the thought creeps in… “I really should be doing homework,” or “I really should be folding that laundry.”
Well you know what? That is precisely the time when you should keep doing what you’re doing. It’s called flow, and it is the most critical aspect of the creative process.
The development of creativity and engagement with creative practices is a major aspect of occupational therapy – a field which aims to support clients in whole-person wellness goals. The practice is incredibly effective especially for treating clients with physical or developmental conditions, but it is often also used to support individuals in the daily pursuits of success and happiness in their careers, relationships, health, and life goals.
Creativity in this space is viewed as one of the most essential factors to building confidence and self-esteem, so essential to realizing the success we aspire toward. Even beyond that, the act of creating is so different from the activities most of us engage with most regularly. And this allows us to transcend our “box”, push our comfort zones, and leap into a field of possibility!
Here are 5 ways to inspire your creativity this weekend:
Take a stroll through your local Dollar Store, and see if you feel inspired to create art. We’re not talking about the 99 cent coloring books and cheap water-coloring kits, but something on a whole new level of artistic reappropriation.
That is precisely what photographer Antonia Basler did for her senior thesis project when she visited Dollar Stores around Brooklyn, gathering unglamorous and throwaway items for subjects of a still life series. At first glance the photographs are stunning and bizarre in an Andy Warhol-meets-Salvador Dalí way. On closer inspection, one notices plastic cutlery, sardines, toy guns, rainbow dusters, and more – not your typical subjects of fine art.
I would spend time in the Dollar Stores and be equally repulsed and attracted to the stuff there. I wanted to shoot them away from their environment, in a more clean setting.
Basler’s work isn’t a romanticized look at everyday objects, nor a critique of modern consumerist culture. But it does challenge the ways we perceive these seemingly banal objects and suggest that aesthetic value can be found in unlikely places. Here is just a sampling of photos from Basler’s Dollar Store Series:
Check out the rest of the Dollar Store Series at Basler’s photography website, and let us know your impressions in the comments below!
How do you keep your creative spirit alive even as you progress further into adulthood? In this week’s episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra explores the dynamics of a creative life and the relationship between age and creativity (we don’t have to lose our imagination as we grow older!).
Imagination and creativity are pinnacles of human experience. Children seem to know this innately, effortlessly, but adults are just as capable of playfulness and innovation. When was the last time you sat down with your paints, invented a game, or made up a new recipe? Whatever it is for you, take some time today to let your imagination run wild. And remember that every day, in every moment, it is within your power to practice creativity and let life be your canvass.
Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak Chopra’s book, Super Brain, for more on neuroplasticity and creativity.