Where to put your creative energy?

Where to put your creative energy?

Creativity is one of the main drivers in my life- whether it’s professionally or personally. 

I was a full time artist and art teacher years ago. And even though I’m not a full time artist anymore, I must create. Over the last 9 years, I’ve put most of that creative energy into my business, creating courses and workshops, finding ways to make my clients collections fit in their homes AND look amazing. Plus I’ve always kept up a side art project for my own pleasure.

I’m not sure what it is about building my house, but for the first time, I’ve reached the limits of my creative energy. I’m putting it all into the house and finding that I have none left for my business. At first, I found this disconcerting. I’ve been so focused, driven and inspired in my business for so many years, it felt like I was failing. Well of course I wasn’t.  

I have a limit to my creative energy and the creative well must be recharged before it can flow forth again. As I came to see that it was normal, even good, that I was focusing my creative energy in another area of my life, I allowed myself to give it all to the house. 

Through this experience, I’m able to see that all parts of our life take creativity. 

In order to successfully parent, I must be creative because each child is different. 

When managing a house, I have to be creative to come up with meals that everyone will eat. 

In my romantic relationship, I want to be creative to infuse it with new energy, new ideas and occasional new experiences.

Since all parts of our life take creativity to thrive- that means we are all creative. This is something I’ve always known and I use to soap box about when I was an art teacher. Yet to be creative in all areas of our life, at all times, is unrealistic. 

If we spread our creative force too thin, it’s not strong enough anywhere. Just like the fallacy of work-life balance. We can’t have perfect balance all the time- but we can have harmony. At certain times our focus is work (that maybe a week or a month) and then at other times our focus is personal life or family. 

The same is true for creativity- there is a way to create harmony- a way to give one area of our lives the creative force needed in the moment and let other areas coast on the energy added in the past.

Since I’m giving myself permission to focus my creative energy on my house, I’m creating beautiful things. Most of the creative decisions are pairing colors and textures for flooring, lighting, and other hard surfaces. But I’ve also been painting the tiles for my kids’ bathroom. I started experimenting with alcohol ink a couple years ago, making a few presents and paintings for fun. Then a few months ago, I decided to paint a select number of tiles for their shower. I’ve not done this before and it’s taking a huge amount of trust that it’ll work out. 

I’ve been painting 10 tiles at a time on weekends for a couple months and am down to the last batch. There’s been learning and glitches along the way, but I haven’t almost cried like I did over electrical boxes. I’ve been in flow, I’ve been in that space of creative energy and it’s been amazing.

There’s one last step to this project and I’m hoping to be finished mid-February. So cross your fingers for me that the last step goes smoothly and installing the tiles gets to happen so my kids will have a unique bathroom.