Creative Nurturing: lockdown discoveries on the impact of 2020-2021, creative thinking and wellbeing
Finding time to feed your creativity is vital to being successful as a creative, and with the impact of 2020-2021, it has given everyone time to reflect on different ways to nurture your creative mind, how to support your creative mental health and continue being a brilliant creative.
With the 2020-21 lockdowns in the UK, and with everyone in the world having to step back from a 'normal' working-routine, you have an opportunity to re-evaluate how you work, and how you support your creative mind and relationship with your work.
Your relationship with your work
As a creative your are entangled with changes in the environment around you, and naturally absorb the evolution of culture and people, and instinctively use this as a creative source.
With core communication now being digital / virtual, and removing the more familiar everyday interactions and conversations that spark insights and concepts, we all need to nurture and feed our creative minds.
Creating your own interactions to nurture and think conceptually is vital to be able to emotionally interact with your ideas.
Cognitive creative process
To be creative is to be active in your ability to imagine ideas and being able to bring them to fruition. Cognitive thinking is dependant on motivation, mood, and stress to stimulate the mind, and be capable or not be capable of being creative.
Concentrating when the world seems so uncertain, keeping momentum when our environment is so erratic is difficult. Accepting the fact you need to take a step back and approach things differently, slowly and empathetically, can help the feeling of being anxious and enjoy being creative.
The theory of expressive therapy
Re-connecting with being creative is something everyone can do, and being interactive with your creative thoughts acts as a supportive therapy when processing emotions.
We all were given coloured crayons and paper as children before being able to necessarily communicate everything we were feeling at an early age, we would pick a colour and scribble fiercely, (or carefully), and felt empowered by doing so. Art therapy has been used in mental health and wellbeing rehabilitation documented from the 1800s, and even reportedly used at the time of the Egyptians. Even if you don't consider yourself a creative person, every time you use your imagination you are being creative, and are capable of tapping into using art therapy to nurture your mind and wellbeing.
The positive psychology of being actively creative produces endorphins and feelings of happiness, to set yourself a personal creative project acts as a great mindfulness exercise.
As creatives we create by working to a brief, but to create something for yourself with no given purpose or deadline helps connect with your art, with the freedom of thinking and feeling that art therapies provide. By nurturing your creative mind, you are supporting your emotional wellbeing, reducing anxiety, supporting positive behaviours, orientation and emotional awareness, increase self esteem, develop cognitive thinking and aid personal growth.
All forms or art therapy encourage individuals to engage in self exploration; working through memories, experiences, challenges we all face. Especially within the current environment, and changes from our normal routines and connections, self expression supports our mental wellbeing.
Acknowledging the impact this past year has had on our lives, and careers, and being proud or ourselves for adapting. It's ok to grieve for the person and life you had, (or were working towards being), but finding strength and love for the little positive things.
To creative nurture is to support you mental wellbeing.
With no option of visiting exhibitions, viewing artwork, experiencing theatre, pop-ups and lectures, or being inspired by the sights and sounds of the city and people; it makes you realise how dependent you are to what is around you to feed you creative juices.
By bringing what inspires you into your new routine, looking at things with fresh eyes, learning new skills and discovering new hobbies, you can creatively nurture your mind.
Experiencing visual creative nurturing
You can still carve time to look up your favourite galleries, books, workshops, online talks and theatres and see if they are doing virtual exhibits, shows and online workshops. Look up your favourite galleries, art schools and museums and see if they have any online seminars or workshops.
Practicing creative nurturing
Finding time dedicated to doing something creative and looking at art and all its forms that interest you, and just trying things, playing with different materials that suit you can be an outlet of creative expression. There are lots of art kits available for at home passion projects.
Painting with oil or acrylic
Embroidery / Textiles
Drawing (pencil, charcoal, graphite, ink, pastels)
How creative nurturing helps to be a better creative
To support your natural creativity you need to be aware of the creative people are producing around you, and whats happening in your environment, and see how it is constantly evolving, even at the pace we are in now. Embracing that need to learn to be a better creative, but to also be conscious of your mental wellbeing and nurture your creativity will allow you to ultimately produce a better quality of work.