As an elementary school teacher, I make a multitude of decisions every hour, every minute and, seemingly, every two seconds. I spend my day reacting and responding, attempting to analyze and judge every decision I make in hopes of an improved outcome. Needless to say, when the end of the day comes, I’m tapped. I’m exhausted. Even deciding what I want to eat for dinner seems laborious. I don’t want to make any more decisions. I just want to be. My guess is that you don’t need to be a teacher to know this feeling.
When it comes to art, depending on the project, sometimes I don’t want to dwell in my thinking and judging brain. I want to dwell and create via my intuition and instinct. I need this balance, especially when I show up to my studio needing and wanting to create. I believe it’s important for fostering creativity.
If I am working on a book or commissioned piece, I tend to work with much more intention and from within that place of thinking and judging. I love this work. I love solving creative problems through the thinking and the judging. But, it is also important to give myself a break from this place.
So, at times, I will pull out a pad of paper, a sketchbook, the first tin or pouch of materials I find, and just go for it. I don’t think. I work from a flicker of inspiration and simply start.
I don’t plan. I just do. I scribble with charcoal. I make marks with a pencil. I fling and splash paint. It’s a time to be messy. And, I don’t erase. I rely on my intuition to start making marks and I rely on my instincts to form them into some image on the paper. I honestly don’t know how it will turn out. Sometimes it’s garbage. Sometimes it’s a piece that shocks me, making me question as to whether I actually did create it.
Working from an intuitive place is not only inspiring and freeing, but also healing. It’s a time I practice trusting my abilities, trusting my inner voice, trusting that my hands and fingers will work in sync with that intuition. It’s a time I learn how to rely upon and trust my abilities a little more, which I otherwise question and doubt daily.
I practice making quick decisions and don’t worry about what the final outcome will be. I don’t judge it. I just act. I just do. It is an absolutely freeing moment that is necessary in order to gain balance back in my life. I think we could all use more balance between thinking/judging and instinct/intuition. I think we could all gain from learning how to trust that which is, and always will be, within us.
In fact, I believe very strongly that in order to be a creative, you must practice trusting your inner voice equally as much as learning how to reflect and analyze your work deeply. Lose the fear. Lose the need to control every decision. Too much of that attempt to control will zap creativity. At least, it does for me.
Now, the next step would be to share those pieces born from instinct and intuition with all of you. So here’s to the next step!
The Polar Bear Cub Series you see in this post were all made from the gut, the intuition, from being in the moment. Each piece was created in less than 30 minutes, on 18 x 24 mixed media paper. I even left the original pencil marks on the page. I worked fast and put down paint in a messy manner. Working on large paper forces me to rely on instinct by making larger marks and brush strokes. My instincts guided my decision when adding paint and layering color. It is frightening for me to post these publicly. But, I know, it will be equally freeing and healing to do so.
We need to sit with our intuition more often, tapping into that mysterious inner voice that is responsible for creating. We need to learn how to trust that inner voice. We ALL dismiss it far too much and far too often.
How can you practice using your intuition today? And in what way can you make space to rely on your instincts?