Monday, September 20, 2010

going slow

Taking things easy can increase your creativity. I once had a college professor who said, "Happy people are creative people." This has been proven true in my life, because in times of stress, more often I feel paralyzed rather than inspired. So instead, relax! Do something mindless. You might be surprised at the solutions that are found when you stop looking for them.

Pictured above is the Little Helper

For an interesting view on increasing creativity, read the "Basic Tools" chapter in The Artist's Way by Julia Campbell. Among the other methods listed, she explains the benefits of doing slow, mundane tasks as a way to "fill the well" of the artistic mind.

"Remember, art is an artist-brain pursuit. This brain is reached through rhythm--through rhyme, not reason. Scraping a carrot, peeling an apple--these actions are quite literally food for thought.

[...] Needlework, by definition regular and repetitive, both soothes and stimulates the artist within. [...] As artists, we can very literally reap what we sew."

Another great quote: "During [these] periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give us so much joy and delight." [Fritjof Capra, physicist]

There are certain things for which I'm willing to sacrifice efficiency. One is chopping. For some reason, I love chopping veggies, meat, whatever. [could be I'm in love with my knives] Also, sewing on buttons. I know I could use a machine, but I like the repetitive motion and the satisfaction of a securely fastened button in the end. Mixing paint, shading objects, handstitching, beadwork, kneading: these are all activities I find relaxing. How great is it to now learn that these increase my creativity? Since creating handmade items often involves repetitive tasks (as shown on this controversial page), its sort of neat to think even the less than engaging parts of creating benefit creativity. Lovely.

Are there tasks where you like to take the slow route? What are they?


  1. Weeding! The repetitiveness of weeding helps me to refine my skills in daydreaming! It's so relaxing and ideas just seem to *sprout* up. :)

  2. Definitely cooking for me, and the chopping thing IS fun once I learned to handle my knife correctly. I never knew there was a specific way to hold the knife, but now that I know that I relish dishes with lots of little pieces! I've found tho that I have to focus a little on the cutting or my fingers will be tip-less. :)