Refocusing Creative Life

iPhone Photography: the first winter day

iPhone Photography: the first winter day

Do you feel a need for reflection at this time of year? In between the energising summer and the comforting winter holidays? Before the bustle of holiday preparations and the blank page of a new year?

I do. It's so easy to get caught up in the bustle of everyday chores, and lose sight of the big picture. This feels like a good time to assess what's been working and what hasn't. I'd like to let go of the baggage of the past and be ready for a new beginning. Ease myself into Christmas and find a focus for next year.

My theme for this autumn has been to reevaluate my expenses, energy and time. I seem to constantly be pruning and reinventing my digital life. Reducing stress, clutter, noise to support focus and creative space. This autumn I’ve reclaimed a surprising amount of time, focus and money by cutting back on online activities, subscriptions and participation in various online forums, challenges, blogs, e-courses, business books and so on, in favour of focusing more on being in the present, spending time with family and friends and exploring opportunities of the offline world. So far I’ve:

  1. Taken a course in “Discovering and Creating Patterns” at the National Gallery of my hometown.
  2. Applied for an artist’s grant to go to Paris for a month! (cross your fingers!)
  3. Set aside Friday afternoons in the studio for spontaneous, playful explorations in different media with a focus on letting go of expectations. It's been wonderful to create a space for my own creativity (aside from client work) and to treat that time with the same respect as I would if it was a course or a meeting with other people.

I thought about what I'd like to focus on during the end of the year, and jotted down my thoughts with pen and paper:

  1. A time to commit to your art and illuminate the skills and resources that nurture your talents. Build a stronger foundation.
  2. Inner wealth.
  3. Look at different ways of generating an income.
  4. Keep it simple. Sensuality. Slow life. The cozy comforts of home.
  5. Bloom where you're planted. Sink in where you are, a path to creativity.

What are your reflections for the end of winter? How has your autumn been? Do you like to refocus and reassess now and then?