Creative Process

The Common Denominator with Successful Creatives

I’ve had a fascination with the creatives for a long time. Back in my university days (in, dare I say it, the early-mid 90’s), it led to me studying art history for six years. The fascination has never ceased, particularly as I have traversed my own path as a designer.

In particular, I have been fascinated in finding some kind of common thread amongst the ‘great’ artists, some secret that they were all onto that the rest of us could perhaps learn from. And there was one thing that became abundantly clear to me the more that investigated incredible creatives, the ones that really stood outside the square and did something truly inspiring and original. THEY WERE TRULY AND UNABASHEDLY THEMSELVES. In their art, certainly, and often in their life in general too.

Lately I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Over summer I took some time off. I was feeling burned out and lacklustre, an all too common trait in my creative cycles that I’d really like to change, or at least reduce. I also realised that I was going down a road in the creation of my new business enterprise that was leading me down paths that didn’t really feel right and that needed tweaking. Having already created one business that went against the grain, this was not something I wanted to repeat.

Those who know me, know that I am all about following my intuition, so I really wanted to take time out just to listen for what was right for me, and what tweaking needed to happen to set me back on a track that is more holistic.

And what my intuition told me was this: BE COMPLETELY AND UNABASHEDLY YOURSELF! Fancy that, the [...]

The True Role of Inspiration, Epiphany and The Muse

Do you know what I love? I love it when I get excited about something. Excited in the way where every fibre of your being tingles with the knowledge that you are doing what you are meant to be doing, despite impracticalities and a smaller voice telling you why such a thing should and can’t be. Do you know what I am talking about? Have you had that experience? This feeling is also known as inspiration, epiphany and ‘the muse’. It’s a moment and a state of being where something between you and the outer world clicks in such a way that an opening is created in the realm of possibility. Whether or not, like Alice, you choose to fall down the rabbit hole in moments such as these is entirely another matter.

I am fortunate in that I have that feeling on a semi-regular basis- enough to know that when it comes around that I need to pay attention and follow my nose and all the signs because it is leading to the next path on what has been a pretty amazing creative journey. And I really love living my creative life in this way because I know that when I am inspired in this way that I am living in alignment with my purpose on this planet. That may sound a bit corny, but I really do! It is what connects me not just to my creative path as a designer, artist and coach but also to my role in the creation of my own life. Because, whether you like it or not, this is what we are all doing every single day!

I love that feeling of true inspiration and connectedness because it [...]

My name is Susan and I am an Over-Preparer…

If there was a 12 step program for people who are addicted to completely over-preparing for every single design, engagement, email, appointment and responsibility, I would be in it.

Seriously, its almost pathological for me, the need to have read everything, seen everything, left no stone unturned, rehearsed and be 100% clear on how I am going to conduct myself through pretty much most situations (Translation: yes, I am a nerd).  I say most, because obviously you can’t do this all the time. On those occasions I ‘wing it’ and do you know what happens?  It all turns out perfectly fine and nobody knows that I put zero preparation in.

So why do I bother?  I guess the answer lies in that we all have a creative process which (hopefully) gets us to the completion of a project.  For me I think that it is partly just the habit of holding onto old ways of being and doing, because for some time now I have been exploring what it means to live intuitively and trusting my natural talent.  And for the period that I have been experimenting with this, the results have been mostly really fantastic – I have trusted my natural ability to do what it is that I am setting out to do, kept an end result in mind, and then ‘winged it to completion’, minus the 20 hours of preparation.

So why, pray tell, did I just spend 4 days in a hotel in Perth writing ten thousand words (the equivalent of an Honours Thesis) in preparation for a workshop?  I have just realised that there are two reasons:

Firstly, the very valid need to get my voice out on paper on a particular theme [...]