Essence.

creativity

I have mentioned before that writing is a cathartic process for me. What started out as a hobby and a method of therapy has developed into something which I would like to do for the rest of my life. Lately, I have undergone a process of personal evaluation: met with a crossroads, the time has come for me to pick a direction. However, being a reflective thinker has meant that the decision making process has been drawn out, involving extensive list making, seminars, thinking, crossing things out, re-thinking things, exploring my curiosity and errr, more thinking. A lot of thinking, perhaps too much! Not only has this process brought about internal turmoil, indecision, and eventual transformation, but it has also brought an effective solution.

After proceeding with caution, it has become clear to me that taking that feared leap need not be so….restricting, or even complicated a process. How did this clarity emerge?

By revisiting to my teenage self.

Although not that long ago, looking back has revealed to me the internal change which has taken place over the past 4 years. It all started by flipping through an old, neatly kept A3 sketchbook. Filled with collages, design sketches, doodles and mood boards, it represented who I was at that point, and who I still feel am. It is a pure expression of creativity, of a time when ambition was a mere thought, a hope. Essentially, I am – and love being – creative.

Now, that ambition is very much at the fore of what I do; it is something which I cannot afford to not keep thinking about, but I must action it.

In working towards making that happen, however, I’ve been guilty of drifting away from what inspired it. New aspects of life become prioritised; characteristics of the ‘real world’ come to the fore, and shake you out of your younger, imaginative self. I am enjoying witnessing and experiences the changes that this time in my life bring – although sometimes anxious, I remain excited on the whole. However, keeping in touch with my essence, what I enjoy, what inspires me, and what aligns with my purpose in life – even knowing what that is, is just as important as blooming into a young adult and shouldering the responsibilities that it entails.

Creativity is a pervasive element of who I am, and what I do everyday. Even something as simple as cooking, I realise that when I am doing it, I am at my most engaged yet relaxed point. I am not thinking about anything else but that which I’m creating in that single moment. Although Anthropology is not a classically ‘creative’ discipline, it is a deeply explorative subject which has allowed me to combine my creative and academic interests. Not to mention that it involves a lot of writing.

My hope is that I remain able to stay in touch with that essential part of my identity.

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The Un-revolutionary act of List-making.

DSC_0443Heyall! Happy mid-week.

Today I bring to you a magic formula that I have recently discovered; one so simple and obvious, yet so impactful. This formula provides the perfect antidote to feeling unmotivated.

I present to you….(it’s nothing revolutionary so don’t get too excited*)….

The art of LIST-MAKING. (*see above statement)

You see, I am the type of person that comes up with an idea, gets excited about it, plans all its intricate details… only for my initial enthusiasm and interest in it to wane a few days later. And here’s the thing: I know I am definitely not alone!

However lately, I find that I have been able to pace my zealousness over new ideas, by creating lists. Each night before I go to bed, I take out a small notebook and create a rough list of all the things I need to accomplish the following day. This has allowed me to map out my path, and forecast where I need to go and what I need to do. My newfound hobby has also prevented me from experiencing the ‘midday slump’, i.e. the point in the day at which I feel least inspired and motivated, due to the fact that I have a reminder of things to do that I am (mostly) excited to accomplish.

I used to refuse to categorise myself as a routine-orientated person, back when I used to think that ‘creativity’ and ‘routines’ were mutually exclusive. However I now know that in order for me to make the most of my free time and maximise my creativity and productivity, making a list and visualising what needs to be done, is an unmissable step in my daily routine.

Structure can be a very attractive thing. Who knew?

Which techniques help you to stay motivated? Share ‘em if you like.

My A/W Style

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It is probably fair to call time on summer where I live – it has been raining on and off for the past week! So in an effort to usher in the new season in a optimistic way, I decided to organise my wardrobe and sartorially prepare for the colder months.

I find that A/W calls for more dramatic dressing – experiencing cold weather where you live can be a curse as much as a blessing in that you can be more experimental with what you wear. Generally, I tend to have a basic ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ uniform as a base, and I tend to add texture, layer and colour with chunky knitted pieces, classic jackets and practical yet stylish boots or lace up flat shoes. When I feel like brightening my look up, I turn to prints for an uplift and a point of interest.

With sunrise and sunset starting to draw closer together, I am looking forward to dressing more creatively gradually working more and more autumnal items into my daily style.




Creativity in the evenings: the conundrum.

I remember reading somewhere that early mornings and evenings yield the most creativity. To this I can testify. Although I do not witness as many early mornings as I would like to, it seems that as evening comes around, I feel much more inclined to create or research something. It seems that inspiration flows more abundantly when the day has quietened down, and when the daily compulsory tasks such as work or school are not taking over.

I attribute this increased creativity to two main factors. Firstly, because my obligations for that day are taken care of, the evening seems to be the only time in which I can fully relax and use the time to invest in something I truly love to do. Secondly, the fact that it gets dark outside (goes without saying, doesn’t it?) means that I won’t feel as though I am missing out on other things – or at least I won’t be able to see it –  and so I feel less distracted.

However

…I will inevitably become distracted at some point by Tumblr for a few minutes (read: hours), and then owe that to not knowing where to start with all this free time. For example, I will get home after school or work and realise that I have a few hours left before bed to do as I please. Now, because this time is precious and I don’t want to sacrifice any of it, I will try to sketch out a brief to-do list of all the things I want to do within it. In the process however, I become daunted by the prospect of all this free time on my hands, that I end up not knowing where to begin, and then I procrastinate on doing things that I supposedly enjoy. Exhibit A: for the past six weeks I have had iMovie open on my laptop, yet the film I was supposed to edit has been left untouched. If I am completely honest, I have started to forget about it. At some point I will get around to finishing it, maybe even after I post this. Maybe.

Sigh. There are moments in life when you want something so desperately that once it comes to you, you don’t know what to do with it. Time, my friend, is often one of those things.