What can educators do on those days when they need some creative inspiration? Today, while enjoying a performance of Sakura, a lovely Japanese folk song, at the Toronto Music Garden, I began to think of the different paths I’ve explored in order to nurture my creativity. There are so many ways to find inspiration outside of yourself – listen to music, go to an art gallery, read poetry, spend time in nature, socialize with creative people. Certainly these experiences will spark inner changes, give you ideas, refresh your spirit and hopefully prompt you to create something. A piece of writing. A musical composition. A photograph. A batch of cookies. A quilt. The list is endless. If you are looking for ideas, I recently found a link with recommended blogs that address different aspect of the topic of creativity – crafts, the psychology of creativity, poetry etc. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/02/03/10-blogs-to-spark-your-creativity/
Turning inward is another pathway to creative inspiration. Is there something you loved doing when you were younger, that you have stopped doing and want to return to now? Was there something you always wanted to do but could not, for whatever reason (e.g., no opportunity, lack of funds)? Did you get the support and encouragement that you needed for your creative interests? These are all things to consider when you reflect on what has inspired you, what does inspire you. Exploring answers to these questions is one way to understand barriers to creativity, move past them and enjoy more time expressing your creative ideas.
When I was trying to find my way back to music, and trying to teach more creatively, I was advised to read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I did this, following the author’s recommendations to keep a journal, to take time for creative adventures (even small ones like browsing in an art supply store), and to identify those childhood activities that gave me so much enjoyment and let them back into my adult life. I have never regretted the time spent doing those things, and can only say that my life and work have been made better because of the creative risks I decided to take.
For me, inspiration often comes from surprising and unexpected places. This blog entry was inspired by Sakura, and time spent in Toronto’s beautiful Music Garden, so I share that experience with you now. See what it inspires for you.