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Creativity and Chocolate

If you are anything like me, sometimes my creative practise is like chocolate. That is, I mentally turn my creative practice into a treat that I reward myself with after I have done what I consider my real work, or my responsibilities. Just like chocolate, I know my creative practise is good for me but the problem comes when it becomes a reward. While I like the term creative practice because it implies a process rather than a product, when the word work is associated with creativity, it sets up a different mental image. When I do my creative work it isn’t a reward it is work, just like all the other work I do in a given day. And I for one like work.

I like chocolate too, but I know I should not have too much of it. In order to reach my creative goals it is not helpful for me to think of my creative work as chocolate, a treat. It is more helpful for me to think of it as work, a responsiblity I need to attend to every day.

Chocolate can be my reward for doing my creative work. I like that idea!

How about you? Is your creative time a little bit like chocolate that you use to reward yourself once you have fulfilled all your other responsibilities? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Drop me a comment!

Thanks for reading!

Creativity Coaching – The Myth of Creative Genius

As a Creativity Coach I was interested this morning to listen to Anna Maria Tremonti’s interview with author Kevin Ashton on CBC Radio’s “The Current”.  Ashton explores the idea that we tend to associate creative inspiration with a sort of magical “aha moment” in which a person gets an idea that changes the world or brings something into being that has never been seen before.  Ashton’s idea is that all of us are creative and that all of the innovations that we might atribute to one or two very smart people are actually built on the work of many, many people, even if only one or two get the credit.

Dr Ashton suggests that the idea of creative genius came about to allow certain people to hold an elitist position in society.  The myth surrounding creativity helps make the majority of people think that they are not creative and therefore allows only a few to claim that they are set apart from the rest of society.

This is an interesting idea and has both merit and influence on how we ordinary people conceptualize creativity. If we believe that creativity is the domain of the brilliant and talented and therefore not available to the ordinary person we are likely to feel limited in what we can do.  As soon as we are stymied by a problem, we may begin to doubt our own talent or brilliance.  If we believe that really successful creators got their ideas in a flash of insight, we may not connect with the reality of creativity which involves a great deal of trial and error and building on the work of others.

This is not to say that successful creative people don’t have good ideas and don’t work very hard.  It is to suggest that any one of us have the potential for success but it is more dependent on hard work than on some nebulous idea of talent or brilliance.

These ideas can also free us up from the illusion that we need to come up with something new and innovative in order to be creative. All of our creativity rides on the backs of those who have come before us.  Since all of us are creative, we are free to both create and to encourage others around us to be creative.

If you want to listen to the interview here is where you can find it:


Kevin Ashton dismantles creative genius in ‘How to Fly a Horse’

Are You Feeling Stuck Creatively?

I thought you might enjoy this interesting interview with Dr. Eric Maisel, the well know Creativity Coach and the founder of the coaching specialty of Creativity Coaching.  He has been a Creativity Coach for many years, writes about it and also teaches courses in Creativity Coaching.  I have had the joy of taking three courses from Eric; two Creativity Coaching courses through the Creativity Coaching Association and also his Life Purpose Bootcamp.  In fact I was in the trial group for his very first Life Purpose Bootcamp on which he based his recent book by the same name.  The book is available through Amazon.ca.

I hope you enjoy this interview and if you want to know more about my Creativity Coaching Practise please contact me by email at marj@coachingthecreative.ca or call me at 780-463-2603.  I am currently accepting new clients.

If you can’t get the video to work, click on the link below to take you to youtube.


I Haven’t Been Painting for Awhile

The last five months have been filled with activity and pretty much devoid of painting. As a Creativity Coach I am loathed to admit my failures! But there it is. Now you know. Notice though that I said I have done little painting. I have however been using my creativity in other areas of my life. Although I am not entirely satisfied with what my creative practise has been in the last five months, it has been chugging along all the while.

Most of what I have been busy with has been family stuff and health issues. Nothing really serious with the health issues; nothing more serious than getting older and needing to deal with more things. Nothing more than having to pay attention to things like exercise, eating well and getting enough rest.

The family stuff included helping alter bridesmaid dresses and a wedding dress for my daughter’s wedding in Mexico in December, the busyness of Christmas and then a new grandchild born last month. There have also been quite a few deaths that have touched me in the last five months. An uncle died in September, an aunt in October, a close artist friend in November and another artist friend in January. All these deaths have reminded me that we only have so much time on this earth to accomplish what we want and need to do.

Now I face the challenge of getting back to my painting. I have lost my momentum and don’t know where to begin. It is important to realize that there is no easy way to begin again. Just knowing that can be helpful in lowering our expectation of ourselves. Here are some ideas:

  • Go into your studio or work area and ‘hang out’
  • Put on your favorite motivational music; music has a huge affect on our moods
  • Spend time cleaning up your work area or rearranging things more efficiently
  • Don’t get bogged down in cleaning up but use it as a place to start
  • Set up your materials and replenish what you are short on
  • Take a look at unfinished projects and see if they still have merit
  • Give yourself a little treat for whatever you accomplish
  • Plan to return tomorrow and keep doing what you love to do

I hope you get back on your creativity horse in the very near future. If you never got off, I hope your ride continues to bring you joy. If you have any ideas that have worked for you be sure to share them with us.

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