After months of writing about creativity from a conceptual perspective, today I offer a practical example of how I live these concepts. During the month of June, I consciously applied the steps of the creative process as I planned, prepared and presented a five-day art camp for eight middle school students.
The steps are:
Setting an intention
Focusing your attention on your intention
Letting go of control and allowing the process to unfold
Receiving what the Universe brings you
My blog posts from February, March, April and May 2017 provide a brief explanation of the purpose and value of each step.
To begin, I set an intention to craft a creative, expansive and fun camp. Then I strengthened and anchored this intention by choosing the mental and emotional states I wanted to experience as I organized and led the activities. I selected qualities of happy, masterful, ease, balance, grounded and clear. These characteristics established a high-frequency vibratory state for my energy field and the entire creative process.
The next step involves maintaining a consistent focus on the intention. I accomplished this by setting a regular schedule for purchasing supplies, organizing materials and planning lessons. Every time I worked on this project I revisited the intention for a creative, expansive and fun camp.
Once the week began, I maintained balance between directing and allowing as I provided instructions, emphasized that artistic license urges artists to go beyond guidelines and encouraged the imaginative ideas proposed by the students. Unexpected outcomes arose daily and hourly. These unforeseen events provided opportunities to let go of control and receive what the Universe presented. I frequently had to revise the process, adjust my expectations or let go of my attachment to an outcome. The artists were even more flexible. They showed appreciation for the surprises that arose in their work. I frequently heard comments such as, “It’s not what I expected but I kind of like it.”
Now that the camp is over, it is time to give thanks and celebrate. Gratitude and celebration signal the psyche and the soul that this particular creative process is complete. Completion grounds the energy that was generated before and during the camp. Completion promotes integration of the learning that occurred during the entire process. Completion brings forth a void or opening that attracts new energy to support the next creative endeavor. When we forget to consciously acknowledge the completion of our creations, we disrupt grounding and interrupt integration. We also limit our access to the energy available for the next project.
Gratitude flowed through our closing ceremony as I thanked the students for their great attitudes and excellent cooperation and effort. This post celebrates the culmination of my efforts as it honors the artists’ creativity and success. Every student produced three major works: an enlargement of an image from the Sunday comic section of The Seattle Times; a Batik image on a pillowcase and a silk screen design on a T-shirt. I hope you enjoy seeing their art as much as we enjoyed making it. The campers and I experienced a creative, expansive and fun week!