A regular creative practice can do so much good for you, whether or not you’re a professional creative.
I’ve experienced so many health and wellness benefits, from having a regular creative practice. And it started out as having nothing to do with my professional creative work.
My journey to a regular creative practice
As much as art is at the centre of my business, and has been for more than 10 years, 6 years ago I got really burned out.
While focusing on creating for other people and spending a lot of time managing a team, I wasn’t doing any creating that was just for me.
I was so creatively frustrated and I knew I needed an outlet. Creativity with no expectations, like when I was a kid.
After years of excuses of not having enough time, at some point, I decided I was going to make time, to make art for myself.
Making creative practice a habit
I love structure, so, soon after this decision was made, I came up with a challenge for myself – to create a piece of plant-inspired art, every day. I called it #plantsomethingdaily – the idea was that I was planting a new habit, by taking action every day.
It was self-care in so many ways!
I want to share some of the benefits I experienced, to demonstrate the power of a regular creative practice.
Creating art forces you to be really present. For those with minds that wander easily, or who are constantly juggling several thoughts, to-do lists etc., creativity is a great way to calm all of that and in this way, it helps you to relax and de-stress.
I had been experiencing frequent, debilitating headaches when I started this regular art practice. Coupled with some other lifestyle changes, they soon disappeared completely!
To keep myself accountable, I committed to sharing each daily art piece on Instagram. I’m such a perfectionist and, having to share my art, no matter whether I was completely happy with it or not, really forced me to practice this idea of action over perfection. And as we all know, the more you practice something, the more you get comfortable with doing it.
Committing to making this art daily – even though I missed days here and there – really built my confidence and trust in myself. In my ability to see things through.
Finding my voice
In creating every day, you start to explore and experiment more, and you make unexpected discoveries too. In time, your “thing” – i.e. your style or your voice – starts to emerge. I believe this applies regardless of what form of art you engage in. Whether it’s visual, culinary, musical etc.
For me, this daily creative practice was not only beneficial for growing my mental and emotional resilience, it also led to professional opportunities. Growing my Instagram audience; attracting ideal clients for my business; and inspiring designs for my stationery products.
I want to thank wellness coach, Nellie Kinyanjui, and personal trainer and fitness coach, Stephanie Mwaura, for inviting me to talk about art and self-care, at one of their recent Wellness Conversations. It was validating to see them appreciate the role art and creativity have to play, in living a healthy life. And it also inspired this blog post!
How have you benefited from a regular creative practice?
Stay tuned for a follow-up post. I’ll be sharing tips on how to establish a creative self-care practice, as well as some activities for you to try. Join my mailing list so you don’t miss it.