Well, hey creative friends. Are you feeling creative today or do you feel like your creativity has taken a back seat? Maybe you feel like your mind is so cluttered from living your day-to-day life that it’s hard for you to take a moment to express your creativity. Yeah, I get that. I feel that a lot. Today I am going to share with you 5 Steps to Harnessing Your Creativity.
I am Lauren Metang of Palm Creations and I too have struggled with expressing my creativity. Several years ago, I had so much trouble finding just the right pattern for my fabric pull. Have you ever experienced that? I looked and looked through Pinterest, Instagram, and I even went old school and looked through quilt books. Nothing. But then, I went back to my scientific roots and decided to combat this “quilter’s block” with science.
5 Steps to Harnessing Your Creativity
Imagine this: Oops, you’ve just realized you are running low on your favorite solid fabric. You get in your car and drive to your favorite quilt shop. It’s a beautiful day so you roll the windows down and feel the sun kiss your skin. Once you arrive at the quilt shop you give yourself the pep talk in the parking lot. Yeah, you know the one I’m talking about. The one where you remind yourself to stick to the budget because you already have “enough fabric” at home. Whatever that means.
You hear the crunch of the leaves under your shoes as you walk up the path to the quilt shop. Taking a deep breath, you turn the door handle, and you enter. Suddenly, a feeling of home washes over you. You instantly forget your pep talk and start browsing the fabric. Then, suddenly, you hear a whisper coming from the other room That’s odd. I mean, this is your favorite local quilt shop, but you didn’t know that they knew you by name!
You hesitantly walk closer and closer to the whisper. The whisper gets louder as you approach and you find, it’s not coming from another human being, it’s coming from the Holy Grail of all fabrics. Instantly you know you just have it. So, as it is glimmering in front of you, you take the bolt off the shelf and bring it to the cutting table. Very proudly, assert that you would like 4 yards, as that’s your rule for fabrics you can’t live without. You bring your cut fabric to the register to pay and then head on home, feeling full of promise and hope.
Moment Of Realization
The moment you get home you bound inside to your sewing space, create the most gorgeous fabric pull from your stash, and then your heart sinks. You have just realized you have no idea what pattern you will use with this fabric. This glorious fabric that even called your name. You did not choose the fabric. No, it chose you. And so, the fabric sits in a box for what seems like eternity. Unplanned. Uncut. Does this sound familiar? It is all too familiar to me.
I’d love to share with you a method I use to unlock my creativity. It’s 5 simple steps and has provided ample opportunities to flex my creative muscles.
Here are 5 Steps to Harnessing Your Creativity:
To move air into and out of the lungs.
Yes, you read that right. The first step to unleashing your creativity is to breathe. We get so caught up in everything that’s going on in our lives that we forget to take a moment and just be. Not being worried about impressing anyone or accomplishing anything, just being and breathing. So, take a moment and breathe. Here is one of my favorite ways to slow down and breathe.
Equal breathing relaxes the central nervous system, improves focus and concentration, and quiets the mind. To start, sit or lay in a comfortable position. As you close your eyes, focus on your natural breathing for a few breaths. Don’t force it or control it, just observe.
Inhale and count to four.
Pause for a moment.
Exhale and count to four.
Pause for a moment.
The goal is to match inhale and exhale lengths. Continue equal breathing for a couple of minutes.
To regard with attention, especially as to see or learn something.
We start getting creative when we can observe the world around us. When we were children, we were taught to observe the world with our five senses. Do you remember them?
When we imagine creativity within quilting, we may only think that we can conjure it with the sense of sight. However, we have four more senses from which we can gather information. Our ears help us to hear sounds, which come in the form of waves. Remember our bodies experience touch through feeling all different kinds of surfaces. Our nose helps us to smell, and our mouth helps us to taste, guiding us to identify what we love and what we detest. All the senses combined allows us to fully observe the world around us.
As sight is our most used sense in quilting, let’s look at the definition. Sight: the physical sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space (Miriam Webster).
Architecture is one of my very favorite ways of gathering information, or observing, in order to think about quilt pattern designs. Put down Pinterest and Instagram and get into the world whenever you are having difficulty accessing your creativity.
To examine in detail with careful or critical attention.
Once you’ve taken a step back and have observed everything around you in a broader sense, look intently at various pieces the various pieces that make up what you have just observed. If you are relying on your sense of sight, train your mind to see shapes in everything you see. You’re no longer looking at clouds or buildings, you’re looking at circles and rectangles, respectively. Look at the lines that create the shapes that you see and try to find the simplest shapes you can. Move this line of thinking into your other senses.
Recognize the slightest sounds. Pay attention to the sounds of the wind or the birds chirping.
Feel textures which are different, like the rough surface of a lemon or the soft surface of a newborn baby’s skin.
Smell and taste individual ingredients. Determine individual spices and herbs in your dinner. Taste all the culinary notes in your glass of wine.
When you break down the big picture into smaller bites, it can allow for an even greater appreciation of the smaller pieces.
To take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice.
Now that you have gathered all of your information, it is now time to implement everything. Combine your observations and your broken-down pieces and re-structure them. It is okay if you do not get a masterpiece the first time you combine everything. Figure out what works together and what doesn’t.
This is the part where it will be necessary to document what works and what doesn’t work, so that you don’t waste time on things that don’t work in the future.
If you are observing and scrutinizing textures, bring opposite textures together and see if the combination brings joy to you. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. If it doesn’t swap out one of the textures with a texture closer to the other one. For example, if you are combining linen and faux fur, maybe you find you don’t like that combo. But then, you switch out the faux fur for corduroy and love that combination.
To determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study.
Lastly, take a step back from your creation and discover what makes your heart sing with joy. You know when Marie Kondo says to only keep things in your home that spark joy (also what William Morris, the father of the arts and crafts movement, said)? This is also how we should determine when a creation is finished or when it still needs some tweaking.
Maybe you’ve decided to add a secret ingredient to your famous chocolate cake recipe and now it’s time to eat it to decide if you should keep that secret ingredient. If your jaw is dropping to the floor in awe of how it tastes, that may be a good indication that you need to keep it in the recipe. If you eat a piece and it seems like something is still missing, circle back and re-work that recipe.
Testing and evaluating go hand-in-hand. You may have to repeat these two steps several times before you get your final creation that brings out all the heart eyes, but it’s worth it to have something you are proud of creating.
Congratulations! You have just used the scientific method to unlock your creativity!
Do you love the BOSTE method but need a little help remembering the steps? Fear not!
I have created a collection of images outlining each step and I will email it to you.
FYI, by clicking on the link you’ll be subscribing to our email list where you will get all kinds of exclusive info and discounts! In addition to these handy images, I will also be sending you journal pages for each step to help you get started with the BOSTE method so that you can write down everything that has been swirling around in your head.
I hope you find these 5 Steps to Harnessing Your Creativity helpful and are able to flex those creative muscles!