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Tranquilista by Kimberly Wilson
Kimberly Wilson : Tranquilista — Chic Creativity: Ways to Evoke Creativity

Tranquilista Excerpt

Ways to Evoke Creativity

By Kimberly Wilson

Forcing creativity is akin to bathing a cat. The key is to be deliberate about it. Set the stage to let it flow. While working to meet deadlines in the face of writer's block, or to juggle multiple creative sparks, I have found that four tools are critical to my creative success. Following are my life-saving creative tools.

Have a Ritual — When I sit down to indulge in a creative endeavor, I often light a candle. It's important to turn off the influx of email, set my cell phone on silent and put it way across the room, clear my work space of clutter, have a cup of tea nearby, and play ambient music in the background (unless I'm writing — then I need pure, blissful silence). I also find it critical to be dressed in something comfy that feels well put together — accessories, lip gloss, and all. But that's me; it's important to explore what works for you.

How can you make your creative time sacred? Try taking a hot bath before sculpting. Painting your nails before writing. Baking bread before gardening. Spending time at your altar before dancing. Meditating before sewing. Whatever it is, turn it into a regular ceremony that prepares your mind, body, and spirit for creative expression.

Set Up Your Space — We all know Virginia Woolf strongly suggested that women have a room of their own. I believe it is necessary, whether you are creating or not. But for artistic play, it is critical that you have a special space to store your tools, display your design boards, feel safe, come for inspiration, and file your ideas.

Design boards are the perfect place to post swatches, images, cards from fans, color chips, and artistic postcards so that you'll have inspiration at your fingertips. Ensure that your space is well stocked with pens, paper, and creative tools such as needles, paintbrushes, or wire. Lighting can assist with creating ambience, but in your workspace it is critical to have lots of lighting to prevent your having to squint — remember, darling, squinting promotes wrinkles.

Manage Your Time — Carve out space for the creativity to flow, and have patience if it doesn't flow as quickly as you'd like. A kitchen timer can be a handy tool for all sorts of discipline: meditation, creating, yin yoga, and taking small chunks of time to focus on a bigger goal. If you are heavily scheduled (aren't we all?), it's key to use the space between obligations for making things happen. Rushing from one meeting, class, or call to the next can leave you twiddling your thumbs between appointments, since there isn't enough time to launch into another project. Take advantage of the in-between time to open your Word document and add fifteen minutes' worth of writing to your novel. Sometimes you have to steal what little in-between time you have. Have your journal or idea book handy at all times for brainstorming and for capturing fleeting ideas.

I try to allocate one day a week for creative flow. During this time I muse on new designs for my ecoclothing line, TranquiliT, write, bead chunky gemstone necklaces, organize my living and work space, take hot baths, and daydream. This creative space is critical to refueling my often depleted well. Review your schedule right now and observe where you can carve out at least fifteen minutes weekly to work on a creative project. This is in addition to the weekly artist date. I know, I never said the journey to enlightened work and mindful play was easy. But creativity is critical for your soul's survival, so do all you can to make it happen.

Return to Yoga — When leading yoga and creativity workshops, I love to bring in the tenets of yoga and share how they apply to our creative process. Tapas means "discipline." To create you must be strict about sitting down or getting out there and making it happen. Ahimsa is nonviolence and is critical to the creative process. Of course your first draft or performance won't be your strongest, but you must practice kindness toward yourself on the creative journey. Self-study, svadyaya, ensures the continued connection of your spirit to your creativity. By reflecting regularly, you are able to grow, improve, flourish, and change course, as needed. Santosha is the practice of being content with what is. So your book signing drew a small crowd — it drew a crowd (even if it was your family), and that is what you must focus on to stay inspired. Saucha means "purity" and brings us back to the importance of setting up an organized creative space and keeping our insides pure by consuming healthy food and drink and getting exercise. All these practices will assist the creative flow.

Let Your Life Sparkle — Creative expression is a right, and a necessity for your continued exploration of yourself, especially while you're on a more mindful path. Explore ways to add more color, glitter, laughs, and light to your everyday. Put your personal stamp on everything that you put out in the world. You are unique, no doubt about it. Let your authentic spirit shine forth and sparkle brilliantly.

Model Muse — The lovely Midwestern designer Amy Butler oozes creativity — from her books to her sewing patterns to her stationery to her organic bedding. She has taken her creative passion and grown it into an inspiring business that helps fuel other women's creativity. I've used her ornate paper for crafts, tried designs from her book In Stitches, and thoroughly enjoyed my interview with this down-to-earth designing diva. Amy exudes Midwest charm, humility, and a balanced work ethos and is sure to light a creative spark and have you wishing she was your BFF. What began with twelve hundred dollars has turned into an empire of creative expression. •

Kimberly WilsonExcerpted with permission from the book Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play © 2010 by Kimberly Wilson. Printed with permission from Kimberly is the designer of eco-fashion line TranquiliT and the founder of the Tranquil Space Foundation. More »