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Tranquilista by Kimberly Wilson
Kimberly Wilson : Tranquilista — Chic Creativity: Your Life is Art

Tranquilista Excerpt

Chapter 4: Chic Creativity

By Kimberly Wilson

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. — Martha Graham

The notion of creativity can be tricky to grasp. What exactly is it? Well, the art of being creative, of course. But what does "being creative" mean? Although I've read heaps of books and have focused on living creatively for the past decade, I still struggle to define the term. I first discovered that I was creative by reading books claiming that everyone is creative. Really, even moi? Although I've been addicted to accessories since my early years (picture a narrow pink belt worn over a black-and-gold first-grade soccer jersey topped off with a wide green headband), I never thought of myself as "creative" — a term reserved for painters or sculptors. You know, those who have their work on display and for sale. Since discovering that I, too, was a creative being, I've been on a crusade to inspire others to uncover their creative sides. This stage is all about unleashing your creative juices, exploring ways to live creatively, and basking in this state of expression.

Your Life Is Art

I like to think of each day as a fresh canvas full of possibility. Of course, there are days when you wake up and feel like nothing is in store, but stay with me. You can exude your creativity in numerous ways — from the clothes you wear to the color of the pens you use to the way you organize your files. Simple choices you make every day offer a welcome opportunity to think creatively. Begin to define your life as art — a true masterpiece. You already know you are one of a kind. Now revel in the creation of this magnum opus and consciously design your colorful canvas.

When you define your life as a work of art, each brushstroke, each decision, each person, each piece has significant value. Start to envision your life as the creation of a museumworthy masterpiece. What do you want to see — colors, players, life-defining moments, milestones? Let your canvas unfold in images that make your heart sing. You control your artistic touches and can start anew anytime. Every day, you are given a fresh canvas to paint with a renewed outlook. Enjoy the evolution of this ongoing work of art, and start to cultivate creativity in all you do.

Indulge in an Artist Date — Julia Cameron first exposed me to this little gem when I read her bestseller The Artist's Way. An artist date is a weekly two-hour solo excursion to indulge your creative side. I like to take this a step further with occasional solo nights, days, or even weeks. Think of your artist date as replenishing your creative well, nurturing your inner artist, and allowing yourself the chance to find inspiration. I've pulled together a plethora of options based on my own artist dates to offer ideas on indulging your creatress.

Bookstore Browsing — Nothing serves up happiness or inspiration quite like a big room packed full of books. My heart skips a beat when I step into a bookstore. Determining which section to hit first is the most anxiety-producing moment. Once I've decided, I settle into pure bliss. Bookstores offer ideas, creative thought, and tons of possibility. It's like going to a great movie and getting lost in another person's storyline for days.

Art Galleries — Living in Washington, DC, definitely spoils me when it comes to fabulous art exhibits. I saw a jaw-dropping Edward Hopper exhibit and came home with a heap of postcards of his work and CDs filled with jazz music from the 1920s to the 1950s. As I do in bookstores, I find it delightful to see someone's creative expression in galleries — this time on canvas or sculpted in stone. When I first moved to the nation's capital, I used to hit the galleries and museums often, wandering the vast halls and bathing in the muses around me. Getting the chance to see paintings in person that you grew up seeing in textbooks — like Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party — is a religious experience.

Live Music — Going to see musicians play live is sure to jump-start your creativity. I've been to numerous Tori Amos shows solo over the years. Her music and performance persona always bring tears to my eyes. Seeing an artist in her element can leave even the most fledgling, aspiring performer feeling more connected to her own spirit.

Crafty Stores — Find a store full of fabric glue, watercolors, ribbons, rolls of fabric, and knitting needles, and you'll be in for a little slice of creativity heaven. Walking the aisles can fill your spirit with doses of color, texture, and ideas. Dabble in scrapbooking, stencil a blank tee, watercolor a postcard, or frame a print. Craft stores contain enough eye candy (and potential projects) to inspire your soul for years to come.

Dance Performances — A dear friend has a belly dance studio, and I love going to watch the ladies perform in full stage makeup, including glitter and long feathery eyelashes, along with extravagant costuming and tons of accents in their hair. I find myself dancing to the beats in my seat and daydreaming about joining a touring troupe.

Nature Expedition — Why not spend your lunch hour on a nearby patch of grass, or take a Sunday drive to your state park? Have your sketchpad and journal in tow to capture inspiration as it arises. Communing with nature assists with getting your spiritual connection on. Have you found the nearby arboretum or botanical gardens? Listen to birds, watch the squirrels, and gaze at the stars. Nature encourages you to slow down and relish magnificent vistas — and often you can do this without having to travel too far.

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