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  • The Creative Process
  • Sumner Smith
  • bizfunlife

The Creative Process

People like to ask about the creative process - as in, where do my ideas come from?  And I usually have no good answer, but today I sort of do.  Because it has occurred to me that all of my good ideas come from doing something.  Rarely from thinking about something - as in, I can't think my way into my next good idea (which is kind of a bummer because it would certainly be easier and less time consuming.  But also a lot less fun.) 

But no - my good ideas inevitably come from leaving my studio and getting out in the world and seeing what's going on.  Rarely do the trips to see the world yield what I think they will - like, I'll think I'm getting knitting inspiration and I actually end up with my next jewelry idea (more on this later!  I'm actually kind of wildly excited about it.)

So - it's the act of getting more inputs that  yields interesting things, not the idea of wanting the interesting things.  Tricky, right?  And also, now that I think about it, feeds exactly into one of the main premises of The Artist's Way, which I've talked about in pretty great detail, and has led to some fun outings

Here is a short of list things that have proven interesting of late, even (or especially) when not in the way I expected. And, where applicable, their documentation on my Instagram stories - which I have somewhat lazily dropped in here.

  • Joined a weekly knitting group with my mom.  Fun times, both with the people in the group and with concentrated mom time.
  • Went to a knitting workshop with a person I (in all honesty) had barely heard of, because it seemed like if everyone else was excited about it I probably should at least check it out.  And everyone else was right!  Highly inspirational day, fun times meeting both the presenter and the other attendees, came away with a jewelry idea I'm excited about (as well as some major knitting inspiration).
  • Committed to a business accountability partner with weekly meetings and check-ins, which is certainly helping my business and also yielding a deeper friendship with someone I've always liked but didn't know well.
  • Been conducting a somewhat half-assed but steady book club with my college roommate on the other side of the country.  Leading to more meaningful conversations than we might otherwise have, and a steady weekly phone call with someone I love.  Current book:  White Fragility.  Highly recommend.
  • Joined a twelve week yoga intensive focused on the press handstand - this meant six workouts a week of a few hours per workout, during the holidays.  Was the timing my best idea ever?  Certainly not, as I run a business that is busy during the holidays.  Do I have a press handstand?  Not really, although I'm well on my way and can now see how to get there.  But I did make some good friends, stretched myself in new ways (figuratively, but also literally I suppose), and have the satisfaction of committing to something and seeing it through.

    And probably a few others that are currently escaping me.  Not all of these things led to great creative ideas, but they all led to something, and all have benefitted me and certainly increased my range of inputs and ideas.  I guess my takeaway is this:  it's action that leads to the best ideas.  If all else fails, go do something, and then see what happens.


    • Sumner Smith
    • bizfunlife