“Creativity is a muscle. We often don’t look at it in terms of something that can be trained, but it can be trained. And I think that we did it naturally as children because we had to discover our world. Once we felt as if we’d discovered enough, we didn’t really keep working at it … Therein lies the biggest opportunity–to recognize that you’re in life-long learning mode.”Kevin Carroll, interview in “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” by Stefan Mamaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield, page 56
Painting is a combination of enjoying the things you can do (“comfort zone”), the challenge of things you can’t yet do but know you want to (“stretching yourself”), and exploring the unknown by trying things and seeing what happens (“creative exploration” or entering the “here be dragons” region of the map).
Creativity isn’t all about huge ideas and innovation, it’s the small things too. Small steps into the (to-you) unknown. Adding colour pencil to a watercolour painting for the first time. Choosing a canvas that’s twice the size you’ve ever painted. Using a sketchbook on location. Taking an art workshop. Trying clear gesso.
A step outside whatever is your usual. You might find yourself stepping back. But what if you don’t?