Welcome everyone, to another beautiful week of Design Create Inspire.
Last week I was joined by Damian Roman, a current design principal who is taking an unconventional path to licensure. If you missed my conversation with Damian and are interested in a different path to licensure, check out the blog and podcast.
This week, I was presented with the opportunity to talk about ebbs and flows of creativity, as well as the Law of Rhythm.
Regardless of what industry you are in, creativity is involved. No matter what your passion is, it is natural to have intense moments of creativity, inspiration, and positivity, as well as the opposite moments of overwhelm, uninspiring, and uncertainty.
As an architect, business is unique. One day I will be up at 3 am, flooded with ideas, feeling
uncontrollably inspired, then another day, I feel burned out by the breakthrough of creativity and find myself self-doubting the progress I have made.
It is difficult to find yourself in the mentality of, “Why was I so motivated and then it just stopped?”, a mentality I am hoping others can relate to. That being said, I am trying to learn to accept the steps backward and look at these moments as mental rests.
When I do find myself in these moments of self-doubt, I remind myself that the progress I have made is not lost, rather the progress I have made during the moments of intense creativity remains.
Although these times can be discouraging, continuously placing myself in a growth mindset is beneficial for my business, my clients, as well as myself.
The ebb and flow of creativity is difficult as it is, but when you bring in the pressure of clients or an audience that depends on you, the pressure to create is intensified. Whether your audience is Instagram or a podcast, where regular, captivating content is expected, or a client that expects a customized, incredible design by a specific deadline, the creative pressure we place on ourselves is incredibly intense.
Being reliable to your audience and clientele is important, but it is just as important to understand that creativity is not linear. This is a difficult mentality to accept, as this often results in inconsistency.
So the question is, “How do we create consistency out of inconsistency?”
After years of contemplating this question and experiencing moments of self-doubt,
I have come up with a few takeaways that help to guide me back to creativity:
1. Be easy on yourself
The ups and downs of creativity are natural, especially in a creative industry. Although you are supposed to come up with great ideas all the time, even the most creative, successful individual has moments of “creative block”. Frank Gehry said it himself, “I think you’re always in a creative block...just assume you’re always blocked.”
2. When you feel yourself in a creative mode, go for it!
Dive in deep, make as many notes or sketches as possible, batch content, or revisit old ideas and build on them. Channeling in and taking advantage of this creative energy will set you at ease those days when creativity is not flowing as you will know that you were creative when it was natural.
3. The Law of Rhythm
Understanding that the Law of Rhythm is an actual law of the universe, a universal truth. The Law of Rhythm states that everything in life, your moods, energy, experience, etc., are seasons and cyclical. This law explains that the ebbs and flows of life are a natural part of the process and one cannot exist without the other.
I have seen tremendous benefit in gaining a better understanding of the Law of Rhythm, as this knowledge has relieved pressure and stress I often place on myself.
Let’s expand more on this universal truth, the Law of Rhythm, which states that the energy in the universe is like a pendulum. Whenever something swings to the right, it must then swing to the left. ... Everything goes through cycles, yet everything has a rhythm or a pattern.
Just like the seasons, our creativity and energy follows a shift. I have started to take note of how my energy and creativity follows natural elements like the season, the moon cycle, and the cycles of change.
I was not always someone who appreciated these cycles, but now I am a firm believer in the importance of learning not only how to deal with these cycles but how to love them. Rather than looking at down times as moments of lacking creativity, take the opportunity to view these times as moments of rest, getting your brain ready for its next big idea.
Although going with the flow is easier said than done, this mentality allows you to release the pressure of forcing things to come together. Once this pressure is released, your best work will naturally arise.
Thinking of this cycle like the seasons has helped me. Winter is usually slower, quieter, sleeping. The world is preparing for new life and the hustle of spring, needing rest before the colorful flowers and ideas begin arising. Then comes summer, the time of growth, maturity, and development. After the endless smiles of summer comes fall, a time for harvest, growth, and gathering ideas for the next year while reaping the benefits of a year’s hard work.
This ideology is not to say that your energy, ideas, and work should follow the literal months of the season, rather recognizing how the natural rhythm allows you to start seeing how it is reflected in your life and know that each season or energy is temporary.
Going through periods of quiet lows allows you to challenge yourself to rest and cultivate excitement in your mind, body, and soul.
As we move forward in Design Create Inspire, we will continue to talk about business related topics such as design, architecture, and law, as well as the importance of mindfulness. I truly believe if you do not have the mindset tools, you will never take the risk or you will fail, especially in the architecture world.
I hope you enjoyed this week and gained a new perspective. Now take a moment and reflect about which season you are in. Be honest with yourself, you are exactly where you are meant to be.
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