The inspirational journal of rising NYC jewelry designer, entrepreneur, violinist, and pastry chef, Yumi Chen.

NYC Jewelry Designer, Violinist, Pastry Chef, Small Business Owner, Free-Spirit, Positive Thinker!

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Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Creative Flashes

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I am mystified by the creative process. I recently watched a speech on the website for the TED conferences (an incredible site, but more on that later!) by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, who posed the question: “What is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us really nervous about each other’s mental health in a way that other careers kind of don’t do?” According to her, in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the people believed that creativity came not from people, but from some disembodied source. I love that. I definitely believe in divine creative muses. I know that for me, creative inspiration always comes in spurts, and usually shows up when I least expect it. Gilbert believes that the pressure of “being a genius” rather than “having a genius” has been killing off artists for hundreds of years. As an artist, you’re constantly being asked: “Aren’t you afraid? Afraid of failure / afraid of success / afraid of running out of steam or going dry on ideas?” But the thing about any creative person is that their faith in their art is stronger than any fear.

For me, being a creative person is not a choice. It is who I am. I can’t change the musical phrases that pop up in my head all the time or the waves of color and swirls that flash in my mind. I’m sure plenty of musicians and writers and painters and directors feel much the same way. I think that a lot of the time, you just need to turn off all the noise around you, both figuratively and literally, so that you can capitalize on the creative inspiration in you. Turn off the pressure and the expectations and the deadlines and just let the creativity flow. There’s nothing that makes me happier than sitting down to create something at 2 am when the energy of the city has quieted down and my ‘crackberry’ is napping for a while. When the only thing I have to be afraid of is the wind whistling at the windows, which in comparison to all the other fears people assume are in my head, is almost like a lullaby.