How to Find the Magic in Creative Play

How to Find the Magic in Creative PlayDo you ever feel like you’ve lost the magic in your creative work? I know I have at times. When I’ve been mid way through a project, caught up in the details, in that arduous slog between almost done and done.

When I’ve been trying to force an outcome or meet a deadline.

When I’ve pressured myself to create. To meet a goal, to find success.

Sometimes we can forget how magical our creative work really is.

The power of play

Last week I took to my studio with no agenda. I took out my materials, I readied my tools, and I played.

I didn’t have any plans nor did I have a specific outcome to reach. I just had a spare afternoon and a desire to create.

I gathered a bunch of base fabrics I had lying around, some handmade pom poms I’d bought on a recent trip to Melbourne, some jar lids I’d saved in the hopes of upcycling and some denim offcuts. I had no idea what they would become. But I wanted to see what might emerge if I just let myself play.

I tinkered with what I had. I took out my scissors and started cutting up the fabric. I experimented with wrapping the jar lids. I decided to try making my own pom poms, like the ones I had bought, with my denim off cuts. I took out my jewellery findings and started to experiment with the little bits and pieces I was creating.

And all of a sudden I had two amazing necklaces and something that would best be described as a work in progress, yet to take a form.

I was amazed at how freely my work flowed when I took the pressure off and just played. I created something I love just by playing and enjoying the process, and all in just a couple of idle hours.

Of course, you won’t create something magical every time you show up and play with your creative materials.

I’ve played before, for hours, with no real result.

But that didn’t make it any less worthwhile.

There are no guarantees

How to Find the Magic in Creative PlayWhen we engage in creative play a tangible outcome isn’t guaranteed, but our experience is - Click to Tweet

The experience of freely creating, letting ideas bubble and meld, and the chance to remember why we started on this wild creative journey in the first place.

If something comes, wonderful.

But if it doesn’t, it is still time well spent.

My missing link

I’ve been so busy recently that my playful studio practice has dwindled in recent months, and I’ve missed it dearly.

I’ve been so busy caught up in achieving goals that I’ve lost sight of why I started on this creative journey. To play, to experiment, to be me – creative and full and whole.

A commitment to creative play

I’m making a commitment right now, as I write this post, to show up to my studio just to play for at least 30 minutes every single day. No agenda, no goals, just creative play.

Will you keep me to it?

To make myself more accountable, and perhaps to encourage you to join in too, I’m going to check into Twitter each day while I’m in my studio and share what I’ve created (if anything) and my thoughts for the day using the hashtag #30minscreativeplayaday.

I’d love you to join me and experience the power of creative play in your life each day. Follow me on Twitter @FortheCreators to see my progress and share your 30 minutes of creative play each day with me and the For the Creators community. I’m excited! See you on Twitter.

Do you indulge in creative play? Will you join me with a commitment to show up for at least 30 minutes a day to just play? Comment below to let me know you’re in!

8 Reactions

  1. Linda Ursin

    I usually play more than 30 minutes a day but with the other family members at home for summer break it’s harder to get the peace to do it. I am going to re-commit to doing it every day. I’m still sticking to my “make some kind of art ever single dag in 2015″ resolution, and creative play is a part of that.

    • Michaela Cristallo

      I love that you’re recommitting Linda! It’s something that we as creators often have to commit and recommit to over time. Awesome that you are still going strong on your make something every day pledge for 2015, we’re already past the halfway point so you’re doing amazingly well!! Are you documenting that anywhere online I can check out?

  2. Wendy Strain

    Good timing! After doing my usual beginning of month assessment, my creative life has been sorely neglected. Not long ago, I was talking with a friend about the need to just dump the agenda and play. It’d be great to have some friends to help keep me accountable to at least 30 min a day of just fun :) Happy to join you!

    • Michaela Cristallo

      Yay Wendy! So excited that you’ll be joining me. If you’re on Twitter remember to use the hashtag #30minscreativeplayaday so we can follow along with you. I’m just about to head in for my first studio session now.

  3. Naomi Goodlet

    Great story Michaela!
    I’m not much a of a “creator” in general but I’ve had a lot more time for play since having my daughter. I love seeing how she’s not attached to the outcome, she just enjoys the process. I learn a lot from her!!

    • Michaela Cristallo

      Thanks Naomi :) Kids always bring out the playfulness in me too. So wonderful that you’ve had that experience with your daughter. I often think it’s a little sad they we lose so much of the playfulness and wonder we have as children as we grow up. We have a lot to learn from little ones!

  4. Rie Linton

    I do free writing every day in addition to ither writing and am making a five foot long needlepoint kneeler but while these are creative endeavors, they are not creative “play”. I am excited about committing to this!

  5. Chas

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have an issue with procrastination, but, everytime I just express my creativity, I feel so much better. Thank you.

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