Episode 295 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast
In this episode of the CMP, monkey brain (or monkey mind), the constant shifting of focus and attention, the chatter of noise inside our heads, and the ways in which drawing slows me down. I recently noticed that when I draw, everything in my head quiets down. It was a blissful realization. Other creative projects I work on sometimes have the opposite effect. Some projects create a restless energy that is exciting but sends me away from the project. Some projects leave me thinking about all the other things I could or should be doing. I may enjoy the project, but it doesn’t hold my attention fully enough. With sudden clarity, I realized that drawing gives me a quiet and a calm that nothing else does. Drawing also requires (for me) an appreciation and acceptance of slow. Many of the lessons I learned about slow came along with exploring ballpoint last year, but I am finding the same approach with fountain pen and taking comfort and finding peace in the process of making marks, hatching, layering lines of ink, and watching a portrait emerge on my paper each night. (Other forms of mark-making and patterning, within a construct you enjoy, like manadalas, may provide a similar quieting and space for mindfulness through the repetition of line and pattern.)
Do you have mental chatter? Does it increase or decrease when you work on your art? What projects give you quiet in your head and allow you to really focus without racing to be finished, looking at the clock and wondering when you can stop, or wrestling with dozens of thought lines in your head? Do you prefer the chaotic energy of creativity? Or do you need creative outlets that really draw you in, let you sink in, and tune things out?