Creativity is as much a learned behaviour as it is an innate practice; you need time, attention, a support team, and an ability to step back.
Words by Emma-Kate Wilson
To the hobbyist or layperson, it means an elusive spark of inspiration or an innate gift of talent, something potentially out of reach. However, speak with people who make a living in their creative fields and it becomes clear that creativity doesn’t hit like a bolt from the blue. Instead, it requires time, space, and effort, even for those whom art seems to flow naturally.
Jaimee Paul is a Sydney-based artist who believes in Art for Purpose. She creates artworks to last forever and encourage us to think about the future world we are creating for the next generation of human beings and the animal world. It’s easy to see how much Jaimee loves animals as they often make up her subject matter. Because of this, sustainability shines throughout her practice, from choosing frames that are kind to the earth, eco-packing and canvases, and the big one, fundraising for animal groups and environmental charities through the sales of her artwork. For her, these help with creativity; otherwise, she’d “feel paralysed.”
Battling creative blocks is an unavoidable part of being a designer, artist, and writer, and having little mantras can help sparks light up when you need them to. Jaimee shares that getting stuck into the next big project, like a deadline or a show, can battle creative blocks. Getting out into nature helps, as does travelling and visiting exhibitions, during those times when your inner monologue is disturbing the creative process. Jaimee reflects that feelings of being overwhelmed can cause procrastination or non-career pushing deadlines. “But I also think it’s a little bit of self-protection thing,” Jaimee adds. “If you don’t apply, then you don’t get denied.”
The eco-artist has overcome this by building a thick skin and trusting the right opportunities will come her way — everything is a stepping-stone. Another essential practice is maintaining a work- life balance; which hangs on a thread for most self-employed creative people. “[Generally] as a creative, you are your own boss, no one’s saying: hey can you do that, and I need it by 5:00.” Jaimee shares. Instead, the lines blur and boundaries merge, especially between business and creativity. For 2020, Jaimee has simple goals that would be helpful for us all to reflect on: “go to meditation, say yes to friends, and prioritise actually going to events.”
This article was originally published in Audrey Issue 16 – A creative spark. Audrey is now known as Mindful Puzzles.