Feeling listless? Uninspired? You may need a little divine intervention.
Epiphanic creativity is a surreal, unexpected surprise. Inspiration flows through you like a gift from the heavens. It feels effortless and sublime. But this kind of creativity can be elusive.
Are you procrastinating? Waiting to do something until you feel moved? Or frustrated that you're not getting results?
What exactly does it take to access an epiphany? How can you open your channels?
You may be trying too hard. And not enough.
The way you approach the creative process can make or break your creative genius.
The key to activating an epiphany is being able to open up to receive creative insight. If you have a skill to bring your inspiration into reality - even better. Try to let go of your desire to be to have a fully formed idea before you begin. Start before you're ready. New possibilities can emerge that you couldn't imagine before. Don't worry about being good, and don't worry about your work being a reflection of yourself. Jump in. Let go of self judgement and doubt. Give it up to the universe.
Our modern idea of the artist is one of an individual creator, inspired from within. And that makes for a lot of pressure. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her 2019 TED Talk Your Elusive Creative Genius. But it wasn't always this way. The ancient Greek artists considered themselves a vessel though which the muses worked. Instead of sole creators, their job was to be receptive and ready. They were the hands and bodies through which the muses worked their magic. Sometimes it happened, and sometimes it didn't. And that was OK.
If you've had an Epiphanic experience, you know it feels a bit otherworldly. You're surprised at what you've created; sometimes it can feel downloaded.
You may not be able to summon an Epiphany on cue. But you can take steps to provide the space for them to happen.
1. Show up.
Do something. It doesn't matter if it's a boring, mundane shadow of what you're shooting for, get into action. Start, even if it's a repetitive, mindless, nonsensical exercise. Embrace routine. The more you practice and play, the more chances Epiphanic creativity will have to make an appearance.
2. Get out of your own way.
Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way writes about a brilliant routine called Morning Papers. It frees up your brain and makes your path for inspiration a little smoother. The idea is simple: write 3 stream of conscious pages of anything that comes to mind. What you had for breakfast, if you need coffee, the dog needs a bath —anything that pops into your head. No one will see this later, not even you. Write (get this stuff out of the way) to clear your thoughts for bigger and brighter.
Releasing limiting ideas of what already exists will allow room for something new.
Let go of expectations of what something should look like or be. Loose yourself in the process. Don't worry about the outcome. Notice colors, sounds, textures, whatever you're working with, and how they make you feel. Let that guide your next move, brushstroke, chord.
Get out of your thinking brain and let your senses take over.
"An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic Epiphany." —Nick Cave
Do you know your creative style? Take the assessment here.
IF YOU'RE AN EPIPHANIC CREATIVE
You share this creative style with John Lennon and Pollock.
This is the stuff of artists and musicians. You are spontaneous & intuitive. Magic happens when your conscious brain is given a rest. Feelings and thoughts are synthesized beneath the surface into something inexplicably and beautifully new. Inspiration flows through you.
Key words ~ spontaneous, emotional, sublime, inspired, spiritual, out of the blue ~
5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Epiphanic Creativity
1. create a routine
2. release expectations
4. dive into the process
This creative style is activated by the amygdala (basic emotions) and becomes possible when the conscious brain is given a rest.
Tips: Show up for your muses: be ready in case inspiration hits. Write about what you had for breakfast if you have writers block; scribble if you can't paint. Simply make time to show up and get into action. Don't overthink it. When inspiration hits, you'll be better able to bring it into existence if you already have a skill. - So practice, practice, practice! Keep a journal with you to write down ideas that come to you on the fly.
Have you had a creative ephipany? Did you do anything with it?