“The practice of creativity and knowing who you are go together. You just can’t express one without the other,” writes author, artist and textile designer Marisa Anne Cummings in her beautiful book Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice.
In it, she features valuable questions to help readers keep rediscovering ourselves. “Your creative voice lies within the answers,” she writes.
That’s because curiosity is king in creativity. We’re ever-evolving. So it’s important to check in with ourselves on a regular basis. Every question may uncover a different and even surprising response.
Asking these questions helps us better understand the kinds of projects and practices that truly light us up. It helps us find new ideas, methods and even mediums. In other words, the answers to these questions help to inform our creative practice.
Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz is still finding “new ways to explore her art,” even after almost 40 years of practicing her craft, Cummings writes. “[Leibovitz] said that every time she tries something new, she realizes ‘just how deep that well really is.’”
If you’re not sure how to tap into your well of creativity, Cummings suggests starting with questions such as:
- “What are you working on when you lose all sense of time?”
- “What are you doing when you feel your best?”
- “What kinds of creative projects are you working on when you feel most fulfilled?”
Figuring Out Your Favorites
Knowing what you love also steers you in the right direction for cultivating a creative practice. For instance, Cummings suggests identifying your favorites, including your favorite color, book, food, exercise, type of art and place to visit.
Next dig deeper by asking yourself why. Why is something your favorite? For instance, why do you prefer one place, color or food over another?
Also, she writes, consider who your heroes are; what success looks like for you; what’s working and what isn’t; and what’s “that thing” that makes you love something you’ve created.
The Practice of Creating
Pondering these questions will give you vital insights. But, ultimately, the key in finding your voice is to create. “The more you create, the closer you will get to discovering or even stumbling into your unique point of view,” she writes.
For instance, take writing. Considering your favorite books and authors and the type of writing you’d like to do are important for exploring your own craft. But you won’t know what kind of writer you are until you actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and keep creating.
According to Cummings, knowing yourself well gives you a core to keep coming back to when you need support and encouragement to move forward, “even on the days when you temporarily lose your way.”
For loads of inspiration, check out Marisa Anne Cummings’s art and other works.