Creatives, I can’t get over how the universe works in cycles and patterns. Part of the magic of my job is to vicariously experience, like a fly on the wall, so many different walks of life- I truly feel the magnitude of the gift of hearing your stories. It is from my third person perspective that I see cycles emerge- patterns of high and low energies, trends in struggles and successes, commonalities in content and themes. I am in awe and amazement of the beautiful intricacies of life that unite the human experience. Time and again I watch people who don’t and will probably never know each other struggle together, succeed simultaneously and seek the same insights at the same time. I find myself giving the same models, theories or suggestions in bursts, to be immediately followed by a fresh wave of commonalities. And so again this week- I bring you a theme that has been a focus lately in the Creatively rooms. I trust to the ebb and flow of the universe that it is timed well for your journey.
Tools for Creative People: Spoon Theory
Today’s topic is our innate psychological capacity to handle stress. There are many ways to conceptualize this- but by far my favorite is commonly called “spoon theory.” Imagine a psychologist at a restaurant with her psychologist friends, trying to describe a phenomenon she has observed in her work. She has noticed that the ability to take on stress is finite- each individual seems to have a unique threshold. She scoops up spoons from nearby tables and lays them down in front of her- representative units of stress management. She postulates that each part of our lives takes a certain number of spoons- some more than others- and when all spoons are in use (being “out of spoons”) you are in trouble. She suggests that psychological illnesses represents a certain number of spoons (depression, anxiety, bipolar) other psychosocial factors of life represent others (medical problems, financial worries, jobs, relationships).
Freeing Your Spoons: Making Space for Creativity
Her theory has many other facets, and also isn’t presented without solution- she also recommends activities that “free up spoons.” These are your personal recharging strategies- some of them fairly universal- a good night’s sleep, good nutrition, good activity levels, being around good and supportive people. Other strategies are more personalized- (read: individual coping skills), “me” time for introverts, “others” time for extroverts, “creative” time for creatives, and more. The short answer here is you are in need of your own personal cocktail of spoon- freeing things, and part of your regular self awareness should be checking in with and improving the effectiveness of this recipe.
Stuck? Create More.
Let’s take this theory and apply it to our creative process. I have said before that creativity necessitates giving of ourselves (see creative personality posts) and therefore- takes spoons. We also talk about creative flow of energy, being in the creative zone- this happens when we have enough spoons. In a creative rut? You guessed it-possible explanation: out of spoons.
The other thing to remember is you are caught in a feedback loop a bit here: creating takes spoons, but it also frees up your spoons. I suppose this just proves what I regularly say to the creative people I work with: creative people need to be creating to stay well. Feeling stuck? Create more. Feeling low in energy? Create more. Yes- that first push will take spoons- so do other “spoon-freeing” activities to generate some initial energy- but if you are creating regularly you can be in your own self-sustaining cycle of spoon maintenance.
Spoon Theory: Simple, Yet Powerful
This is simple language to start a conversation ultimately about balance and psychological self care and use of resources in your life. Come sit on my couch and let explore.
Interested in More Psychology for Creative People?
Research in Psychology (including my own!) has begun to identify the important and unique features of Creative People and their personalities. This is so important when learning to care for yourself as a Creative Person in the world and live well. Ready to learn more about yourself as a Creative Mind, and what that means?
Try one of these three things, today:
1) Schedule a free individual consultation for creative people
2) Get started with creativity counseling
3) Get started with creativity coaching
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Miserandino, Christine (2003). "The Spoon Theory". But You Don't Look Sick. Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2017
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Did you know there are grants available for artists and creatives, both in the United States and in other countries, like Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom? Let's talk about what you need to know as a creative person.
Getting a Grant for Artists and Creatives
Grants are a great way for artists to be able to support their ongoing creative work. Think of it like a job application for you to be able to continue creating. Many other countries in fact, have established things like grants and residencies into their infrastructure in such a way that it allows artists to have gainful employment as artists and receive payment for their work in this way. In this article I want to discuss grants that are available near you and abroad.
Grant Opportunities for Artists in Maryland
There are both public and private grant funding opportunities in the state of Maryland and in the United States specifically in the state of Maryland I've had the most experience working with the Maryland state arts Council. The Maryland states arts Council is separated into separate hubs based on geographical area like county art councils. The Maryland state art Council offers several grant programs to support the art creation of both organizations and individual artist in the state of Maryland. Two of these that have rolling application deadlines and can therefore be applied to at any time throughout the calendar year are professional development grants and creativity grants.
Creativity Grants in Maryland
Professional development grants allow an artist to have an opportunity to grow their knowledge or skill set within a specific subject area. If you are an artist and seeking to develop knowledge or information in the arts and have been able to find the information, class, or skill set, that you wish to develop you may apply for a professional development grant through MSAC. An example of this is taking a course of creativity coaching with Creatively LLC.
MSAC Professional Development Grants
Creativity grants at the Maryland state arts Council fund organizations and individuals to develop specific specific creative projects or to support the operational budget for the year of creative programs.
More Grants at MSAC
There are other grants available through the Maryland state art Council and you can find a listing of them and their criteria and additional information on their website, here. There are additional public and private grant opportunities available throughout the state of Maryland and in the United States and you can find more information on artist grant opportunities on larger databases referenced here.
Grant Opportunities for Artists in Germany
In Germany, arts and culture are both privately funded and publicly funded. Both by companies and foundations privately and public funding by states supporting efforts of private donors through tax breaks and grant programs. This allows the federal government to establish a creative social class of independent creatives to enjoy security similar to those who are gainfully employed. Learn more about artist grants in Germany here.
Artist Funding Opportunities in Canada
The Canadian arts council separates their grants into six separate components to explore and create for organizations an individual artist vibrant and diverse art to engage in sustain Canada's creative communities to create no and share the arts and cultures of the first nations in peoples in Canada supporting artistic practices the arts across Canada and arts abroad.
United Kingdom Funding for Artists
In England, there is public money from the government and the national lottery used to make sure creativity amongst Artis is given a chance to thrive. Learn more about these artist funding programs in the UK here.
Learn More About Grants for Artists
1) With a free individual mental health consultation with Creativity Coach, Cindy Cisneros,
2) As part of your journey and creativity coaching, or
3) As part of your journey starting creativity counseling.
Other Articles Like "Grants for Artists"
Creative People and Abandonment, Intense Pressure for Creative People, Creative People and the Urge to Shop, Creative People Who Don't Know Who They Are, Concierge Counseling for Creative People, Creative People with Headaches and Stomach Aches, Creation Translation, Crisis of Meaning: Creative People Lost
© 2022 Creatively, LLC
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is a Creativity Coach, Creativity Counselor and Professional Artist in Sykesville, Maryland. She provides Online Creativity Counseling in Maryland and Virginia, and Online Creativity Coaching throughout the USA, Canada and the UK.
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.