Hello, Wonderful Creative Minds! Today I want to introduce you to an often encountered, rarely talked about feature of the creative experience, that I affectionately call the “Creation Translation.” This is the critical part of your creative process where your internal experience becomes translated into your external expression. This seemly nuanced, though very real process, is one of the most important, difficult, and unique aspects of your creativity. While it varies artist to artist, and by type of expression, as a part of the creative process, we can generally speak about it in a cohesive way as it functions for Creative People.
Creation Translation Works Like A Muscle
One of the first things I tell Creative People about your Creative Translation, or CT for short, is that it functions in many ways like a muscle. Not unlike language, musical, mathematical, or other types of translation, the more you use your CT, the easier it gets, and vice versa. The key, then, is to use it with regularity, to keep your CT flexible and strong. A regularly practiced CT is a key component to the much sought-after “creating with ease.”
CT is Important For All Types of Artists and Creative Minds
All types of Creative People use this important creative process, the CT. Different from technical skill and creative perception, CT is a combination of these important features to take what you as an artist experience and present it in a way that is consistent with that, for others to share in that experience. This is an important way in which we use art to communicate!
Needs Use and Practice by Creative People
Your CT needs regular use and practice to flourish. This is simply true. You may know the feeling of frustration and growth upon learning and building a new skill, or training and expanding a new set of muscles, and building and training your CT with use is not much different than that. You are keeping a part of your mind and creative process in good shape that will support your creative and mental health in a sustainable way.
Creation Translation Flourishes With Use, Atrophies With Disuse
While your CT flourishes with use, it will similarly atrophy and weaken with disuse. This emphasizes the importance of commitment to the regular practice of your creativity, translating your concepts into expression.
Akin to “flow” described in creativity research, CT allows you to be more productive. From the perspective of a painter, imagine looking back and forth from your subject, to your canvas, and that good feeling of flow, back and forth, from seeing, to paint stroke, where the image you are creating comes to life on the canvas. You are translating the real-life image, through your own creative filters, brain, techniques, and inclinations, through the brush and onto the canvas, where it comes to life as your own interpretation. This ease or flow-like state is the combination of your artistic skill and your creative ideas combined, recreating your vision.
Inability to Start a New Project With Disuse
You are a writer, and ready to start your new book. You look at the flashing cursor on your blank screen and feel stuck. You have a concept, you have researched it, and you have a creative voice and perspective from which you write but somehow you don’t know how to begin. It is the lack of use and regular practice of your CT that is feeling stuck and blocked, keeping you from your first keystrokes, to begin your new work. Without regular creative practice, exercising the translation of a concept to creative execution, this difficult task becomes rusty and increasingly difficult to engage with. It is one of the main reasons my artists struggle to maintain a regular creative practice in the first place!
How Regular Creative Practice Can Help Creative People
Often, I talk about the dichotomous nature of things, especially in creative concepts. One of these dichotomies is between process and product. They are ever at odds with each other, and the more you focus on one, the further you get from the other, creating a lovely tension and balance. It is important to remember that CT is a PROCESS-oriented concept, not a PRODUCT-oriented concept. In other words, consistent creative practice keeps your CT running smoothly, and, especially in the beginning of establishing a creative practice, you must not invest in your creative product in order to allow your CT to build and grow strong. Over time, the regular use of your CT in an ongoing creative practice will produce the ease and flow you seek, generating a more consistent, authentic product reflective of your sensibility as an artist.
How Regular Use of Creation Translation is Good for Your Worldview, Self-Esteem, and Mental Health as a Creative Person
From a mental health perspective, regular creative practice is the most healthy thing a creative person can do for their mental health. This is something I have researched myself, and build much of my Creativity Counseling and Creativity Coaching principles upon. One of the reasons a regular creative practice is so important is because of the maintenance of your CT. A creative with a well-maintained CT tends to have healthy self-esteem, a clear sense of meaningfulness, perspective, and a sense of purpose in the world. In traditional cognitive therapy, we see concepts and research that reinforce these principles, such as Beck’s Cognitive Triad, that mood states impact thoughts that impact self-esteem.
Learn More About Your Creative Personality, and Build a Regular Creative Practice
If you are interested in real, impactful, and lasting life change for your creative mind, I would love to help you. Let's connect and launch your life to the next level! I have three steps you can take, right now from my site if you are ready to move forward in your life:
1) Book a Free Consultation. All new clients to Creatively, LLC are entitled to a 15 min, free creativity coaching or counseling consultation to sit with me and discuss your needs, services available, and we can problem solve and hand-pick the best next steps to help you succeed.
2) Begin Counseling for the Modern Day Creative Person. Are you a working Creative in need of specific support? I offer a range of Counseling Services so you can select exactly what you need, and nothing that you don't. Creativity Counseling offers 30 min sessions to 60-minute sessions, as well as asynchronous support.
3) Join my Artists in Residency Program. This is a Free, Online Community of Artists where you can build support, accountability, and a network of Creative People as a stepping stone towards reconnecting and committing to your authentic, creative self.
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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.