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Creative Waves

Like all of your rhythms in life, creativity ebbs and flows as well. It seems my creative spike happens around late September and ends around mid to late November. I bet it most likely is driven by my own sense of mortality, but I’m taking as much advantage of this time as possible. This includes drawing a lot. Every day or two, I was exercising by doing a brain dump of all of the stuff that was floating around in my head.

The tricky part is the sustained effort. I ultimately (usually) reach a plateau before burning out and going back to a regular level of drawing like this maybe once a month. I’m working on a slower burn to see if I can force myself to keep it going. That’s the thing about creativity though — you can’t force it because if you do, the results will look forced. To get the juicy, meaty kind of creativity it has to flow through you. You become conduit for your creative pulses. Maybe by switching the channels through which you broadcast your creativity, this flow can continue. The great part about these sorts of spurts is that it translates over to my work life. I come up with much better concepts this time of year. In the spring and summer I’m a much better engineer and fall and winter seem to be much more favorable for conceptual output. If I could be the lane controller of comes across my desk, I would orchestrate it so I get more conceptual jobs this time of year and more technical work during the other months. That would be pretty profitable. Self exploitation.

However, the larger scope encompasses something greater than just pen on paper. It is about stepping back and analyzing when you are creative versus when you are not. I think this ratio is more than likely different from person to person. Step back and asses your personal flow. Is there a month or set of months during the year where this creative peak is high? Does it happen multiple times a year? How do you deal with it? Do you try and sustain it? What is your favorite part about it?