Candyss Crosby

Candyss Crosby

How I stay motivated and inspired to create

As an artist, and automatically, an entrepreneur, it can be difficult at times to remain inspired, motivated and keep moving forward. Being your own boss, working alone, and having no one to answer to – is rather tempting at times to go for an extra long walk, meet up with friends for too many coffees and basically goof off!

I find no matter how motivated I am – there is always a call from home, friends or something that distracts me and leads me away from the studio. With this in mind – there is also the need to stay inspired (not just motivated to work) and with no one to bounce new ideas off or to give advice or critique my work – there’s always a chance you can become blocked and hit a creative wall.
Over the last 25 years of painting professionally I’ve discovered many different techniques that help me stay on my creative path, keep me inspired, grounded and focused.

1. Yoga

I love Yoga! It helps to stretch, lengthen and tone my overused painting muscles in my shoulders and neck and soothes my mind. Yoga allows me to deepen my breathing, creating more focus and mindfulness to the breath & body while I’m painting, and stimulates blood flow around the body and brain so I can come up with more ideas and energy to materialise them! Yoga pushes me to challenge the limits of my own body. Being out of my comfort zone is such an important thing for an artist – always moving past that first critical thought and allowing yourself to breathe and go with the flow instead of against it. Yoga is like this too. In every yoga session I learn something about myself, my mind and my inner creative process. Since I was nineteen years of age I’ve been meditating and practising kundalini Yoga. This form of Yoga awakens the spiritual energy which lies dormant in the body and really opens you up to the creative source. I find so much inspiration from remaining open and staying in the witness state – being connected to the Supreme Consciousness – observing and listening to the Inner Self that ultimately guides the creative process. It is so beneficial for raising inner awareness and therefore tapping into my creative potential.

2. Walking the land

If I could walk the outback land every day I would. Instead I walk around where I live – the beaches and coastline of Northern Beaches in Sydney. Not a bad place to live!
Someone recently said that walking barefoot on the sand or upon the earth charges us with the energy we require – like a battery – we need this connection with the land. While walking every day I observe the ever changing light; the natural forms, lines, shapes and colours. There is nothing I can do to make nature more perfect however it remains my inspiration and I am in constant wonder walking upon this planet. If I’m a little flat – there is nothing like a walk on the land to fix it. It really allows me to let go of the thoughts that can sometimes be a story in my head – or an overwhelming list of to-do’s – while walking I can’t help but let it all go – I literally walk right through it – and then I’m more open to create on the other side.

3. Dancing

I love to dance – who doesn’t? I have so many favourite tracks and I keep a painting dance playlist for when I need to get some energy moving. I play my music loud and start jumping in the air. I feel my body and go with what it wants making sure not to worry at all about what I am doing. Then I just allow myself to move in a flow state way letting the music take me where it wants to me to go. It is such a fun way to open up and let go of any stress or negativity before I launch into art making. Luckily I work in a warehouse so it doesn’t matter about the noise – but nothing needs to get in your way – just put headphones on – and have a good ol’ dance. Making art is about having fun. Watching children dance or create – we see how much joy is on their faces – and we need to find that joy and allow ourselves to let go and not judge. I believe we would all be much happier if we danced once a day!

4. Networking with like minded creatives

Creative clusters is often the term used for finding a small group of creatives like yourself to share the process with. I have many creative friends now to talk about the process, go to gallery openings, share ideas with, listen to their experiences and even talk about the creative blocks we sometimes have. Find people you can trust and share ideas with. People that nurture your new embryonic ideas. We don’t need critical contracted thinking – we need to stay open and trusting. Joining a pottery group, print making class or another painting workshop is a great way to network and start making your own creative cluster of special people.

5. Car/ Caravan Trips

While I enjoy walking along the beaches and coast near Manly where I live – I crave to just hop in the car or caravan and take off for a long weekend or week of meandering. After packing the paint, sketch books, a couple of canvases and easel – I’m off!
There are so many places available in Australia to visit and it’s not expensive to travel by car. I don’t have to go far. I love visiting Hill End, Yerranderie, Blue Mountains, Bouddi National Park, Colo River and around the Snowy Mountains region. Even further afar there are places like Lake Mungo National park, Lake Kinchega, Flinders Ranges and other pristine national parks await. So many sketch books brimming with ideas!

6. Art Gallery Visits / Reading about the Masters

Art gallery visits are essential. I always take my sketch book or journal and write notes. There’s nothing like another artists’ wonderful creation in front of me to stay inspired.
I also visit the local library and borrow their art books. They have so many. I have far too many now lined up ready to read and devour and they’re expensive!! So I read on my breaks – their lives, history, the techniques – and flip through the images – so many of the great masters have had fascinating lives. Staying fascinated with other artists is a way to keep motivated to show up at the canvas and push through vanilla moments or even those difficult creatively ‘blocked’ times.

So no matter what I am thinking or feeling, whether in a contracted or expanded state, I constantly return to the land for artistic, divine and deep inspiration. It’s such a true source of spiritual connection you can’t go wrong.