I have been exploring the subject of creativity, not least because coming to the role of full time artist so late in life, I have a lot of work to do to position myself, so that what I do is paint.  This is as much a mental adjustment, as a physical one.  Where others have spent a lifetime doing what comes naturally, I am having to teach and permit myself, whilst soaking up everything else that my new life has to offer.

I have the added hurdle that my working life has focused on the logic side of my brain and now I need to move that out of the way, to allow the creative side to take centre stage.

To guide me in this process I am reading Dr Shelley Carson’s Your Creative Brain, which, through a series of exercises, firstly, establishing my skill bias, and then by suggesting exercises designed to enhance my less dominant abilities, I am hoping to fast-track the opening of my creative pathways.

My highest scoring brainset, not surprisingly, was reasoning, closely followed by connecting; my lowest were transforming and streaming, which both barely registered  a point.  Surprisingly I score equally for Deliberate and Spontaneous pathways, although given that I have lived a fully functioning right and left brain life, maybe it is not surprising at all.

The exercises will form an essential daily part of my creative work, and I view them as the key to opening up the untapped energy, that has been marginalised for so long.

I am particularly interested in how other creatives, from all disciplines, access this energy.  By chance I happened to listen to Desert Island Discs, and listening to these two hugely successful women, was a good starting point.

Debbie Wiseman

The composer of TV  music, including Judge John Deed, The Andrew Marr show and a host of award winning films including Tom and Viv, was interviewed by Kirsty Wark on Desert Island Discs.  Wark manages to extract a real insight into the character and motivation behind the creativity of Wiseman.

She felt compelled to write music since a very early age and cannot go a day without writing something.  The pressures of writing to a deadline, finding she does her best work between 6-9am, the passion she bestows on her work, are inspiring.

Sally Wainwright

Writer of some the best TV writing for women, Meet the Braithwaites, Last Tango in Halifax and Scott and Bailey, also interviewed by Kirsty Walk.

Softly spoken with a broad Yorkshire accent, it is her slightly oblique take on real life that is at the core of her creativity.  Again she writes every day because it is her hobby as well as her work.


To be successful, creativity has to be at your very core.  To miss a day is like punishment.  Currently, I don’t feel like that and I am trying to work out why.

The EmptyEasel blog highlighted what I am feeling, with suggestions for how to move myself forward, one small step at a time.

Good advice, but is that what is really at the root of my reluctance to paint, or is it that I am in transition, with a whole new, previously unexplored world, opening up for me.

Worryingly, I am finding it easier to research and write blogs.  I am having to remind myself that I taking a course in Fine Art and not Art History.  That said, everything I am doing is essential to moving forward, nothing will be wasted, all that is needed is a better balance.

Author: susanmilleruk

Watercolour painter living, working and loving Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. MA in Fine Art.

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