Creative safety makes space for creative flow

Danny Gregory says, Safety first and I agree wholeheartedly.

“The ideal creative state is flow.
It’s an incredible feeling of freedom in which each idea spawns the next, leading the artist deeper and deeper into new territory.
Time flies. Magic happens. You emerge a little disoriented and glowing.

The earliest experience we have of flow is in childhood. We call it ‘play.’
Kids at play are free and uninhibited. Their imaginations take huge bounds. They feel confident and positive. Even the shyest child becomes garrulous and bold.

But for kids — and adults — to reach this joyous state of free-flowing play, we need to feel safe. We need to know we are allowed to play, that we won’t be judged or controlled.
Critics, clients, committees can act as dams for the state of flow.
Sometimes when we create, no one is watching, no one cares. We are just hobbyists or dabblers alone in the garage.
But then the mere thought of a judge — a skeptical neighbor, a dismissive relative, an ancient memory — can pop up and disrupt the flow.

We need to feel safe to make mistakes, to look foolish, to be able to laugh and try again. That way we don’t just focus on outcomes but on the Now and then on the next interlocking piece that will advance the game over the long haul.

Play is an essential part of the creative process. It’s also essential to designing the future, to solving problems, to doing just about any job better.
To create a new solution instead of just repeating what worked in the past, we need to work and play in an environment of safety.

Be fierce in protecting your creative safety from attack from outside and within. Then let yourself go and leap into the new.
Don’t worry about falling — and fly.”

~ Danny Gregoryco-founder of Sketching Skool and author of Everyday Matters, Art Before Breakfast, How to Draw Without Talent and many other delightful books on sketching with joy and confidence.

2 thoughts on “Creative safety makes space for creative flow

  1. Hi Paul, we’ve heard the basic tenets of this before but leave it to Danny to lay it out so beautifully. His thoughts are profound in its simplicity and inspires us to look for, find/create and embrace that safe space (physically, emotionally and mentally) and give ourselves over to the creative flow.


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