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Who is in your ‘Creative Cluster’?

Posted on 1, May, 2018

My most recent ‘Release your Creativity’ course has just finished – a lovely group who worked well together over three weeks. As always, it’s wonderful to see people producing fabulous, unexpected, creative work. I always have delicious surprises at the richness of people’s imaginations, courage and abilities.

As it was their last session, there was some discussion about how valuable it had been to have this group of people with whom everyone felt safe and where everyone knew they would get encouragement and support. The last session always has a poignancy about it and participants often express concern about whether they can continue to develop their creativity on their own. The answer is, of course; ‘Yes, you can!’ however, it is also very helpful to have other people in your world who will respect what you’re doing and give you a boost when you wobble.

The stereotype of the artist working in complete isolation, angst-ridden and yet producing totally brilliant original work, is mostly a myth. I suppose there might be an occasional person who works like that, but they are the exception. A study of art history demonstrates that the vast majority of creative people have had networks of other people around them, providing encouragement, ideas, challenge and stimulation. Julia Cameron (author of ‘The Artists Way’ book) calls these groups of people; ‘Creative Clusters’.

Individuals in your creative cluster might be people you see regularly or people who support you via social media. It might be someone you’ve known for years or someone you’ve just met (on a course perhaps?). It might be someone who is actively developing their own creativity or someone who is very adept at drawing out your creativity – or both. Once you’ve identified such people, value them and nurture your relationship with them. It maybe that you can support them as well. A win:win.

Conversely, if you realise there isn’t anyone at the moment, or too few, then use your creativity to think where you might meet such people and consciously broaden your network. Meanwhile, keep creating – anything!

So – who is in your Creative Cluster?

All the best – Liz Willis