IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
What may have seemed to have come naturally in the past during better and brighter days may have now seemingly turned into a task. I spoke to a good friend the other day, and our conversation led to some sort of agreement that these days, more people than normal find themselves in a rut. The context of the conversation was frustration on my friend’s part about not being able to crank anything out of his group mates at work during an online planning and mapping activity of sorts. I reminded him that brainstorming is somewhat of a creative process – at a time when work from home is the norm for most offices, we need to try harder to find inspiration in our confined spaces. We must take into consideration that different spaces evoke different moods, and will either motivate us more, or less. Days for some may seem much more routine and mundane, and now, we never again will underestimate the value of that very short walk from the elevator to the car, or to the bus stop even. Quite simply, a mindless few moments for that much needed breather. It was at the most unexpected of moments that the most brilliant of ideas would come about us.
As somewhat of a creative myself, I noticed that I have been tending to gravitate towards work that requires much less of a creative process. Rather, I have subconsciously perhaps prioritized work that has more concrete outcomes, versus exploratory and experimental collaborations. Projects I have been accepting as of recently tend to be within the confines of my comfort zones – partnerships that have been solidified in the past and that I am already at ease with, rather than forging new ones, for instance. It is human nature maybe to stay on the safe side and take less risks at a time where everything else seems to be rather uncertain. The creative process, after all, requires inspiration. And though there are many moments and milestones I can always draw inspiration from, I find that it is in the smallest, sometimes most mundane of everyday things, that my most favorite work and most profound of ideas have been drawn from.
From lily pods to my pets; from the extra shiny white pebbles by my parents’ fish pond to the tiny sea shells buried in the sand on the sea shore; the hermit crab that took a peek out of its shell and hurriedly went back inside, to the brown moth that has just been on my screen door for the last three days – the list goes on, and at the end of the day, it is what you make out of these everyday objects, scenarios and situations that light bulb ideas are born. In the same way that first impressions do make a world of a difference and last, we must consciously remind ourselves everyday that not all that meets the eye is reality. That oftentimes, there is much more of an insightful dialogue and story than what we know of. That we must never be deceived by happy and beautiful appearances, and sometimes, the most unattractive of creatures – like the spiniest plants in nature, for instance – can be the starting point of something new.
So the point I am deriving at is that finding inspiration in itself is also a process – on some days, it comes more naturally than others. But having said that, we must also open our eyes and our minds to seeking it out, otherwise, it will never come and find us as well. To find inspiration, I have also always believed that one must live life with a grateful heart. We must be welcoming to what the world is about to offer, and then be thankful for whatever bounty and blessings come our way. Only then, will we be able to truly appreciate the small things.