How do you restore your creativity?

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring- cleaning his little home… It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said `Bother!’ and `O blow!’ and also `Hang spring-cleaning!’ and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, so he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, till at last, pop! His snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.

This is exactly how we felt towards the middle of last week, although I think it was summer that was calling rather than spring, so we bundled some clothes and food in to the camper van and set off first to Firle Beacon, Sussex. It’s not far from Brighton but high up on the South Downs you could be in a different world. To the dip side of the Downs is the sea, distant, shimmering in the sun and to the scarp side The Weald with churches and villages dotted amongst the trees and fields.  Truly English like a painting by the Artist S.R Badmin.

A morning in the sun, drinking tea and eating sandwiches wiped away that ‘Bother!’ and ‘O blow!’ feeling. Peace, just the sound of the sheep and cows and the whistle of the kettle on the camper van stove.

We then chugged off to Ashdown Forest, home to A A Milne in the 1920’s and location of the Winnie the Pooh books (and you can still visit Pooh-sticks Bridge!). In the middle of the forest we parked up for a night under the trees.

The next morning we were making again, on the camper van table, miniature forest diorama with trees, huts and hills and later, back at TheBigForest hut we were buzzing with too many ideas. Proof, if it was needed, that one needs space and moments of reflection for creativity to flow.

We’d love to hear what you do to restore your creativity and energy?

The quote is of course from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame published in 1908. The blue rinse on the sheep isn’t some digital effect but just evidence of a hard nights clubbing down in the nearest village. Well that is what the other sheep said….

About TheBigForest

We are TheBigForest. Two silly artist makers creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk

14 comments

  1. I love to go on walks, draw, and read. All of those things bring me new creativity!

    • Sounds good, Blaze. Hadn’t thought about reading – but its a good source of creativity reboost with the right book isn’t it. We love that sleepy bear on your blog, by the way!

  2. Great post; I love walking and the open spaces too to restore a sense of contentment and get the creative juices flowing. I live in London and so often find myself walking along the canal, also I am not to far away from the fabulous Lea Valley Park.

    • Thank you! Walking along canals – and rivers – is a good way to get the creativity flowing that I hadn’t thought about. A friend of ours liked cycling along canals but that is way too risky for us, a momentary loss of concentration when a creative thought pops up and …spolsh!

  3. Lovely post – the countryside has a similar effect on me and I often forget. My bf will quite often say to me when I’m grumpy and uninspired “let’s go for a walk – it’ll help”. 10 mins on the downs and I suddenly remember why I love it so much – it’s so quiet and peaceful and just makes me feel calm.

    I have to admit though – when creativity needs restoring sometimes there is nothing like a good tantrum to get it all out (in the privacy of my own home of course!)

    • Thanks Fran. I think there needs to be an element of the physical in whatever one does to restore creativity (walks or tantrums!). I cant ‘think’ my way out of a creative black hole. I had a friend who had a list of things to do when feeling a bit down (light a candle, bake bread, go for a walk etc), as you say its easy to forget what does the trick.

  4. Witchmountain

    The outdoors is an essential antidote to the “oh bother, oh blow” feeling all creative people get. I often moan at being dragged outside and made to go on long walks but I always return with energy and inspiration. (You are so lucky to have a camper van!)
    Oh, and that sheep has a point, a good nights dancing is food for the soul. x

    • Brilliant! You made us laugh. We thought that sheep knew more than it was letting on ! Getting outside with nature seems to be winning on the ‘how to restore your creativity’ poll at the moment. Museums can work well too, galleries sometimes have the opposite effect we find, either ‘why isn’t my work this brilliant’ or ‘my work is so much better, who curated this c**p!’

  5. I love Brighton – which is about an hour and a half’s train journey away from me in Southampton. Hope to get down to see one of your events soon!

    • That would be great. Always glad to see folks who we have ‘met’ through our blog. Your blog looks interesting, Ill explore later. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. deedeemallon

    I envy you the trip, but your post brought me along however, virtually. Thanks.

  7. I loved reading this post! I felt like I was there, too 🙂 I just spent the morning picking fruit on a mountainside orchard (I live in Virginia, USA). For me, doing anything outside inspires creativity.

    • Thank you Molly! Picking fruit on a mountainside orchard sounds a pretty good way to spend time. Absolutely agree about doing things outside, getting a connection with nature is a powerful way to restore a sense of balance..

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