There are things in your body and mind that you can control. You can move your arms, speak and think about your to-do list. Then there are things that are harder to control. Your heartbeat, buried memories and emotions are a few examples.
Where does creating art sit in this model?
Do you consciously control every step of the process?
Or do you let the creation emerge?
Well, I suppose it’s a trick question. This model of your mind is a little bit broken.
Say you decide to stand up and walk to the door. Is that in your conscious control? Well, yes – you set the intention then follow through.
How do you follow through, though? The humble act of standing requires thousands of muscle contractions to fire in a precise sequence. You don’t control this sequence. You aren’t even aware of it.
Something other than your conscious mind draws on a lifetime of lessons. You’ve been moving from a sitting position to a standing one all your life. As a baby, this feat was beyond you.
Then you could pull it off, even if you were a little shaky.
Now, you’ve probably mastered this skill. Your mastery is so complete that you don’t think about the details. In fact, you can’t.
This applies to everything else that seems trivial. Grasping a mug, speaking, even habits of thought are things that you once didn’t know but now do.
These simple acts are a partnership between conscious and unconscious processes. You consciously set the intention – I’m going to stand up – and some other part of you handles the rest.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a perfect metaphor for art.
You set your intention, and…
Something else takes over.
Because artists know that if they interfere with the process, the result isn’t as good.
This makes self-hypnosis the perfect tool for artists. You can’t deny it because you already use it. This act of surrendering control – even a little – to some other part of you is textbook self-hypnosis.
If you have days where your muse is with you and you enter a creative state easily…
But, other days, the well runs dry and nothing seems to flow…
Self-hypnosis can help. In a trance state, your mind opens and creativity pours through you. You’re automatically closer to your good days, simply by hypnotising yourself.
And you don’t have to stop there.
Artists of all kinds love metaphors. So, while in a trance, build yourself one. Figure out what creativity or your muse means to you. Is it a peaceful lake? A towering castle? Maybe it’s like surfing a wave.
I don’t know what works for you. As long as you do, it doesn’t matter.
Then the more you practice visiting this creative place in your mind, the easier you’ll slip into a creative, hypnotic state.
Of course, this assumes you know how to enter a hypnotic trance. If you’re an artist, there’s an excellent chance you do – but maybe not by those words. Whether you can or not, strengthening this ability makes everything else easier.
You don’t have to wait for your muse. You can go out there and capture them.
Or even create them out of nothing but thoughtstuff.