Don’t fall into the Production Trap

Carolina Gårdheim, Gårdheim ART – Calendar of exhibitions & events. Photo: Anja Callius

Staying curious is one of the most vital factors of the creative process. As soon as we lose our curiosity, our willingness to explore and be surprised, we risk ending up in the Production Trap.

Now, there is nothing wrong with production – when you have circled through the whole of the creative process.

Only then will you be ready for the production phase, where you give your creation the last touch and finalize your work.

But much too often, we find ourselves in production too early, before we have discovered and tried out all of the exciting side roads along the journey of creation. The detours, looking like roundabouts, but that, in reality, are leading you through your fears to your true creativity.

As long as you keep out of the devious Production Trap!

I get it. I fall into this trap all the time.

We are all eager to see the result, right? We want to have it finished already. We want to produce something. And we want it to look ”good”.

So, we trick ourselves out of our curiosity to get to the goal as fast as possible.

Creativity might die if you fall into the Production Trap.

Because… admit it – it is scary out there!

It is scary not knowing where you are going. It is uncomfortable not knowing whether your creation will be any ”good” or not. It can be terrifying to surrender to… well, what is it? Your intuition? Divine creativity? Inner guidance? Uni??

It often seems so much easier to keep producing what you’ve always done, what you know, or what others tell you is the thing to do.

But that won’t give you what you are looking for.

You know that, right?

What you are looking for is hidden among the side-tracks and detours, the seeming roundabouts, and the dead ends. The digressions you will only find if you stay – curious.

What would happen if I moved this there? What else can I do with this tool? How would it look if I changed this color to that? What would happen if I let this dry and then added some more? What if I only used this tool? How fun would it be to make a splash here? Would it be possible to use this medium? How can I expand this idea even further?

Carolina Gårdheim. Photo: Anja Callius

So keep exploring. Keep taking detours. Keep being curious.

It never killed the cat. I promise!

That’s just what they told you to keep you in place.

Curious people become creative.

Creative people challenge not only themselves but also others.

And to be challenged can be… a challenge.

But not for you. You are here for the ride, for the whole creative journey. Right?

You are here to experience the exhilarating feeling of not knowing where you will end up and what will become of your efforts – and still keep going. Through the whole process – through the loopholes and jib doors, the light and the dark, the joy and the pain – to the end, when you finally get to finish your work with the production phase, no longer a trap, but the natural ending of your creative journey.

Since I have an upcoming exhibition in September, I am now in the production phase after six months of sliding my way through the intuitive, creative journey of creation.

Now I get to put my name on the canvas, varnish the surface for protection, make the frame, take the photo and, shortly, show my creations, my babies, to the world.

I love both parts of the journey.

And I find it vital to be able to differentiate between the two. To know when I am at what stage of the process and how to change gear if needed.

So I don’t miss the junction leading to my unique, alluring creative power, the one that I am here to express and share with the world…

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