This post is for those of you that own a creative business. Many of us started our businesses because we were really good at or enjoyed the craft that we produce. Maybe (probably), this business happened organically. You started it as a hobby, and people wanted to buy whatever it is you make.
Maybe what started as a creative outlet has now become your work.
Sound familiar? It's true for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my customers and my work. The question is, how do you hold on to that creativity when it's now your job to create for others?
There's one practice that has helped me continue to find the joy in owning a creative business: creating just to create. When I start feeling stuck after making the same customer cake 95 times (I'm looking at you, unicorn and Fortnite cakes), I'll play. I'll bake something for fun, try a new technique, or make something completely unrelated to sugar art (wreath-making is one of my faves.) I might share it on social media after the fact, but that's never the goal. It should be zero pressure, no expectations, just making to make.
The beauty of this practice is this: when you take away the pressure of producing, you're allowing space for new ideas to develop.
That spark that led you to the craft in the first place comes back, and all of a sudden the joy of creating returns.
Recently I spent a few days painting cabinetry for our basement. We have a paint sprayer and I've painted a few pieces of furniture before, so it wasn't stressful or difficult work, but creative all the same. I enjoyed working on a project outside of the kitchen for a change. Then, like clockwork, I had ideas for my next 2 cake classes floating around my brain and I was excited for my upcoming client orders.
The cake you see above is another example. I had extra cake and frosting, and the buttercream stripes were a technique I've been wanting to try. My mom was coming visit so I took it as an opportunity to make something special for her. The time I spent on that cake breathed life into my creative brain, and allowed me to take on my orders for the weekend with a fresh energy that wasn't there before. Did I have time to do it? Not really. I could have been working on other tasks. Am I glad I made time to do it? Absolutely!
It's so easy to jam pack our schedules, but as a creative person it's equally important to give your brain space to play. In the playing is where you'll find your creativity again.