From a clear workspace to a clear state of mind, every creative professional has different ways of achieving creative flow—that know-it-when-you-feel-it sense of being fully immersed in your work and producing your best results. Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who coined the phrase, says it happens when people are challenged intellectually in areas in which they are highly skilled. But it takes more than an interesting problem to solve; we must prepare.
The Makeshift team was curious about the range of routines that might spark creative flow. So naturally we reached out to some of the talented makers we’ve featured before. Here’s what they told Makeshift boosts their creative juices.
Stereopublic App Designer and Introvert
“Rituals are an essential part of my creative process. Not surprisingly, establishing a quiet space is so important to me. When I arrive at my studio every morning, I usually need to listen to at least one piece of ambient music or drone-based sound (lately it’s been the work of Christina Vantzou or Eliane Radigue) in order to focus my mind and get me into the right creative headspace. Being an anxious person, playing calming tones or frequencies always results in a more productive, creative day. I am definitely a person who also benefits from making sure my workspace is set up properly too, reducing clutter or distractions, trying to separate admin from the artistic. Sometimes turning off the Internet helps this immensely. In fact, next year my desire is to gradually extract myself from as much technology and noise as possible in order to focus myself for creative work.”
|XANDER FERREIRA, A.K.A. GAZELLE
Electro-Pop Singer and Political Artist
“As a multidisciplinary artist, I have been on an infinite quest to discover the source of creation. During traditional ceremonies I have observed, I have found two consistent patterns: the use of sound and a substance to disconnect from physical experience. This causes moments of enlightenment where the spirit connects with its source—the part that is infinite and perfect, where we derive knowledge. This state is reached in daily life momentarily when one completely surrenders—being in ‘the zone’ or an ‘aha!’ moment. When I perform, I channel an unexplainable energy from such a place, losing myself in a moment of pure perfection and harmony. This moment can be recreated through specific rituals developed over millennia. I personally practice Nichiren Buddhism and the active sound meditation of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, a mantra that disconnects me from this physical realm to learn, find inspiration, and manifest reality.”