Words by: Tamisha Ford
A few weeks ago, I was dealing with something a little difficult in my life. It wasn’t soul crushing – just hard.
A thorn instead of a stab wound, if you will, compared to worse things that I’ve been through in my life. I was just feeling a little “Debbie Downer” that day. It was a Friday, and I wasn’t only feeling down, I was feeling extremely disinterested in writing or creativity of any kind. Basically, in true introvert fashion (of the most epic kind), I was “to myself”.
Very much so.
Quietly allowing myself to feel everything I wanted to feel.
But gosh, I just needed some inspiration. Ya know?
I decided to watch a movie on demand. I will sometimes numb out with a good movie when I just want a break from my own brain.
So I flipped to see what was in the new release section, and my heart leapt I don’t know how far when I saw a NEW documentary was out called Dior and I.
If y’all know nothing else about me, know that I love absolutely EVERYTHING about this brand. Remember this post?
The colors, the cuts, the stitching, the runways, the smells of their perfumes, the french heritage, the fashion house, the fonts, the every-thing.
I’m in love with Dior, basically. It inspires me and this brand in many ways. You will likely see similarities.
The premise and story of the documentary is of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection for Dior as the newest creative director. The documentary was so stunning, I watched it 3 times. I’ll probably go buy it again after typing this!
Watching Raf think through every detail, make modifications to the cuts, browse museums for his own personal and professional inspiration, cry when he saw the dresses go down the runway – there is nothing like that in the entire world to me. I cried with him during the film, and I appreciated his work more than ever in that moment. I have always been touched by the arts in every way.
I can cry watching a video like this one in a second (and I have a few times now):
Likewise, as I watched this documentary about Dior and Raf, something stuck out to me. Raf spent a lot of time alone, yes. Just like Christian Dior used to do in the 40’s when Dior was created. He would spend hours in the atelier and his office, sketching. Raf himself doesn’t sketch, but he does the same thing in his creative process as far as having his moments of solitude to think through the details.
However, he mixes it with a nice healthy dose of social interaction, and as introverted as you can see he is in the film, he still needs others in order to accomplish his goal – you see that clearly in the documentary. When he goes to the museums to appreciate the art, he has a small, intimate group with him, because he needs to appreciate the art in his own head, but be able to get it out of his own head too. What he thinks and how it makes him feel spurs feedback and conversation – not for approval – just for the process. He browses with them, and they all appreciate it together.
He uses items and abstract art outside of his work to inform his work, but he also utilizes the relationships around him.
Solitude only goes so far in creative expression. It is fabulous. It’s needed. I couldn’t personally do without hours and hours of it – sometimes days. I myself can go days without so much as a phone call or text to or from anyone, much less leaving the house – it’s just how I’m wired.
But I know for sure that when I’m fresh out of inspiration, that’s also why – it’s always been my double edged sword. I’m too enclosed, and I know it’s time to go socialize.
Inspiration is gained by interaction and reconciliation with our world and culture.
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Culture connects us. Culture informs us. Culture aligns us with what needs to arise from us in service to others. And it doesn’t matter if that service is creating a beautiful haute couture collection or online courses. Our gifts must be integrated with culture at some point.
After several creative successes, including a number one New York Times bestselling book, I fell into the trap of seeking solitude in creating my next work. I thought, If I can just get away from all the insanity of the world, then I’ll be able to think better. But being in solitude, I quickly found msyelf unable to write creatively. Then I happened to talk with another very successful author who reminded me of the importance of getting out into the world to engage my social, curious mind. The very next day, I started going out to lunch at a popular cafe and started people-watching, visited a local museum, and called some friends to tell and hear a few good stories. That night, I wrote better than I had in weeks.
–Brendon Burchard, Author of The Millionaire Messenger and The Charge
This is a perfect example of connection and creativity needing one another.
Leonardo DaVinci was also said to have asked his apprentices questions to engage their curiosity and creativity as they went about their days. Questions about how things were shaped, the design of something they liked vs. something they didn’t, etc.
Design and creativity cannot happen in a vacuum – it needs culture to sustain it and put it in context. And whether or not you think you’re a designer, you are. Did you put an outfit together today? Did you rearrange your living room furniture or set up your new desk? Did you even envision or create something in your mind you didn’t actually do or put on paper?
You designed. You created. Whether or not it is tangible isn’t the conversation right now – I need you to see beyond something you can touch to what’s within.
And more than anything else?
I need you to see how valuable it is to all of us.
My deepest gratitude for your creative gifts,
Out of curiosity, what is your struggle when it comes to connection and creativity, if any? Do you struggle to find this balance between your inner creative mind and what comes out? Would love to chat about it in the comments. Leave me one, and I’ll get back to you.
Here is the trailer for the documentary I mentioned. Enjoy…
Dior and I Trailer (make full screen!)