As I wrote up my report for January, I kept getting this picture in my mind of speaking to a group of people sitting around a conference table. They all wore regular “business wear,” peering up at me in their blazers and button-down shirts.
This made me wonder, “what would be MY uniform?” As creatives, we rarely consider what we wear our “uniform,” but each of us has an outfit that we wear to do our creative work. Unconsciously, we’ve probably already formed a picture of what a person who does the type of creative work that we do already wears.
For instance, when I was young, I imagined the adult writer me would wear flattering, flowy clothes and a cape. A cape for every occasion, in fact! In reality, it ended up being clothing built more for comfort than fashion: t-shirts or turtlenecks, pants, the occasional leggings and skirt. But each time I put on my “work clothes,” I feel the writer me coming to the surface.
Putting on your “work clothes” supports you entering your creative space – especially if you don’t have an office. The act of dressing, just like when an actor puts on a costume, can move you into the space of doing your work. My wife, Stephanie, played a german maid once, with these long braids that got coiled up on each side of her head like Princess Leia. When that hairdo was complete, she went into her character’s German accent and didn’t speak in her real voice until her hair was back to its regular look. You can use this same technique to move yourself into a creative mindset.
Our creative exercise this week is “Picking Your Uniform.” What is the outfit you wear to do your creative work? Do you have different outfits for different activities? As you put on your uniform, recognize how each piece of it works for you. Allow dressing yourself to move your mind into your creative space. Once you have the complete outfit on, close your eyes and say to yourself, “I am a ________________” and fill in the blank with your creative occupation.
For example, when I looked down at myself in this little flash of a business meeting vision, I wore my pyjamas, slippers and robe. The perfect outfit for an early morning writer!
I guess my robe can be my cape…. for now!