Sandalwood, patchouli, bergamot, jasmine, frangipani… incense can be a fun way to set the mood for creative work.
I stocked up a few years ago when I visited Primitive Designs in Port Hope with a friend, and every now and then I remember I have them.
You choose scents that you enjoy, but I think really it is the deliberate choice you make when you pick one and light it up, that leads to the benefits.
It is a signal to your brain that you are ready to relax, to take care of yourself, to be in tune with your senses, to be IN the moment, to meditate, to be open to insight, to create.
I think we can condition ourselves to get into that mindset – and gain those benefits faster – by lighting incense whenever we are about to start a painting session.
It’s my hypothesis anyway.
I might try to test it out, starting by burning incense at the start of each painting session so that I begin to correlate the two.
The truth is, I’d like to get to my easel earlier in the day but I’ve always been a night owl, doing most of my creative work at night.
So, it might just be going against the tide.
I discovered my perfect work flow in University – alternating painting days with non-painting days.
That way I could fully immerse myself in long hours of painting without feeling guilty about other things. I might still have had a couple classes to attend, but then I’d go right back to the large studio I shared with 5-7 other art students. While they were around I’d enjoy their company, feedback on my work etc. Basically, charging up my batteries.
Then in the afternoon, most of them would go home, and I’d really settle down to work. Even if I was painting on and off all day, this was when I got the bulk of my painting done. I’d walk across campus to my student house between 1 & 4am, knowing that I could sleep in.
After lunch the next day, I’d I catch up on all my non-painting activities. In those days it was school assignments, socializing, and grocery shopping.
These days, as a responsible adult and parent, the non-painting activities are an every day thing. The household chores and the business activities (not to mention volunteer work) have multiplied.
And I have not-so-little-anymore people who depend on me. Who will wander into the studio to talk about their school day, to ask for homework help, to ask “what can I eat now?”.
So, I have to work harder to balance it all.
Hence the need for incense, and yoga, and the Journey to Self.
Sorry for the quality of these timelapse videos. I just can’t figure out how to do them and cut myself out entirely.
I wish I had a camera that attached to my glasses, so you could almost get a look of the work in progress THROUGH MY EYES!
Do you burn incense, if so, which scents do you enjoy most? And do you associate specific activities with specific scents?