#STARTInspiring: Anar Bhansali
BHANSALI’s philanthropic mission has been to educate and inspire the underserved youth of LA. Now, we have been given the opportunity to expand our impact through the introduction of a digital platform for our non-profit program START, called #STARTinspiring. Follow along as we feature original content from trailblazing creatives and industry leaders every week. Here you will find resources to get you going, inspiring stories to get you moving, and tips for self-care to keep you from giving up on achieving your personal and professional goals. We are here for you and want to see you realize your full potential, because that creates a beautiful world.
The Art of Creativity in Isolation
Creativity thrives when given the time and space to grow. Many of us do not realize that slowing down is a choice we are able to make everyday, a choice that will lead to our overall growth. But, we are all caught up in this race to be and to achieve. And it is in race that we lose the essence that allows us to truly create.
A time I felt truly creative was when I was designing our best selling collection, ONE. It took me two years to fully realize the collection, and perhaps one more to bring the line to perfection. Right now, I feel that same energy I had then and I want to show you how you can feel inspired during these uncertain times too.
Many people confuse creativity with artistic talent. But, in reality they are different. Artistic talent is unique to an individual. One might be a great painter, and another might be a great singer. Creativity, however, is a practice based on understanding the world around us, connecting those observations to our knowledge, and then, imagining new applications for our world. To me, creativity can be cultivated and nurtured throughout our lives and is skill innate to each one of us.
We all have heard that all children are creative. So, where did it go? When did we lose it? Why do we have to try to be creative? Somewhere in life, we lost our connection to it. And the way to rediscover our creative self is through solitude, or sitting alone. In solitude, we become aware of our thoughts of the world and ourselves. It leads to a greater understanding. It is in this special space that we are able to connect numerous, complex and seemingly opposing thoughts in order to synthesize something new. And to distill something so multifaceted into elegant simplicity, all we need is time and space.
Those of us not accustomed to sitting alone with their thoughts may find it difficult. This is because we are finally looking at ourselves in a mirror and confronting the worst of our fears. But, on the other side of this, is a connection to our creative self. There is no other way to learn to do this other than to practice and move through it. And, here is our moment to try.
I am working on a new collection inspired by my heritage. This is a collection that fuses my western upbringing with my eastern culture; a collection that is both bold and full of color, while still elegant and refined; and a collection that upholds old world technique and style, but remains contemporary and modern. I am trying to find a balance between contrasting themes. And it has not been easy because of the many variables involved. I take it one day at a time and allow my ideas to build, edit, replace, and delete, as they become a clear, both mentally and visually.
Here are some ways I connect with my creative self:
- Write in a Journal – I feel like my mind can be a broken record player, just replaying the same verse again and again. And, sometimes, I feel like my mind is in overdrive and there are just a relentless stream of thoughts. Journaling is the way I break that loop and listen to myself. Some of my best insights and solutions have come from journaling for 30 minutes in the morning.
- Get Moving – Oxygen and rhythm help me move through my mental and emotional blocks. I love running and yoga. I started streaming The Class online, which has really helped get set for my day ahead.
- Quiet Time – I schedule time where I work on creative things without distractions. I turn off e-mails, phone calls, and text messages. It is a time where I allow my thoughts to wander and express themselves freely.
- Go Into Nature – I love sitting in the park next to my house and just observing all the various forms of life around me. It is a very grounding experience.
- Sit In Meditation – This is probably the most difficult one for me. But, it helps me focus and think clearly.
- Step Away – Sometimes, I hit a wall and I get super frustrated. The best thing to do at this moment is step away. Perhaps, a new perspective is needed and pushing through it only makes it a miserable experience.
- Try Something New – I have been learning to cook and it has been so fun to use my hands to create something different. The experiment and learning of something new has led to fresh eyes for all other projects.
- Read and Research – Understanding a subject from different perspectives leads to a more expansive view of a subject. Sometimes, we are stuck because we need more information.
- Communication and Collaboration- While I stress the importance of solitude, sharing ideas with a team can be a great way to spark other ideas. However, I always come back after a brainstorm session and think about those ideas on my own.
- Have Fun – I think this just be a life principle. When I am in a good mood, I am open. That is important to creativity.
Isolation helps us limit the noise of the world so our minds can focus on the most essential elements. Not only does it allow us to understand the world and ourselves, but also it allows us to discover our own voice. And, in that we are able to discover the art of creation.