The promise of a new year fuels us with creative inspiration, but, as 2015 winds down, you may find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum – creatively drained. We loved this photo essay from painter and photographer Melodi Meadows and our friends at Free People’s Bldg 25. Having just returned from the magic of Big Sur ourselves, we thought we’d share these gorgeous images and thoughtful words from Meadows on the creative power of a short escape as we continue our monthly exchange with Bldge 25. 

The creative spark…where does it come from? This is a question that has riddled artists for decades. We try to figure out that right formula to trigger that light-bulb moment when everything falls into place. Yet, with years of scientific research, we still don’t quite know where creativity comes from…but, we know it can be cultivated. They say that putting in ten thousand hours of practice will bring you greatness in any field. Yet we continue to ask, what is the origin of creativity and how do we pursue it?

We have to be observant in life, to be able to identify what triggers our creativity so that, when it does come, we’re ready. What if you feel artistically drained? Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve, ready to revive the creative me. Today I want to talk about one in particular: travel.

For the creative mind, there is power in a weekend escape. My latest sanctuary has become Big Sur, California. The energy of this place is all-consuming. With no cell service just about anywhere, I am forced to disconnect and live in the moment. My mind starts to entertain itself and observes things that, at any other time, I would hardly notice. From the patterns of the leaves, the colors of the moss on the trees, the sound of birds chatting in the morning — my mind tucks it all away in a mental journal. Travel slows down time, like when you were a kid and every experience was new. You were in “awe” of everything…all the time. Now time seemingly flies by, and the only way to slow down is to travel, to lure in new experience. This combination serves as my perfect fuel — it fills me up with new ideas and empowers me to revisit the studio with fresh eyes and spirit.

Check out the full story on Bldg 25 here

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