Artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and artisans of every craft—from architecture to experimental cuisine—whether they’re professional or part-time, highly trained or self-taught, have one thing in common: they’re all tuned into a universal force from which creativity flows. From the first spark of inspiration to the debut of a finished project—be it a symphony, a play, a sculpture or skyscraper—each new endeavor takes on a life of its own. To artists, creative projects are like children that must be nurtured, cared for, and given proper direction if they are to grow into their full potential.
The Creative Process spread forms a wonderful blueprint that can help you build a solid foundation for your next artistic endeavor. Not only can this spread offer insight into a project’s potential, it can also shed light on unforeseen problem areas. It can determine if you’ve already put together the know-how and materials needed to assure success, or if you need to do a little more homework to get your ducks in a row, or even, possibly, put the project on hold and revisit it when conditions are more favorable.
To Brew, or Not to Brew?
For many years, Arthur had been an aficionado of craft beers. What began as a pastime developed into a passion. In his spare time, he began to study up on brewing techniques and dabbled in creating his own recipes, and over the course of time, he became a true artisan. Everyone who tasted Arthur’s homemade brews was impressed—so much so, in fact, that an entrepreneur of his acquaintance offered to partner up with him to launch a microbrewery and pub. This entrepreneur had a solid background in the bar and restaurant industry, and assured Arthur that with his expertise and Arthur’s recipes, they were sure to be a hit.
Arthur had a good feeling about the whole thing, as well. He had been saving up for an investment opportunity, and this struck him as the perfect project to bank his future on, but since he would be a newcomer to the pub business, he wanted to find out if there were any unforeseen bases he needed to cover before taking the plunge.
When Arthur related his situation to me, I thought that a reading using the Creative Process spread would likely reveal the answers he was seeking. The Creative Process is a five-card spread. The card at the center symbolizes the fundamental influence at the core of the endeavor. For Arthur, the Eight of Pentacles was a good sign that he was starting off on solid ground, with both the tools and materials he’d need to take him where he wanted to go, if he was willing to put in the effort required. It also indicated that Arthur would have to be extremely focused. He could no longer afford to think of brewing as a hobby — it was now his business.
The card in the top position of the Creative Process spread represents imagination, and describes what fuel must be fed to the creative engine to get the project on the road. The Ace of Wands in this position revealed that Arthur’s instincts had been right on the money. The timing for this new undertaking could not have been more ideal. It’s message was clear: Either “carpe diem,” or live to regret it.
The card to the left of the central card symbolizes the emotions that surround the imaginative force and the project itself. In this position, The Ace of Pentacles suggests again that confidence is key, and he who hesitates will be lost. For the cycle to fulfill its promise, Arthur must not second-guess himself, and instead focus positive emotion and practical effort to achieve his desired goal.
The card in the bottom position describes the nuts and bolts of a project, from its theory and evolution through its execution, and sheds insight on how to parlay the emotion from the previous card to your best advantage. The Four or Swords reveals that while Arthur is in a good position to move forward, before doing so, it would be in his best interest to pause for a moment to reflect on the bigger picture, to make sure he’d carefully considered all of the project’s parameters.
To succeed in the bar business requires a balance of many factors. I suggested that before plunging ahead, Arthur should make sure that he not only had a clear vision of what he hoped to achieve, but understood what role he must play, and where it would be in his best interest to defer to his partner. The card that appeared next confirmed my hunch that creating a strong partnership was just as critical to success as the concept, location, business plan, suppliers, staffing and advertising.
The card at the far right represents the real-world steps that must be taken in order to bring the project to fruition, and what the final outcome will be if these steps are implemented. Here, we turned up the Two of Wands, a card that can have more complexity than one might gather from a quick glance. The figure in the card holds a globe, and so in effect, “has the whole world in his hands,” and yet he is standing alone. This is not a card that bodes well for a partnership, especially when one or both of the partners is sure he’s the one that has all the right answers.
Since the rest of the reading had such a positive progression, I interpreted the Two of Wands as a caveat to Arthur not to let his enthusiasm and ideas overwhelm the input of a partner whose experience and business savvy might seem at times constraining or counterproductive, but was, in fact, necessary. “Make sure to keep the lines of communication open,” I told him. “Be clear about what’s important to you, but also, be careful to listen carefully to your partner’s input as well.”
Armed with these insights, Arthur sat down with his future partner and hammered out all the details for the business. Plans for the new pub are moving forward, and having attained a new sense of clarity, Arthur is hopeful for the future.
Do you have a creative project that’s waiting to take flight? Tap into a KEEN advisor to see just what it will take to get your project off the ground and keep it flying high.