Skip to main content

Musings on Creativity: 8 do's and don'ts to increase your self-confidence as an artist

1. The myth of inspiration

Waiting for inspiration to strike is the greatest myth in the creative industry. If you consider yourself a professional artist, creator, designer, writer etc., honor your craft by staying fully committed to it, regardless of the changing moods and circumstances.

2. Has it occurred to you that the page/canvas need you?

Show up and use the page or the canvas to figure out what it is trying to communicate to you. Rest at it. Wonder about it. Feel the thrill of the sweet overwhelming awe that comes over you when you realize that you are working on YOUR ART. A lot is hidden within the seeming blankness. By showing up, you allow it to reveal itself to you or you allow yourself to craft your meaning out of the potential of the expressive space.


3. Nobody creates masterpieces on a daily basis

Some days you will do great work. Others, nothing remarkable will happen. Be OK with that. Accept it as an essential part of how your creative brain selects, filters, processes and actualizes your artistic visions. The important part is to keep showing up frequently enough as to stay intrigued by the process of creating. Learning to enjoy every moment of it is probably the most challenging, yet the most rewarding, feeling an artist can experience.

4. Tolerating uncertainty

Essentially, creativity thrives on uncertainty. For anything fresh, new or exciting to come into existence, a serious amount of time is usually spent exploring unchartered territories without the guarantee that 'new lands' will be discovered. The willingness to go into the unknown, while tolerating uncertainty, is what makes art an act of immense courage and vulnerability. 

5. Did you know that envy is for amateurs? 

Every minute spent envying somebody's talent or success is a minute you could have invested into creating new meaning and value, or simply achieving a greater level of mastery in your own craft. A more productive way to view envy is as a compass guiding us towards what we really love and desire to be(come). Figure out what triggers the feeling of envy in you, and explore it from a fresh perspective. Ask yourself: what does this tell me about what I truly want to achieve and be? 

6. Finding freedom

You are free the moment you focus on work that feeds your soul before it feeds your ego. The most powerful you are when YOU create for YOU first. I do not mean to say that all art must be self-serving. Yet in order to do seriously good work, we need to be able to detach ourselves from any fixed expectations of the outcome of our effort. More importantly, we need to detach our sense of worth from how others might feel about what we create. Our identity as artists does not equal our creations. It is much bigger than all of them.

7. Replacing discipline with devotion*.

Millions of creative folks live their life in 'must do's, need to do's or should do's'. There is a point when, if we are not careful and prepared, commitment easily becomes a burden that kills the creative spark and the desire to attend to our art. Instead of looking at our tasks as obligations, we could reframe them as priviliges. Rather than demanding of ourselves to stay disciplinedly focused, we could gently remind ourselves that we love what we do and we are devoted to it. 

8. Verba volant, scripta manent.

This is Latin for 'words fly, writings stay'. Brilliant ideas, lines and thoughts have the tendency to be fleeting. Figure out what are effective ways to capture your creative insights. Aside from always having a notebook and a pen with you, make the habit of using the Voice Memo and Notes app on your phone frequently. It is true that great ideas tend to come to you when you are in a relaxed state, so keeping a water-proof notepad in your bathroom does not seem to be such a crazy idea.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Life - Transforming Questions

If the quality of our life depends on the decisions we make. And the quality of our decisions is largely determined by the quality of the questions we ask, what are the questions that could lead us to the greatest breakthrough in life? Here is a (never complete) collection of questions I believe can assist you in moving forward and transforming your life. You don't have to try and answer all of them. Instead, feel free to browse through the list and contemplate the questions that resonate with you at this moment. The questions might be used also as journal prompters and in practising meditation. What do you stand for? What person do you wish to become? If thoughts shape reality, what would you like to think about that would help you move forward? If you'd have to do the impossible with nothing, where would you start? Who are you without the doing? Who are you when you just are? If you could re-imagine and transform their life just by visualizing and thinking, wha

To Transform Yourself is To Transform Everything

The ability to transform ourselves holds the key to transforming what is around us. If we view life as a series of collisions with the future, then it does make sense to explore in more depth what is and cultivate a greater clarity of what we desire. It also seems wise to remove any obstacles in order to allow what we have envisioned to find us. "The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas." - Terrence McKenna Stirring mental waters until new islands of awakening start emerging is not for those prepared to explore familiar landscapes only. Ultimately, many are not here to follow the rules of someone else's game but to craft a whole new one of their own. A new game begins by learning to look at things from a fresh perspective and asking new questions . To put it shortly, it all begins with allowing your creativity to find you. Courting it, inviting it to join

Unchained

Somewhere in the now distant mid 20 th century, the philosopher Erich Fromm stated that our greatest task as human beings is to continue giving birth to ourselves throughout our lives. To allow ourselves to be fully born time and time again long after our entry into the physical world, he claims, is to know the true meaning of freedom. We say we want freedom but we shy away from the responsibility of making choices. We’re forever avoiding being fully born by seeking refuge and excuses in comparing ourselves to others, in amusing ourselves to death, in demanding solutions from politicians, or simply allowing work to swallow us completely. We want to live by design yet we secretly hope to be told what to do, always seeking for recipes and formulae for happiness. "The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the ''social worker''-judge." - Michel Foucault We say we wish to b