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The focus of my online creative efforts is YOU. You’re a lot like me.
You may feel worn out. You’ve been serving other people for years, and you just feel tired. But you found a little spark and decided to follow it.
Over the years you’ve done a little here and there… you watch some YouTube art tutorials, you sign up to take an art class, you begin a new hobby caring for succulents, or take a class on how to manage clutter in your home. You are already a creative being, and as you begin to wake up, it feels REALLY good.
Here’s a list of things to help nudge you on that journey. I would love to know if it helps, and if you have anything you’d like to add to this list.
Core Principles to Living a Creative Life
- Learn to PLAY again. Become a little child, let go of “shoulds” and enjoy the process instead of the product of what you make. You may up liking both!
- START. Don’t be afraid from the blank page, the halted start, the epic fail. Just show up and start. As I was finishing my degree in art, I discovered photography. After a decade of doing that, I attempted some drawing. I was SO discouraged. After getting good at something else, it was painful to be so terrible in comparison. So I stopped, and didn’t try again for another 4 or 5 years. Don’t be Amber. 😉
- It’s totally okay to fail. Botching a painting is no big deal. It’s only paper, and you’re going to show up again anyways. If we hold ourselves to high performance expectations, we’ll never be brave enough to accidentally discover something new. It’s never too late to learn to fail; to feel okay failing.
- Self-Care. Remember you’re not here on earth to just take care of other people. You’ve been doing it for a long time. Responding to others’ needs and making things happen. But when was the last time you checked in with yourself?
- Let go of Perfectionism. That discouraging voice doesn’t get to come to the table with us. It doesn’t have to “look like” anything. We’re here to play and explore, not beat ourselves up for not being experts yet. Success does not equal perfect painting. Success is just putting brush to paper. Again and again.
- It’s not a competition. No one is going to hold your work up to someone else’s in the Club and point out how your gradient isn’t as smooth as hers. They’re just going to love what YOU’ve made. Don’t even compete with yourself. We’re here to have fun. But do hold on to some of your earlier paintings to see how far you come.
- Show up again. Coming to the page again and again, you work your artistic “muscles” and find a flow more and more. What might have been frustrating or intimidating at first becomes fun and playful. You’ll discover things you didn’t know you were missing. And you’ll become fascinated by areas of your pieces that bring your heart joy. The happy accidents will happen more often as you paint more often.
- You deserve to feel creative. If you have a tough time convincing yourself to be creative, do as Brené Brown: replace it with the word “curious.” Can you really say, “I don’t have a curious bone in my body?” You have a magnificent mind, brimming with untapped experiences, no matter your age. Be open to having fun, and receive creativity with open arms. You’re likely to start to feel more like YOU again.
- Find the joy in the mundane. Look at the pattern of soap bubbles while you do the dishes. Feel how perfectly your foot fits into your favorite shoes. Breathe deep and stretch tall and feel gratitude for your body. The more touch points of recognizing those little things throughout your day, the more open your mind will feel. And when you try new things like a painting class, or a yoga class, or an aerial silks class, it will feel like you’re unfolding your petals to the sun.
- Treat yo’ self. Get a new set of brushes, a paint set, some cute embroidery scissors, or yoga blocks in your favorite color. Don’t feel guilty. Remember you’re investing in yourself, and it is to bring you joy. Every time you use these new toys, you’ll remember how important your growth and happiness is. In tiny ways, a little bit of money CAN buy happiness. Well, that plus a mindset shift. You are important and setting up your life to feel that way is key.
In their words…
Here are a few words from some of my favorite creative authors:
Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Big Magic)
“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously.
Apparently, your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting – and may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must.
But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this:
Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way.
…You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not every allowed to touch the radio.
But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
Brené Brown (Author of Daring Greatly, Braving the Wilderness, Gifts of Imperfection and more)
Basic Principles from
1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life — including ourselves.
3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.”
Alright, my friend. Let’s start this journey together. You’re going to see marvelous things unfold.
Go start something. Show up. Come join US, if you’d like.
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