I don’t believe in coincidences. If you pay enough attention, things that happen seemingly “at random” are part of a bigger pattern. Everything happens for a reason. A few weeks ago, I received a comment from a reader. Chris Simpson, an artist, loved my posts on Vuillard and Bonnard. He said the nicest things about my blog, and I wanted to check out his art. I was on vacation when he wrote me, so I filed his site as something to visit when I was back to my regular schedule.
Then, I received two presents in the same week. (Lucky me!!) One was the exhibition catalog on Alex Kanevsky, the other was the book If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit.
- Everyone has a creative talent: Seriously. Every single person has creative talent. It may be dormant, lurking somewhere under the surface. But it is there! Don’t stop yourself before you begin by believe that you’re simply not creative. Your talent may be drawing, or poetry, or carpentry. Don’t compare yourself to others – discover your unique gift and get at it.
- Don’t be attached to the results: Not everything is going to be a masterpiece. That doesn’t mean your attempt has no value. Often times, several failed attempts lead to a great work. Practice does make perfect. Recognize that there is room for growth.
- Have a rhythm, not a schedule: Really good ideas are formulated over time. It’s important to show up and do creative work. However, inspiration is sometimes a fleeting thing. Don’t lock yourself into a ridged schedule if the ideas aren’t there. (For example, every Monday from 1-3pm I will paint no matter what. This never worked for me) Go for a walk. Do something you enjoy. Just be sure that you’re attempting to show up and do the work more than you’re avoiding it.
- Avoid negativity, even your own: People that discourage you from being creative are not worth the time. Avoid them at all costs. Sometimes, there can be a nagging little voice in your mind telling you “you can’t do that”. Stop listening. Or just replace the thought with:, “I can’t – RIGHT NOW. But soon enough, I will!“
- Create from a place of enthusiasm: I find that the best things I make, whether a photograph or a post, come for a place of enthusiasm. When I’m excited and want to share an experience or bit of information with someone I care about, it comes out beautifully. It’s when I get caught up in impressing others or trying too hard that it gets messed up. If you like what you are doing, it will always turn out great.
- Know when to stop: Don’t overdo a good thing. There is such a thing as overkill. If you are having doubts about something being finished – walk away. Come back to it. Give yourself some clarity before ruining a good thing by overworking it.