5 Thoughts Holding Back Your Creativity
As humans, artists, and creatives, we are always struggling with internal dialogue. We find ourselves listening or tuning out that annoying little voice.
For most of us, this voice lacks words of encouragement. It tends to hinder our creativity and all too often, guides us to doubt ourselves, our work, and our lives.
I find that there are 5 thoughts in particular that are the most damning to my creativity, my work, and my art.
You don’t have to be an artist to suffer from this type of internal dialogue. We are all creative individuals in some form or another.
Whether you’re a small business owner, an innovator, or a stay at home mom hustling to get stuff done, your creativity may be bullied by some of these negative thoughts.
It Doesn’t Go Along With My Brand
One of the best moments for a creative is when someone buys your items. Some items or pieces sell quicker than others. You want to keep that selling “high”, so you create similar items. Those also sell. The result is the making of your brand; future pieces look similar or along the same line as the items that originally sold well. This is what your customers have come to”expect” you to make and sell. Often, this becomes a comfort zone. It starts getting scary moving away from that zone. You start fearing that new work won’t sell as well.
When you get an idea that sparks interest in you, I say run with it, regardless of what you’ve created to be your “brand”. Continue to make things that interest you. That is your creativity at work. Don’t worry if it’s random or strange. Pieces that stick out from the rest are usually the ones that sell the fastest. Become the innovator of your own brand again. Come up with new ideas and new things to introduce to your style. Don’t be afraid of making a clash every once in a while. It will most likely pay off.
I Don’t Know If I Can Do That
This was my mantra! Doubting your own skills is a real bummer and your creativity suffers. You can do anything; in your own style of course.
My picture of a rainbow will never be exactly the same as yours, but that doesn’t mean either one is bad. All you need to do is define your style. Whether you’re a painter or jewelry maker, your style will guide your creations.
I offer custom pieces and alterations in my Etsy Shop. It scares me every time someone requests a custom piece. I never reject a project. However, I do remind customers that I can create anything, but it will always have my own unique flare. If you like my style, then you’ll like my work.
The same goes for you. Don’t doubt your ability. You are a very skilled artist! You practice and you have an abundance of creative ideas flowing daily. Know that you can do it! Don’t compare your work to another. Your work is special. Stand by it with pride. You can create anything and it will be amazing!
I’ve Never Used That Medium, Material, or Tool
Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Your creativity is reaching out to try new things all the time. Fear holds it back.
The best approach to trying something new is to do some basic research and learn from others. Read blogs and posts from other creatives and professionals. There is so much information out there at your fingertips. All you have to do is read and learn.
The lesson here is to never walk away from a project because you’ve never used a certain medium or material. Learn a little bit about what you’re getting into and then dive in.
Trying new things is scary fun! Trust in yourself and your skills. Don’t let your fear of the new, damper your creativity. Besides, once you’ve tried it you’ll have something else to add to your creativity belt.
That Doesn’t Look Right
We are super critical of our own work. You let your creativity sore only to clip its wings.
It makes the work a little less enjoyable when that little voice is always telling you how it doesn’t look “right”. As opposed to what…left?
As an artist and creator of things, your job is simply to make stuff; whether it looks right is irrelevant. If you are making things for the sole purpose of selling your creations, then create confidently knowing that there is always some fun weirdo out there that will love your left looking item.
The same forethought goes if you’re making stuff for your own personal enjoyment. Creating an idea and making art for the “fun of it”, means enjoying the process. There is nothing fun about nitpicking. Picasso’s work never looked right to me and his “Bull Fight” painting is one of my favorites.
There is so much beauty in things that don’t quite make sense. It’s fun to break the rules, whether they are your own or those imposed by others. If it doesn’t look right, chances are it was meant to look different.
It’s NOT Finished
This statement plagues all creative individuals. It’s not finished. How do you know?
I like to show off my work when I feel it is half way done. Most artists will say never to do that, but I’ve enjoyed showing off pieces and taking the feedback. I find that most people that see the work will always say that it looks great just the way it is. It doesn’t need anything else, because to them, it functions well.
When that little voice pops up and tells you you’re not done, take it with a grain of salt. For me, a work is done when I don’t feel like adding anything else to it; not because some rule says it needs more paint, or a necklace should be symmetrical.
Your work is your own. Your creativity dictates it and your emotions drive the work to completion. Don’t allow that statement to ruin your mojo. If it feels done, then it’s done, regardless of where you’ve stopped. No one has the right to tell you otherwise, including you.
The creative process is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t allow negative self-talk ruin it.
Art is subjective. The only individual that needs to be satisfied with what you’ve made is you.
Love the process and the result.
Any other thoughts dampening your creative flow? Please share & lets talk about it.