Being an artist, a writer, a creator is hard! Pfff!
I have had people say, Oh really?.. sure its just slapping some paint on a canvas. My 2 year old can do that!
When I am in a cheeky mood I say to those people great! Go right ahead lets do that and you come back and talk to me when your done 😉 I often get a funny look back, but how many would actually go do that?
For the most part, I have also heard people say, “I wish I was creative but I can only draw a stick figure”. Other people don’t want to be “an artist” but they just like making things. ( I am not sure why so many people don’t like calling themselves an artist!! )
Many people that come to my classes are people who are coming back to “art” later in life after years away.. many are enjoying being “back to creating again”. I know this feeling too… there were years I forgot myself and didn’t create anything. Then you come back and go why did I ever stop this?
Then what can happen is you are inspired, you start to slot back into what you remember creating is all about then….you may look at art on the internet, attend exhibitions and start to dabble and then it kicks in – WHY can’t I get what is in my head out onto the canvas? You try again and become frustrated when things are not quite coming out how they planned, that’s when it becomes a bit HARD.
Lets put it a bit in context though, I am saying it’s HARD but lets be honest its not a third world problem. There are many greater things that are more difficult or worrying than this, however its important to acknowledge I am talking about an internal battle, a mental challenge that can be difficult to sort out. Art is becoming a recognised way for people to express themselves, a way for relaxation, a form of therapy and for many people who are using it for this and it starts turning into a chore rather than a joy it can be quite difficult experience for people to be frustrated with their creativity!!! If this is the thing that is bringing you joy and peace and this is not now turning out the way you like ofcourse the frustration can be HARD and disheartening.
The belief that art is all about talent or that its super easy for some people (ie. exists for everyone but YOU)is an illusion I would like to debuff right here and right now!
Not matter what “stage” of life / art you are in, if you have a desire to create something when you actually sit down to do it can be very challenging.
Quite often there is nothing scarier than that blank piece of paper or that blank canvas. If you can get past that creating can be an internal battle even after I have been doing this for many years, this resistance / internal battle still sometimes comes up that I “should” be able to just wing though this “creation thing” easily but the TRUTH is it never does, nor will it ever GO AWAY– NOT completely and there is a reason for that… its called CREATING.
The essence of CREATING means it didn’t exist before and YOU are helping to bring this thing to fruition. Without you, this thing would not exist and so therefore as its creator it feels scary, intimidating, frustrating to be in this position and the internal chatter starts…
What if this thing is crap? Is that the right way to do it? How does she do it? That’s no where as good as such and such I saw on facebook! Who am I kidding to do this? If this looks bad does that mean that I am crap?? I might as well just give up.
Let’s just pretend for the moment I am not talking about even showing your work to anyone, this isn’t helpful if you have a partner who walks in the door and decided to all of a sudden be a fabulous art critic on what you should or shouldn’t be doing… if we go there then the whole thing just starts again. For now, we are just talking about making the art for you in the moment just for you. This is the internal battle this is the HARD bit. So I am just going to pull back for a minute to say: “The fact is that you are creating something, anything means putting yourself out there on the line” and that can be scary and again this is hard. If it comes out looking like a ball of mud, does that mean you should stop? Does that mean you should never create anything again?
If you have read this far i am betting that you have experienced all of this before and your wondering ok, yes so how do we get past this?
Let me be the person who whispers in your ear to say “You just haven’t found the right way to create that yet!!”
Just because it didn’t work the first few times.. if you are overall enjoying it stick with it!!! I know its hard but like i said at the beginning this is the HARD bit.
Ofcourse your not always going to get something first go! You are creating this from nothing, this is not maths it doesn’t always come out at an even exact number. It just means you need to play MORE and let go of any particular result (other than just creating something)… After all its just some art materials and/or your time. Its not the end of the world!
Let me also just say again that its got nothing to do with talent, skill, OR how many years you have been doing this.
Sure there are different ways this happens but all levels of artists have this, its NEVER going to go away… yes NEVER cause creating art is as i said creating something from nothing, no matter how many times you draw the same picture.. sure you will get better each time and it will get easier .. but there is always an element when you create something new that you are not sure exactly how it will come out. I have read about some of the great artists during their time struggling with this and the thing is, we all have this particularly in the beginning,
Just recently in kids art class…
I could see they were resisting the exercise I put in front of them.
One girl asked – Why couldn’t she just draw the animal the way she knows how to draw them, why does she have to look at the picture and then draw the animal?
I said something to the tune of
“Well if you always draw what you know and never look outside or try something different then you will just have the same drawing again and again and pretty soon you will be tired of drawing that and want to draw something else, but you won’t know how to draw anything else because you haven’t learn to look at something when your drawing it and you want have information about what the new thing looks like so likely will then will be upset”
I then went on to say…
“I know it seems hard to draw this, I know you probably aren’t that keen in drawing this, but the thing is, when you draw things a different way it means that you will learn something about object, and then when you go back to drawing the thing you love you will have something new to bring to it. Otherwise you will draw the same old thing for years to come”
Then i just encouraged her to have a go at drawing this thing one time and she could then go back to the thing you love, you never know you might then know how to position it differently or give it a different emotion. Just try it.
If you simply it – it’s Resistance to something new. It’s trying to keep us safe its trying to keep us doing what we already know what to do. Putting yourself outside or past this resistance is HARD. It’s hard for everyone, I have had this EXACT same conversation in my adult class and I have it regularly with my internal self when creating. Now i learn to dance with my resistance, its actually quite valuable when i hear it i know its pushing me past what i already know and time and time again it pushes me to something new and often BETTER. Once we get over this resistance, we then get down to the fun stuff and we can start to create!
So, How do you beat that Resistance, Fear when you are wanting to create something?
To be honest, I have had this resistance this morning, this blog article is actually in part a resistance about finishing an artwork that is on my easel. As I said before it will never go away completely, it exists because its needed to create the thing in the first place. Trying to remove it completely or think it won’t ever be there is void, its never going to happen. I have actually started to welcome my resistance when it comes, or at least acknowledge it with a nod like its a person that just walked into the room that you wish wasn’t there but you know is going to be there and you are going to just give it the least attention or energy as possible. … and I say:
I say to myself: “Oh its you again, you’re here!” thanks for coming but I don’t have time to talk to you right now…
When its here, I know that means I am doing that is slightly uncomfortable for whatever reason. I guess the #tipoftheday is to know it, don’t fight it, acknowledge it and still create anyway!! I’ll say it again its only art materials, its not the end of the world. You can create another one and another one still you get it right its often the creating we love doing not necessarily the end result. There is always something else to create.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t let it have a louder voice than the one that is quietly whispering that you want to create something. #arttips #motivation” username=”creativehardt”]
Don’t resistance have a louder voice than the one that is quietly whispering that you want to create something. When you create, paint, draw, write you have already won, done is better than perfect, and if it doesn’t come out how you would like next time do something different than the last time. Creativity will win out eventually and it will come to life.
ps. please leave a comment below, i love to share my journey with you I would love to hear if this helps you.