But I'm Not an Artist...
You may not be a professional artist, but you can have a creative life.
I find that people tend to have a very definitive definition of "creativity".
I often hear, "But I'm not an artist- I don't know how to paint/draw/write, etc." And, that usually translates to, " So, I wouldn't be a good fit for expressive arts. I can’t do that. "
I see creativity very differently. I see it as subjective and relative to who you are as a person.
If you wake up and have an idea that you put into action then you are creating. If you cook something curiously awesome in the kitchen then you are a creating. You get the gist.
YOU were meant to create. Everyone CAN be a creator.
I use art in my sessions with people. In the office art is about the process not the end product. The art that is often created in there ends up being a pretty profound metaphor for life.
I’ve witnessed numerous people who were very skeptical about expressive arts leave my office a believer. I believer in using art to process, create insight, develop vision and foster curiosity.
All qualities in a successful person that can be used in ANY setting- not just the art studio.
I want you to begin seeing your life as a canvas.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
Take a moment to be mindful. Are you at the bus stop or in your car on the way to work? Look around and be open to the possibilities of something beautiful around you. Maybe it’s a colorful butterfly on the bench next you, or the way a passing stranger smiled at you. Appreciate these moments and carry them with you through your day. Life can be rough, and savoring and remembering these moments of beauty can help you feel appreciative even when things are painful. The combination of being mindful and appreciative can create a mindset for creativity to readily flow.
Find like-minded people. Join a local art class or get together with a friend for an hour of creation. Join a book club or online community group. Sometimes all you need to get started on a project is to be part of a collective energy. That energy can also help you have more creative conversations. Being engaged in creative work, no matter at what level of expertise, and having creative interactions with people can encourage creative problem-solving and curiosity. That can stimulate you to bring new ideas to work or treatment collaboration meetings.
Make time to observe art. Go to your local art museums, watch an art film, go to a concert or a poetry slam. Being in a space where you absorb creativity can help foster your own, as experiencing art of any kind helps you create an artistic vision for yourself. You’ll become better able to discern or develop your own aesthetic values. For example, do you enjoy abstract art or realism?
Explore your local art supply store. Browsing your local supply store will give you lots of ideas to kick-start an art project. Many of these stores carry a range of artistic supplies, such as journals and crafting supplies. Feeling stuck and want some technical training? Check out the free workshops at Michael’s.
Just start. As you begin the creative process, the very first mark or words are often the hardest. You are taking a risk. You may or may not like your first mark. BUT if you don’t make that mark you’ll never know where it will lead. And this is the biggest life lesson: Without risk and challenge, no growth occurs. Living in fear of failure will trap your spirit and creativity. Learn to be a calculated risk-taker!
Elizabeth Gilbert summed this up beautifully in her book Big Magic. She said, “What is creative living? Any life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear."
You see, it’s really quite simple-- when you open yourself up to creativity, you open yourself up to possibility.