Well, this started out as an Instagram post but as I blabbered on, I realized it was way too long for Instagram. Sometimes I can write and write and other times its like getting blood from a turnip. Anywho…onward with today’s post.
I think the two main things that keep us from creating on a regular basis is perfectionism and time.
As we create sometimes we think “Oh my gosh. This is trash. It looks nothing like so and so’s art journal”. Or “I’m just making a huge mess”. Why am I doing this? No one seems to care.” And so on. *Insert your own narrative here*
Self doubt and our idea of what we think something should be is a killer. This applies to everyday life and art/creating as well.
It’s so important to let go of what we think things are supposed to look like. Art is a major escape for me and if I sit at my desk and worry about what the outcome will be or what others might think of it, then it’s no longer fun. This hampers the creative spirit in a major way.
Other opinions is also a killer of creativity.
Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. What one finds beautiful another will find ugly. If someone doesn’t like what you create then that’s fine. Art journaling or abstract mixed media is not everyone’s cup of tea. And contrary to the average comments sections on any given Facebook post, you can disagree with someone and not hate each other.
Yes, controversial, I know.
If someone goes as far as to make a negative comment (in real life or online) about what you’re creating keep in mind they are probably going through something bad or has had a sucky life. Their actions have nothing to do with you. They want to spread their negativity and by not reacting (though it’s hard), you’ve stopped the circle of nastiness.
The next time you start to feel that nagging self doubt ask yourself where it might be coming from and then tell yourself that you are worthy of taking the time to create without perfection being the outcome.
On to problem two: Time.
These days busyness seems to be a badge of honor. The crazy thing is we do this to ourselves. And why? Why do we run ourselves so ragged that we have hardly anything left for ourselves? I’m not sure the answer to that question, but I do know it needs to stop. Step one would be learning that it is important to know how to say no. And if the person you said no to gets mad? You just learned where their respect for you ends and their boundarylessness (yes, thats a word – haha) begins.
I can’t reiterate how important boundaries are. Obviously there are things we have to do. I’m not saying to quit your job because it takes away from your time to be creative, (though wouldn’t it be nice?) but do yourself a favor and learn to say no to the unnecessary things. And if they get mad, then so be it. That has more to do with them and their manipulation of you than it has to do with your saying no.
I grew up in a very manipulative, boundaryless environment and carried those relationships and that dysfunction well into adulthood. Whatever they wanted I tried to provide. And here’s the kicker… they never saw it. They only wanted more of me until there was hardly anything left of me.
The truth is (and I love this quote!) you can lay on the floor to allow someone to walk all over you and they’ll still complain you aren’t flat enough.
So ask yourself are you saying yes because you actually want to, or are you saying yes out of fear of what someone might think if you say no?
All this is so much easier said than done of course. It’s okay though. You are worth it. If you give and give and give then there is nothing left of you to give. Take time. Make room for creativity in your life.
What I’ve been up to…
Recently I was on the Life Documented blog sharing my technique on using old photos and ephemera in my art journals.
I also made TWO videos. I know, I’m shocked too.
And a video on transforming an old magazine into a journal.
And as always, for your listening pleasure.