4 things I’ve learnt about creativity outside of art class:
YOUR IDEAS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE ORIGINAL
Find artists who inspire you. And study their work. And steal the bits you LOVE. There is a huge misconception in the creative world of your work being 100% original. NOTHING IS ORIGINAL. This is not a bad thing. It’s actually a wonderful thing. It means that what you create is an intertwining of ideas from many people and you.
Think about how long humans have been around. How many minds have walked around the world making meaning and creating things. Nothing is original. So how do you create work that is YOURS? You steal from a few artists at once and through the intertwining of them you find your own copy, your own interpretation of the idea.
I have a “swipe folder” in my documents (something I learnt/stole from Austin Kleon). In this folder is a collection of artworks, words & images that I’m obsessed with. When I’m looking for inspiration for something I’m working on I open it and indulge.
Here’s a few from my swipe folder:
DEADLINES WILL MOTIVATE AND SO WILL BEING SURROUNDED BY LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
What motivates you to be creative? You need a bigger project. Something you’re actively aiming for. And a deadline. To motivate you. Even if it’s just for yourself.
Motivation is more a habit than anything else. It’s not something you wait for. Sometimes you have to force it a little.
Tip: Seek out like-minded people.
Surround yourself with the type of people that you could imagine collaborating with, or that might inspire you and push you to do better work. It’s easy to find people on Twitter, Instagram, at local events and Facebook groups.Surrounding yourself with people who do what you’re interested in or have similar values is such a good way to be motivated.
HARD WORK & DOING YOUR CRAFT EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO
This is the part of creativity where you sit down every day and do your craft. This is how you create the habit of creativity.
Think of yourself in six months’ time if you swore to for example write every day for ½ an hour. Imagine how much your skill would evolve. How easy the habit would flow after this.
Sitting around waiting for your ideas to come to you is not the way to go. As writer Elizabeth Gilbert says: “I work either way, you see – assisted or unassisted – because that is what you must do in order to live a fully creative life. Your creativity cannot be dependent on something outside your control”
COEXISTING WITH FEAR
Fear and Creativity come hand in hand. It’s a creative rule. Through my experience that chatter of fear in the mind will always exist. The only way to work through this is to get comfortable with fear and to use it for good. Let your fear coexist with your creations. Stop thinking of it as an awful thing. Its purpose is to keep you safe. But you don’t want to be safe. You want to be creative. And your fear is boring.