There are a variety of reasons why artists and creatives may doubt their creative skills. Some doubts sprout from starting a creative career later in life, not having a “real” studio space or strong body of work. Sometimes we’ve taken a break from our work and return feeling a lack of inspiration. Perhaps this doubt comes from inside, from our inner critics. It can sometimes feel like we are anything but an artist even if there is a deep calling inside, our weekend hobby, or for some of us, or our chosen profession. We can feel like something is not quite right, like the pressure to be creative but we are not quite sure where to even begin. We maybe even have thoughts floating in our heads where we tell ourselves we aren’t like those “real” artists, we are too late to become one now, or that we aren’t good at drawing (or painting, or throwing pottery or anything). This blog post acknowledges that at some point, all creatives experience creative doubt.
In Kindergarten or early ages, we all sat in class rooms and made projects. Art class was fun and we saw the beauty in our creativity. As we grew older, we were taught that we had certain skills or were right or left brained. But what happens if we consider that all of us were born with creativity and the ability to express it? And what if we believed that all of us have both right and left brain skills? We always have the skills to create and the ability to access our amazing brains. Give yourself the chance to explore what once made you light up, what drove your inspiration and discover what brings fun back into your life. You may find a newfound interest in dark room photography, urban sketching or writing.
Creativity is a skill, and just like all skills, they develop with practice; especially if you are returning to a creative craft you left years ago or are exploring new mediums. It’s just like learning calculus, how to use power tools or how to bake or how to ride a bike. All of these things take practice and time to finesse. We didn’t take off our training wheels day 2 of bike riding, we practiced all summer. So the first time you pick up a pencil or begin to paint again, we can’t expect our inner artists to create a masterpiece. Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes we get a bit rusty with our skills as well and need to flex that creative muscle to get it back in shape. This is true of all artists! Whether you have this small voice reminding you of your true creative passion in life, or you’re a practicing artist everyday, creativity is alive in all of us and something worth pursuing. It takes time, patience, and a bit of trust and exploration.
We can always unlearn something (or learn something new). We are not born with or without certain things. For example we are not born with fear or phobias or racism. We are all taught these beliefs. Our ability to be creative is included in these learned behaviors and skills. It’s time to stop believing your not creative. This is your permission slip, now put your doubts aside and go make a play date with your creativity.