Some words of wisdom and just some thoughts
Having the store, I often get people who come in and feel they are not creative or not creative enough. They seem to admire my creativity. For me, I just keep creating. It's simple language but that is how my brain works. I believe my brain is so busy thinking of what else I could be painting or creating, words (and punctuation) just fall by the wayside. I've said it so many times and I'm saying it again..."I paint. That's what I do!" Well, not so true as I also sew, crochet and knit, build, make jewelry... Creating! That's what I do!
Am I prolific? Hmmm. Maybe I'm working my way there? Just this week, the Iron Orchid Designs team recognized a bunch of 3rd quarter superstars. One of the people recognized was our dear friend, Dianne Daniels Pruitt of Two Girls Treasure (South Carolina). She had shared with fellow stockists a fantastic article - How You Become So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Thomas Oppong. You can read it here. I did not take the time to read it at first. The important thing is that I did end up reading it and so glad I did. It really made me think! What makes someone "great" or "prolific" (there's a fancy word for you!)?
Here are some great "take-aways" from the article...
"In fact, you will suck in the beginning, but it’s okay."
"Your goal should be progress and improvement not perfection."
"You don’t have to be perfect to start anything. It doesn’t really matter how good you are when you start.
"What matters is whether or not you’re consistent and improving your craft. Focus on cumulative output." (*cumulative!)
Creating consistently will improve your craft, and it will definitely push you towards traction and attraction.
"Leave behind everyone else’s definitions and expectations and focus on what you want to do and share. Ignore conventional wisdom and deliver your gut."
When people comment that they can't paint or they're not creative, my answer has always been "you just need to spend some time honing your creativity". I truly have always believed that though some people are born with innate talent, but for most of us, we just need to develop it. Time and persistence is all we need. For example, when in college, I learned to draw and see things in ways to create. However, though I kept creating, I have spent more time painting and less time drawing. If you saw a drawing I could produce now, you would laugh. I haven't spent time drawing since my painting career started. I let the brush create now as that is what I've been using day in and day out.
So, if you truly desire to be a creative, then you have to start somewhere. Anywhere! As the article says, you may suck at the beginning, but just keep at it. Keep picking projects. Learn from others and at first, certainly, try to emulate their projects. Keep at it. I do a Live Facebook video for Iron Orchid Designs weekly. Most times, I am in a pinch at the last moment to come up with a project. It doesn't take long though. I just look around and see the things around me (in my shop) and I see how I can add some paint, stamps, transfers, moulds.... and then before I know it, I need to pick which project to do. This comes with time and practice. As the article says. Once you continue creating, you begin to see things to create or see new ways to create.
You will notice that I do not mind putting myself out there! As the article states, "Just show up and share your work! You can’t be truly prolific when you hesitate." I just do it. Perhaps I'm trying something for the first time. It may be a fail. At least I try and am willing to try and show people watching what to do better or how to recover from a mistake. I am not afraid of failure. So many times, I have either learned from mistakes or sometimes, mistakes lead to new, awesome ideas!
Our bodies are made to move and our minds & souls are made to create, in my honest opinion. I don't care if your medium is baking, jewelry, crocheting, wood burning... It is great exercise for your mind and your soul to be busy creating, thinking of ways to create and how to create more! Especially, as we grow older, the importance of keeping our mind active grows and grows. If you don't start a "hobby", it becomes harder to once you do grow old. If not now, when?
One of my favorite lines was from an article about (I believe) Priscilla Hauser, where a person approached her at a show and stated "Hmmm. $60 for something that took you 5 minutes to paint." Her answer was "$60, Sixty years!" She perfected her skill. She set her goals and was appreciated by so many for her talent. People don't see the work involved in getting to the point of greatness. Even if we don't achieve greatness, we can achieve our own goals. For me, I just want to continue playing in my sandbox. I "play" everyday. I hope I learn something everyday as well as I can not get better unless I strive to learn more and try more. Each time I try something new, I learn and grow. In the beginning these steps are admittedly awkward but you keep at it and don't hesitate!
Please share what inspires you or other great creative inspiration in comments!
Love what you do and do what you love! Go create! xo - Linda