Friday, March 27, 2009

Creative road blocks

Creative road blocks... I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. What is it that keeps you from doing your best work? What is holding you back? Are you doing your best work? Are you doing your best, but feeling like it's not good? What about your work do you think isn't good? Why do you feel that way? Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid to go exploring on your own? Are you bound to certain ideals and judgements that materials are only supposed to be used in certain ways? Are you bound by artistic rules?
What is it? Why are you stuck?
I am finding in my interactions with other artists and crafters that people are full of fears when it comes to artistic growth. I hear a lot of, "I can't", or "I could never do that", or "That is way too hard for me." They say these things before they even have the chance to see how it's done. They throw out their own road blocks before there is even a chance to learn and have fun. Why to we think so lowly of our ability to learn? What is it that beats down our self confidence? I am looking for answers to this.
I am finding that the most important thing I can do when I am working with other artists is to help them find in themselves the confidence to lay these fears aside and just "play". How can we expect to be innovative in our medium if we haven't taken the time to explore it, free of expectation. Practice and play helps us grow and helps us to see that we really can do more that we think we can. People judge themselves and it seems do everything in their power to downplay their abilities. This takes the fun, the joy, and the wonder out of doing artistic activity. The thing is, what we believe about ourselves ultimately becomes true, because we have already decided that our ability stops at whatever designated point.
Helping people find the place in themselves where they are free to play and free to enjoy fully the act of doing something creative is one of my highest goals. If I can get a person over even one small hurdle, I can see how this completely changes their attitude and approach. Wonderful things happen. These people end up making things none of us could have imagined. One thing leads to another and the results are amazing. There is a passion there that was plagued by fear before.
Ask your self these questions and think about your own creative endeavors. Is there something keeping you from doing your very best work? If you are the one holding yourself back, just know you are robbing yourself of true joy in creating and making. These issues have to be resolved before your true artistic voice will reveal itself. It may be baby steps to get yourself very slowly out of your comfort zone, but believe me, this journey is worth taking. Soon enough you will find that you are running, even flying. Stop telling yourself you are not good enough, and just allow yourself to love what you are doing. Life is too short. Enjoy it to the fullest.


judyisis said...

I was interested in your thoughts here, Dawn, the other day when I read them. We'll have to chat about this at some point perhaps?

Anyway--I re-read this article over at Urban Maille that struck me as something that ties in, so I thought I'd link it here:
(the section a little ways down that starts with "Pretty Good Advice")
Hope you enjoy!

Sheree said...

You have a wonderful understanding of the human psyche, Dawn. Thanks for the coaching!