Object Dar't

July 21, 2010

4 steps to becoming more artistic

if you have ever said "i wish i could do that" and you really meant it, then we need to talk. i can't tell you how many times i hear people say, "i wish I could do that" or "i wish i were artistic." and while it's horribly cliché, my response is always, "but you are!" and you really ARE an artist! i don't say that because i'm trying to be nice. i'm saying it because it's honestly TRUE. every single person reading this article IS an artist.

i know you just laughed or scoffed. don't do that. that's the nasty, self-deprecating critic in you and that critic doesn't want you to break the boundaries of your life to tread into uncharted territory. but the god's honest truth (literally) is that each of you posses your own individual style and natural ability in a medium that is unique to you. i can paint but i can't sew to save my life. some of you may sew beautiful quilts or clothes but can't connect with a paintbrush. so the first thing you must do is to thinking honestly about the things you do well.

if you really want to be creative, then you will have to commit yourself to ignoring your own fragile ego and allow yourself to BE artistic. in short, you have to be BRAVE. so stop "stuffing" your artist way down in there and start accepting yourself as a creative being.

also a word of warning here; do not repeat what the critic in your head says. every time you say something negative that intimates that you are not creative, you literally make it true in your life. so just don't say it!

where to start to become more artistic:
  1. absolute audacity: i once read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and she said something so profound that it literally changed me. Julia wrote, “Very often audacity, not talent makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist – hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch.”

    have the audacity to not only consider yourself an artist but CALL yourself an artist! note: if you are unfamiliar with the book, consider picking up a copy. you will find an amazon link to the left on my blog.
  2. anti-clutter: creativity can often become crowded out of your brain and heart by all the "stuff" in your life. clutter can include too much noise, too much physical clutter around you or even too much mental clutter in your brain. dedicate some uncluttered space in your home/office/rv/whatever solely for the purpose of being your studio.

    make sure it is an area that you can be in with little or no distraction. then do whatever you have to do to clear your mind. some people journal, some people talk out all the junk in their head with friends or spouses. whatever you have to do to clear out the mind garbage that day - DO IT. in short, the anti-clutter approach has to be a way of life for you every single day in every single way. it's a way of keeping sacred this creative self of yours.
  3. be open to receive: start to watch what things inspire you. it's key that you get to know the artist within you! do you walk through a fabric store and see a swatch that just makes you coo? did you drive by the lake and see that it looked exceptionally beautiful? did you come across some photograph on the net that you just HAD to take a second look at?

    often these things make impressions upon us and we are stirred creatively as a result. look for them and let them give you ideas! think about how you can use what you saw within the context of your medium. maybe that image in your head of the lake becomes an idea for a beautiful quilt you could make.
  4. take it and run: now comes the important part. you have to take the inspiration you receive and run with it. there's no way around the fact that you just have to be brave enough to go out on a limb and try. and it has to be OK if your end product isn't good enough for you. it doesn't matter and life has already taught you that you won't die from falling off the proverbial bike.

    simply remain committed to trying again. and again. and again. and before you know it, your skill level will increase naturally and you really WILL be creating things that even the critic in your brain will like! so what's stopping you? go do it. now!