There is not a doubt in my mind that, as humans, we are naturally creative beings. When I say this to people, I’m often met with scoffs of disbelief and attempts to convince me that such and such a person can’t draw a straight line or has never held a paintbrush. But since when has creativity been pigeonholed to drawing and painting?! Perhaps such and such a person (who can’t draw a straight line) can bake a souffle fit to cushion an angel’s behind? Or can curate a living room to rival the features in Image Interiors? Whatever it is that you can do with passion and flair, that’s it! That’s your unique expression of who you are and you need to nurture it.
Too many people fall into the trap of Work, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I get it, the responsibilities of adulthood take over. It’s all too common and I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of it myself. (Cue rambling back story)… I had decided at 7 years old that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I stuck by this and went on to do a degree in Fine Art. I was in my element! The problem started after I graduated without the confidence or know-how to make it work ‘in the real world’. To avoid the anxiety of failure I hid behind rehearsed excuses of ‘not enough time’, ‘not enough space’ etc etc etc. This went on for 9 years! I got married, had kids and forgot all about the passion I once had for art. Then one day, a few years ago, I realised I was no longer me. I had lost my me-ness (I swear it’s a word!). I wasn’t living a creative life. Work, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I wanted more, I deserved more. I *was* more! So, very tentatively, I set off on my creative journey and explored different avenues of self expression. I set up a facebook page in a bid to stay accountable to my rediscovery and my very vague goal of making something of it. My first attempts were awkward and forced, but looking back now I’m so grateful for them. They show me how far I’ve come.
I’ve now built a business around my passion, connecting people to the power of the sea with my seaglass jewellery and contemporary seascapes (which I certainly didn’t need my qualifications for, in case you were wondering!). I’m not so naive as to presume that everyone is going to make a business from their creativity (though how awesome would that be?!). But I wholeheartedly believe that, in order to be authentically YOU, you have to find (and practice) that thing that makes your soul sing. That thing that only you can do in your unique way. You deserve it. It will make you happy!
Here’s a list of my suggestions to help you on your own journey:
- Whatever it is that sets your soul on fire – do that. Regularly. Schedule it into your diary, no excuses.
- Experiment (eg. food, style, classes). Shake it up and step outside your comfort zone. Play.
- Look for inspiration *everywhere*! Take photos of whatever grabs you, record sounds that resonate with you.
- Enjoy some alone time and get outside (fresh air is so stimulating)!
- Collect words/phrases that inspire you.
- Spend more time with people who express themselves confidently, or if that’s not possible, join one of the MANY facebook groups dedicated to whatever it is that you love. Connecting with like minded people makes self expression feel so much more natural.
- Research. Knowledge is power.
- Doodle and scribble down whatever comes into your head, even if it’s crap (it probably will be!), just remember – no one will see it. Remove pressure, rational thought and your preconceived notions of ‘perfect’ from the equation and just let it flow organically.
- Create a vision board with a collection of your inspirational images, quotes and goals.
Creativity has no expiration date so it’s never too late to embark on a journey of self discovery and self expression. You can start right now! It is all a matter of habit and making it a part of your lifestyle. Creation is in our nature, whether you choose to embrace it or stifle it is up to you. So go and create music, art, a garden, a doll, a ceramic pot, a delicious meal – whatever it is, put your authentic spin on it and own it. A life of creative discovery and expression brings a deeper understanding, a sense of individualism and, more often than not, pure bliss. Enjoy it!
Poppy & Ivy Studios