It is not easy being a creative person, we all know this. But what mindsets led to this belief? Do you buy into the beliefs and how can you liberate your thinking? I will be sharing some of the myths about being creative and ways you can give your voice to a new narrative. Let’s look at the first one, the series will continue each month. Today let’s look at what many of you probably heard from your parents when you expressed a desire to be an artist.
You can’t make a living at art.
Your guidance counselor or parents wanted you to be able to have a JOB, to “make a living”. The contemporary mindset of success is your JOB, so your parents may have said you need to get a "real job" or study a subject that would lead to a stable career. I know plenty of folks who heard this in their families and instead of studying fine art, creative writing or acting they took graphic arts, advertising or journalism. Well we have certainly seen all those fields altered just in the past few decades. The days of graphic designers were cut short by computers. Even acting jobs can be handled with augmented reality. There isn’t anything wrong in studying the fields I mentioned before, but it took some creative maneuvering to get past the graphic design downfall when computers took over. What you can always rely on is change. People do not stay in the same companies or even industries for their entire career as our parents and grandparents did. The most reliable way to prepare for change is to indulge your creative self. I say, follow your passion. Learn to think creatively and you will always find a way.
Pablo Picasso is often quoted as saying that children are born knowing how to draw and then it takes a lifetime of practice to relearn how to draw. Think about the things you loved to do as a child. Watch your children or grandchildren play and you are witnessing the most creative minds at work. The job is how to retrain your mind and your practice to reawaken that creative child within you.
Here are a few games I still play to keep my curiosity muscle toned:
We used to play this with a group of friends, but you can also do this alone or even online. Grab a few objects that you have at hand and come up with at least three new functions for them. A beret could become a frisbee, a swimming pool for mice or even a parachute for a squirrel. They don’t have to be logical or even possible, just unusual and creative.
Word association football is a game my husband and his siblings played as kids. Word association is a psychological technique invented by Jung in which patients are asked for an immediate response to a given word asked. A word game based on this in which the first player starts with a word and subsequent players follow with a related word and so on has been a favorite family game. I also put the game of telephone in this category. Monty Python’s comedy group did a hilarious spoof on this technique as well and coined the term, word association football. The word association leading to the word football.
Children are also natural storytellers. They can take a toy and build a story around it. Keep your creative muscles limber by engaging in some mental storytelling. As a creative type, you have the predisposition for exercising your imagination. Curiosity is the seed and your imagination is the muscle. The resulting creativity outcome can be anything from cooking to art to science.
Now that you have decided to follow your own path, I just want you to know there will be struggles and doubt. The human condition makes you prone to this. Build a foundation to stand on. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and your dreams.
Yes, they are out there.
Find them and they will pull you up when you can’t carry your dreams. Keep your distance from the people who are always smashing your hopes and dreams. Even if they are your loved ones you can set boundaries. The online community of Awakening Your Creative Soul is a wonderful place to hang out. We support your wildest dreams.