The 10 Ways In Which We Destroy Our Artistic Creativity

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We all have that inner artist hidden within us. Come to think of it, we all start off at the same level. First, we learn how to hold the pencil and then scribble about as we wish, then learn our alphabets and then draw that typical drawing where there is that tiny house on the farm, with an enormous tree right next to it and those huge sparkling white clouds looming above, whilst all set in a conical mountainous area. It’s just that some of us decide to move past this initial spark of creativity. However, what is important is how we decide to move past this stage. Some completely step away from this field, some decide to dedicate their lives to art while most like to have one foot in the artistic line while balancing other passions as well.

It is important that you know how to maintain that artistic creativity that keeps you interested in the various forms of art. If you find yourselves doing the following ten things and you consider yourself an artist, the time to rethink some of your habits has arrived.

Remember, it is also essential that we understand that each individual is different and has different methods of working.

1. Only Work When You Receive A Commission

This is a mistake most artists make, and I’m not just talking about visual artists. Writers, designers, musicians–all often take long breaks in between creative works as they feel like they need to refresh their minds and recharge between each work. However, when you have a passion for a certain art form, you must be ready to dedicate your mind and soul to this art. Continuously writing short works, forming small tunes or creating small pieces of art, will keep you in your groove and only help you become better at what you do.

2. Remain In A Closed Environment

Confining yourself in a small space or the same locality or city can bore you and reduce the sparks of inspiration that an artist needs to create magic. By exploring new places and meeting new people, you get to explore a new side of life, thus learning more in the process. Most artists usually base their works on their own encounters or on people that inspire them, and so its absolutely essential that you keep yourself in the loop and remain on top of all the new trends. By doing so, the chances of you getting ideas for new projects is almost five-fold higher.

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3. Constantly Worry About Making Money

I agree that money is an essential part that keeps us alive. But what’s the point of all this newly gained wealth if you do not know how to enjoy it properly? We often hear that artists are an underpaid group that is always struggling for work. This may be true in a few cases. But I believe that if you truly enjoy your work, inspiration comes to you and you remain happy with whatever you have. If you are truly passionate about what you do and not to forget, are good at it, nothing can stop you from being successful. Just put your work out there in the most graceful way possible and along with publicity, you will also gain success. At the end of the day, you must be confident of your work, and the world will appreciate you for who you are and what you do.

4. Overthink The Concept Behind The Creation

Now, this is something that can destroy each and every creative spark that you could possibly contain as an artist as self-doubt and  constant self-criticism can bring down your morale. By doing this, you start to produce work that is not up to your regular standard, therefore, always disappointing you along with those who believe in you. When you get an idea, just go with the flow and believe in yourself. You can always reflect on your thoughts and improve on them. But there is a fine line between improving your work and overthinking it. One improves the quality, while the other brings down your creativity.

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5. Not Documenting Your Ideas

Documentation is something I never used to do before. I used to find it unnecessary and time-consuming. However, I soon came to realise that this practice actually makes your life a lot easier. It may seem easy to contain all the information you absorb into that powerful mind of yours. But trust me, it becomes simply impossible to harness all this information at all the right times, thus making you more stressed in the process. By writing your thoughts or reflections down in a notebook, or even on your phone, laptop or tablet, you can access it at any point, therefore letting you be your best at all times. Your notes, sketches or pointers do not have to be neat, legible to others, grammatically right or even use appropriate language. Only you have access to this, and what goes into this book, stays in the book.  As long as you’re able to understand your own work while looking back at it,  you should be fine. This helps you remain organised and lets you entirely focus on your work.

Check out this video to see how Grace Heilbig remembers her ideas.

6. Work Only When You Feel Like It

People often wait for inspiration to come searching for them while creating  new pieces of work. This is however, the wrong approach. Instead of waiting for ideas to make its way towards you, you must go in search of these ideas. You may encounter the coolest things and the most interesting people in the process, and that is truly what makes this experience valuable. You are probably just a step away from encountering the idea for your next masterpiece, but until you keep experimenting with new and different ideas at regular intervals, you will never truly understand your capability.

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7. Compete With A Fellow Artist

Some say that a little competition never hurts anybody, and somewhere deep down I  do agree with that. However, you do not want to target a particular person and compete with him or her at every step of the way. Each person is different and capable of doing various things. However, these do not have to be the same. One person may be more successful than you at a particular time , but that does not have to put you down. Instead of competing with them, you could be inspired by them and try to do better. This positive attitude might even help you become more successful than that person in the future. But being more successful than one individual must not determine your life goals. Do what makes you happy and do it according to your morals and your capabilities. That’ll make you a successful individual no matter what is happening around you and that will give you the ultimate happiness that is truly satisfying.

8.  Always Look For Only Positive Feedback

All of us  have to face one thing in life — not everyone is going to always like us or our work. What it important is, what you think of it. You know that feeling when someone asks you to do something, and you do it with full dedication and passion? You must realise that you produce your best work this way, and that is when you attain true satisfaction. By doing this, no one can deprive you of your happiness and you will start caring about yourself rather than fetching positive compliments from those around you. However, this does not mean that you must not listen to what your viewers have to say. Their opinions matter, but at the same time you must be strong enough to accept the harsh critiques alongside the good remarks that you will always receive. Remember, you can never please everyone. But what’s most important is if you’ve truly adhered to what your client wants (if it is a commissioned work) and what you wanted yourself to achieve through this project.

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9. Never Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone & Idolise People Unhealthily

Now I know we all have our idols whom we worship and dream about switching lives with. But it’s important to understand that we have exciting lives too and if we don’t, its simply because we aren’t at the right places at the right times or just not surrounded by the right people. Now, when it comes to them being talented at a certain art, I know we all do find ourselves envying them. However, we must understand that we are no less. As an artist, we know that we are equally capable of doing a good job. We just need to raise our confidence, practice more and put ourselves out there. If we don’t give people the chance to discover our talent, how are we supposed to become successful? The whole world need not know you. But, you must attract that small but existing fan club that will support you and your art. This would only happen if you embrace your unique style and work on it. You do not need to put all your works out there, but you must realise that it is important for you to experiment with different forms of art, as only then would you truly know what you are good at and what are your strong points are. This needs a good amount of self- exploration.

10. Desperately Go In Search of Inspiration

Now inspiration isn’t something that comes knocking on your front door. However, one must not chase every possible scenario thinking of it to be a spark that would generate the next big idea. This is not Pokemon Go, you guys. You just need to look at every scenario in a certain way and understand it. Once you’ve mastered the art of finding this inspiration, with your special pair of trained eyes, you will automatically start producing work that is of a higher quality. As mentioned innumerable times through this article, you must find yourself mixing with the right crowd and doing activities that enhance your creative abilities. For example, go with fellow artists to exhibitions, talks, museums, trips or just spend time talking to them and understanding their way of working. You could put of all these new ideas together and invent your own methodology that works for you and only you.

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Once you start  believing in yourself and understanding the way your creative mind works, you can accordingly make changes to your routine and improve your creative endeavours. So, good luck with that, fellow artists! I hope each and everyone of you find the right way to maximise your creative abilities, if you’ve not done so already.

Once again, I believe in you and heck, so should you!

Illustrations by Parth Verma

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