Sure, you may have taken up macramé or taxidermy while in lockdown, but I’m guessing your enthusiasm has waned due to the sheer emotional toll that 2020 has taken. Now that 2021 is here, it’s time to get your creative mojo rocking again.
Let’s get started!
- Don’t overthink stuff.
“Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” — Ray Bradbury
We expend too much energy worrying about everything, I do it all the time (thanks anxiety). But there comes a time when you have to say, ‘stuff it’ and just jump into something regardless of what other people think, what you think or even if you don’t know what you’re doing. Just get in and get messy. You can always change your mind.
2. Piss off perfection.
‘Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.’ – Salvador Dali.
Perfection is someone’s idea of a cruel joke. I’ve seen so many people’s mental state destroyed by trying to achieve some crazy idea of it. It’s not worth it. Remember, your idea of perfection is completely different from someone else’s and you’ll never match your own, let alone theirs, so give up now. Allow yourself to do something average or even a bit shit. It’ll help shake off the perfectionist blues.
3. You’re gonna die someday.
“Life is short, make art and love while you can” – me.
You could choke on a blueberry muffin while singing happy birthday to Carol in accounts at the office morning tea. So don’t put off writing the memoir about your trip through the Himalayas on a small goat or wanting to learn to play a left handed Oud. Time is running out, make it happen. Live a life of no regrets… as much as you can.
4. You don’t need talent to get started.
“Practice any art … no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.“— Kurt Vonnegut
Creativity comes from the heart, so do you really think your heart wants to be ‘talented’ before it starts something? Does loving someone or something require talent? Does going to your first writing class or picking up a crochet hook for the first time take talent? No. It’s takes bravery to step out of your fear and embrace your creative side. Talent has got nothing to do with it. Bravery does and you’ve got that in abundance.
Every ‘talented’ artist started out where you are now. Keep that in mind and keep going.
5. There are no rules to making art.
“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”- Beatrix Potter
We think we need to know how to paint before we pick up a brush or need to take a writing course before we can write or we have to follow the rules of photography to be a great photographer. No you don’t.
Just start where you are, with what you’ve got and make it up as you go.
You don’t need to follow the rule of 3rds to take a great photo, geez, it doesn’t even need to be in focus! Poems can be whatever you want them to be, even one word! If you want to use chicken and sage gourmet sausages to create an installation piece highlighting the imbalance between social classes, then go right ahead. This is your show!
If you want to then take a class or course to hone your skills, then go for it.
6. Live a curious life
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton
While you’re busy getting outraged over something on social media, it’s valuable time you’re missing out on being inspired by something. Inspiration is the perfect antidote to outrage and outrage drains you of creative energy. Instead, look for things to inspire you instead of outrage you.
Open up and be curious about life. Ask ‘why’ more often and try and live in a state of wonder. Open your mind, open your heart and open your windows and let the breeze blow through.
“Rest and be thankful.” William Wordsworth
You won’t get any good ideas or feel like doing anything creative if you’re tired, run down and feel like crap. Rest, sleep, take a nanna nap, disco nap or siesta or just stare out the window daydreaming. Your soul will thank you later.
One last thing
I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to let your creative spirit out and wave it arms in the air like it just doesn’t care! It’s vital for your mental health and for your overall wellbeing to express yourself creatively.
And because this is your life, you get choose how that happens.
If you want further inspiration, grab a copy of Find Your Creative Mojo from Booktopia