For You

Creating Just for Me

Sometimes I get negative about creativity. Those negative emotions I’ve mentioned before keep rearing their ugly heads around again. One of the biggest things I struggle with is doubt. It comes in the form of not being/feeling/acting good enough. Who do I create for? Me? Others? Why do I have such a need to share, to be seen? I really believe it comes from a positive desire to be helpful, but it can turn into something ugly and negative. That I seek others’ approval to be noticed and acknowledged for my actions. For everything I do really. Ugh. It’s so tiring to think this way. So much energy being placed on something I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, but that I want to control so badly. That constant need for others to see me, see what I’m making, doing, sharing, creating, being. I want others to notice me when I’m not even noticing myself. Sometimes I’m not even aware of my thoughts, actions, and behaviors in my self-absorbed mind set. But what it really comes down to is this –> what other people think is none of my business.

So I need to let that other stuff go. I need to remember my mindfulness word of this year, reframe the belief that I need to be seen, that I’m better than. Because I truly don’t feel that way. If anything, deep down I feel worthless and have so much self-doubt and fear. Am I good enough? Do people like me and what I do? Is what I created from the heart? Apparently I need to take my own advice and not give into the creative myths we tell ourselves. And I need to keep repeating mantras and positive phrases for creative healing, not giving doubt and fear any power.

As I look forward to this next year, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to learn, grow, and share from the heart. The word curiosity keeps coming up for me and I’m excited to dive into that deeper, what being curious and creative might mean for me, and how it might help me be more introspective about my own creative work.

Crafty Llama Picture Book

I love this book Crafty Llama, a super sweet book all about creativity, connection, and community and I ate it ALL up. This is just the book for me, thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for the fun gift in the mail, I love picture books! This story left me asking so many questions… am I the llama, am I the beaver, do I create to be lovely or do I create to be useful? Maybe all of the above. And that’s the beauty of this book.

Creating Just for Me

A big part of this word curiosity is coming back to that question I asked at the beginning, Who do I create for? As I have been reading and researching all about creativity this year, I’m learning how the only person I should be creating for is ME. I’m learning how to go from being a result-based creator to a reflection-based creator. It’s about what I want and need and care about and if it pleases me, that’s all that really matters. It’s about my motivation behind the creative process. Anyone who takes anything from my creative work, that’s a bonus. And I have a thankful heart for those who do come, see, and learn from anything I share, especially here at Make and Takes. Thank you.

Helpful Creative Resources

I’m taking a lot of strength from a few sources in the reading I’ve been doing surrounding creativity. Here are some of the golden nuggets I’ve taken in from these lovely creative and impressive people.

Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic:

Big Magic is probably my favorite book for 2018. Each chapter speaks to my creative soul. It’s helped me reframe the words “entitlement” and “acknowledgement” that I seek from others in a negative way into a positive, where entitlement “…simply means believing that you are allowed to be there…you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

Elizabeth also speaks about originality vs. authenticity – of which I struggle with both and want to be both original and authentic. So I love this,
“Just say what you want to say, and say it with all your heart.
Share what you are driven to share.
If it’s authentic enough, believe me — it will feel original.”

There’s also a section on being helpful, and to avoid it, ha! This hit me hard, as I stated at the beginning of this post, I have a desire to be helpful, and where most of the negative need to be seen comes from. So Elizabeth writes about how she doesn’t want me to help her. That by needing and wanting to be so helpful actually puts a burden on her as the recipient and creates a strain on that relationship. Definitely something to ponder on and improve upon in my life. It’s all about awareness and being mindful. Comes back to the sweet story of the Crafty Llama I mentioned above.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Srinivas Rao – An Audience of One:

Simply reading the introduction of Srinivas’ book An Audience of One and he had me at “hello”. But then keep reading each chapter to find fabulous ways to create just for an audience of one.

“…what you create for an audience of one is much more likely to reach an audience of millions.”
“We tend to undervalue creating only for ourselves and overvalue creating for a huge audience.”
“The creation of fulfilling creative work is the result of losing yourself in the moment.” That’s the true feeling of satisfaction, when you have lost yourself in the creative process!

An Audience of One by Srinivas Rao

Tara Leaver – 10 days to making art you love:

I’ve just begun this online course by Tara Leaver and I highly recommend it. Again, so many great words of wisdom just in her introduction as you get started, especially surrounding originality. I haven’t completed this course yet, but I’m excited to dive in this new year.

“Art that is truly yours tends to come from the inside out, rather than the outside in {thus making it look less like anyone else’s}.”

Tara Leaver Freedom Through Art

Flora Bowley – Brave Intuitive Painting:

Brave Intuitive Painting is all about finding your unique style, what is it I even want to do or want to create. This is book, along with her follow up, Creative Revolution, is right at the heart of a creative soul and helping it flourish and bloom. Flora is in Portland, close-ish to me in Seattle, so I’m hoping I can sign up for one of her in-person courses, before they fill up fast! I love her style and method for painting. It’s so inspiring and raw and real. Creativity has to come from within, it has to be from ME, created only by me. Her method is reflective-based creativity at its core. Really tapping in, tuning in, and turning on that part of you that’s inside and wants to be let out to create.

Brave Intuitive Painting Flora Bowley

Even as I write this post, it feels a bit weird. That I’m talking about the negativity around my need to be seen and acknowledged, how it shouldn’t matter to share, that I should be creating just for me. And yet here I am, sharing and choosing to be seen. But I know that when I speak out my vulnerabilities, these doubts and fears, they become less powerful and I can breathe a bit easier. And I’m truly writing this all out for me. I’m still working on it all, but I feel lighter writing it out for myself. It’s helping me move through the negative emotions so then I can go right along joyfully creating for the purpose of growing consciousness, expanding who I am to the highest expression of myself.

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