On Creativity: creative resilience

red astronaut lassoing stars
From my sketchbook: 1.17.24 , collage, aquatone colored pencils, India Ink, gel pen

Back in March I wrote a blog entry on creativity after I started rereading one of the books I’ve had on my studio shelf for years. I read the next chapter then stopped. It was kind of dry. I don’t have time for boring dry reading! Late spring was pretty hectic with getting work out to galleries and shows so I haven’t done any extra reading on creativity, but last night I attended an author talk at Manor Mill by Erica Ginsberg, a documentary filmmaker on her book called Creative Resilience.

She read a bit from a section in her book about imposter syndrome and then opened up a discussion among the people who attended. It honestly felt like group therapy for artists at times! It was a good discussion and I appreciated people being honest and vulnerable in sharing their thoughts, fears and experiences. I have been doing this art thing for so long that imposter syndrome is not really an issue for me. Not saying that it doesn’t pop up depending on the situation, but rather I have learned to not care. I honestly feel like part of being an artist is caring so very much and then not caring at all!

Or rather, not letting fear or insecurities stop you. Actually what helps is understanding that our brain is just trying to protect us and you just have to say, “thanks for your concern, but i’m going to continue on this path. Good day!”

I did share a bit with the group last night and one thing I said in response to a jeweler who talked about never being able to predict what will speak to people in the markets she goes to and how to embrace mistakes and imperfections because sometimes that’s what people respond to. I shared that you really cannot ever predict how people will respond to your work. You have to make what you have to make, for yourself first. When you are in the process of making you have to figure out a way to not let that affect you or stop you from making. Erica then said something to the effect that we can’t control how other people respond. That is really none of our business.

It really made me think about when on a creative path, the nature of the work and putting one’s art into the world, we make ourselves vulnerable. It’s. Each step you take with your work feels like a risk. But then it goes well or ok and then you move on to the next thing that seems frightening or intimidating. And then you face that. Rinse and repeat. And that’s just being vulnerable with the outside world. We are also dealing with our inner world where we second guess ourselves. It’s a constant battle! When I first started out, I thought it was just me. But then I learned that everyone deals with it at some point and often over and over again in their careers. And after I realized that, I was like, oh, ok, it’s just part of the deal and it’s ok, I just have to keep chugging along. Also there is no one way to do it. It is unique to each person. And it definitely does not have anything to do with it being your full time work.

The image above is from my sketchbook where I was playing around with combining collage and drawing back in January when I was really feeling creative burnout. I found the red astronaut graphic in college brochures my son has been getting in the mail. I feel now that this image is perfect for expressing how we have to be intrepid explorers of galaxies unknown in order to harness our creativity and express it out into the world. We even have to have our protective gear on. I guess the question is- how do we get that protective gear? My only answer is you get it by doing. What was that quote I used the other week? – the path is made by walking.

on creativity
The book and the stickers! I look forward to reading this.

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