Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
- Pablo Picasso
I was a painting major for a while at my previous university. Even though it didn't last as long as I would have liked, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Maybe it was just the fact that I was (and still am) a major art nerd, but I soaked up every bit of interesting information I could get my hands on. And I loved it all. I felt like a certain part of me was hungry and only creative things could satisfy me. Being around all of the artists, materials, creative juices, and the general atmosphere of the art department made for a great time in my life. To this day, even if I'm not painting or making any kind of art, I like to surround myself with art. It could be a certain eraser, a certain scrap of inspiration, an actual framed piece, or even pretty clothes draped over a door. I don't just like the things I surround myself with, I put them around me to help keep me creative, to feed the artist inside of me, to help keep the art alive. Although it's hard sometimes to stay creative, it's absolutely necessary for me to have some kind of art in my life.
But the thing is, it's not just because I'm an "artist" that I do these things. I think everyone is an artist and I think that everyone should express their creative talents. I believe that there's a beauty in expressing creative thoughts. It's like people giving their opinions in their own unique voice; it's subjective, but it connects us all. And I believe that art can take any form. It can be sewing, painting, architecture, origami, blogging, photography, cooking, making wind chimes, duct tape art, and well.. pretty much anything. I think there is creativity inside all of us-- a bright, creative artist that needs to express itself. I believe that it is an innate human quality to be creative; otherwise, why would our world look and behave the way that it does? Creativity, the artist inside all of us, is a necessary part of our lives. It's what, in my opinion, makes us human. Not to mention, being creative is beneficial to our mental and physical health states: it provides us with a creative outlet, it lets us escape normal, mundane routines, and since it's something we enjoy doing, it sends "good vibrations" (for lack of going all scientific with talking about endorphins and ions) throughout our mind and bodies that are very good for our health.
How to Let Your Inner Artist OutI can certainly vouch for the complaints of being creative: it's hard to get into the mood of being creative, it's expensive to be really involved in a creative hobby, I don't have enough time to hold up a hobby, and the list goes on. But like I say all the time, you make room for things that are important to you. And I really believe that letting your artist out is important. According to the website, The Gnomon Workshop, 78% of people think that being able to create makes a real difference in their lives. Creativity give two-thirds of the people a sense of belonging. And 67% believe that being creative is valuable to society. I've come up with ways to let our inner artists out (and to help keep them fed and active).
- "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." This quote from Julia Child is one of my favorite and one that really keeps me passionate about my painting. It reminds me to stay interested in painting, to find new (and old) artists to study, to research new ways and techniques to experiment with, to just sit there with my paint and work how I want to, to do things that keep me interested in my painting so that I don't become bored with it or stop doing it altogether. And it applies to any art form. There's always more to learn and discover about an art or hobby... that's why they're so rewarding and exciting ;)
- Whatever your art or hobby is, do it every single day. This was told to me twice by two different painting professors while I was at my previous university, and I fully believe in this. If I painted every single day, I would become better at it, I would love it more, and it would naturally become a part of me. Not to mention, I would have an escape from all of the other boring and/or stressful stuff that I do during the day.
- Any time is a good time to start. Whether you've had the same hobby(ies) for years or you're just deciding now to pick up a new one, there's no better time to start full blast than now! That's what's so great about them... anyone can do any hobby at any age! There will always be people of all ages in all stages of a hobby-- people you can learn from and people you can teach. That also makes the hobby that much more interesting!
- You don't have to be the best, you just have to love it. This is something I've had to teach myself over and over. I become frustrated with painting when I can't grasp a certain skill quickly or when I think I just plain suck at painting. I have to tell myself again, "It doesn't matter how good you are at painting. You love this, so just do it." And it's so true. Sometimes just finishing a painting is enough reward for me, no matter how "good" it turns out. And honestly, we are our own worst critics, so chances are you're not as bad as you think! And always remember, practice makes perfect!
- And last but not least, surround yourself with things that keep you inspired! This will make a huge difference to your creative life. Note to self... if I left my painting supplies out where I could reach them easily, I would probably paint a lot more than I do now.