Creativity: Do I have it or not?

Ever feel that creativity has escaped you? Do you feel it is only for people like Pablo Picasso? It is natural to have doubts, even after you have a foundation in drawing and painting.

But rest assured that it is waiting inside us all! It will come out when you are ready.

In my investigation of the creative process, I found that definitions of this word do not include words like talent. What a relief!

In fact, creativity has a lot in common with change.

Just like when you make a change, it requires a leap of faith; one must trust the creative process. Rather than working toward a finished piece or a goal, one must be willing to accept that the process is a journey, and that the journey is the destination.

Often the greatest obstacle to becoming more creative is the fear of taking a risk. It is natural to like being secure. This process requires you step into the unknown.

Fortunately, there will be guideposts and help along the way, and they mostly come from inside you.

Since these answers lie within you, the first step along this path is finding out more about yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you like and dislike? What are your interests? Why are you painting and drawing at all? Answers to these questions will help you understand who you are as an artist and give you a general idea of the direction you should take.

Make Time for Painting and Drawing

To accomplish anything, you have to make time for it. Prioritize your day. If you have not already done so, make your art time a top priority. Schedule your painting time like it was a part-time job (or better yet, a full time job!!). Try to squeeze in the errands around your painting times, instead of the other way around.

Paint for Yourself

Don't paint to win approval or to make sales. If you are longing for a change from what you have been doing, let yourself become like a child again; paint what you want. Put aside the possible rejections from others. It is your art and you make the decisions.

Remember: It is Only a Painting

When I was visiting the Picasso museum in Paris, I was amazed at how much he branched out from his first artistic path. Yet, whenever he chose to take a new and different path, he was still authentic and true to himself. He did a lot of exploration and experimentation as he picked out the directions he wanted to pursue. I saw a lot of playfulness in his work. You could tell that he was not afraid of 'attacking' a painting. He went right into it with gusto!

Often we are such perfectionists that, as we are creating each 'masterpiece', we don't give ourselves permission to venture into the unknown and discover something new. We can't find new things if we never explore.

So, let's face it. You are only dealing with a piece of paper or canvas. If you hit the hump, and do not like the way the work is going, just start all over again. There's a temptation when you do that to get down and feel it was all a horrible waste of time. It really isn't, though.

Treat all the effort spent on the 'lousy' painting as learning.

The time was not wasted; it was 'invested'. You learn from it or have fun with it, or (better still) both. So, detach yourself from each painting a bit. Enjoy the process of creating it. When it is done, release it to the Universe.

To conclude, ask yourself the question “What is art?”.

At its core, art is about growth and change.

Sure, nothing exists without rules. To get the most out of your creativity, you need to improve your technical skills and understanding of art principles.

Once you have acquired the tools and techniques, they can help your art ascend to places you've only dreamed of.

Recommended Reading

If you desire to delve deeper into the essence of creativity and infuse that into your drawing and painting, here is list of valuable resources :

The Artist's Way (I went through a workshop based on the book, and it was a lot of fun packed with all you need to unleash your creative juice. It can also help those who are not artists).


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