Creativity is the art of transforming ideas, thoughts, and feelings into something tangible, something of this reality.
Growing up, I never considered myself an artist. In school, there were always people who were way better than me at drawing and music and painting, so I stopped myself from even trying for fear of looking stupid or inept.
I think a lot of us stop ourselves from trying new things because of fear. We leave behind what used to give us joy as children in favour of "growing up." We put down the paintbrush. We leave our instruments in the closet to gather dust. But what I think we all fail to realize is that creation is a vital part of human existence. Here's why:
Your perspective is unique to you.
Our subjective reality and our view of the world is shaped by our life experiences, and every single one of us has had a completely different one. Your view of the world is unique to you. Any art, whether it be painting or photography or even food, that you create from the deepest parts of yourself, is an authentic expression of yourself and your experience.
We all have talents and gifts we are meant to share with the world. Everyone has something valuable to bring to the table. What do you love to do? What have you always loved to do? Take that and share it with the world.
Art brings us closer together.
As different as we are from one another, there is also a common thread that joins us all. The feelings we share are universal. Heartbreak, loss, joy, love... these are the experiences that make up human life. Art makes people feel less alone in these feelings. There is a reason why people flock to films and theatres and concerts. The feelings that art evokes make us feel connected. It's vital. Art helps us to make sense of the chaos around us.
The feelings coming through your creations will resonate with someone. Who knows how many people will read your book or hear your song and finally feel understood?
So, how do we create when we've been putting it off for so long?
Inspiration comes through practice.
I procrastinated practicing my craft for most of my life, waiting for the perfect strike of inspiration. But the truth is, through practice and failure and making things that suck but continuing forward anyway, you learn more than just technique. You learn patience and tenacity. You learn how to motivate yourself. You learn how to bust through procrastination and laziness. You learn how to work hard. Nobody is born an amazing artist. Skill is developed over many hours of practice and failure. With drive and determination, we can learn anything. If you're putting the time in, you're already a success.
Inspiration flows better through hands that are practiced. The more skilled you are at your craft, the faster and more frequently inspiration will come to you.
Try new things.
Maybe you haven't found something you're good at or love to do yet. That's okay. The key is to throw the fear of trying new things out the window. Take a cooking or dance class. Try making jewellery. Take up knitting. At the very least, you'll learn something new, and at best, you'll find a new hobby and meet people with similar interests!
Time spent learning something new and working on yourself is never time wasted.
Sharing what you've made is hard. It's arguably the hardest part. Often our best art comes from the deepest parts of ourselves, and it can be scary to share that with others. But there is nothing like bouncing ideas off of other people and getting feedback that you can take with you the next time you create. Who knows what doors can open just from you sharing your work with other people, or even on the internet? It can be scary to subject your work to outside criticism, but just remember that people are critiquing your art, not you personally.
The key to creating something beautiful is simple: create every day. Practice. Use your failures as learning tools. You have something valuable to offer the world. The world needs your art. Don't give up.