Back in art-school I struggled a lot with the opinions of my teachers about what making art and creative living is supposed to be like.
For me creating art and experiencing art was positive, it had/has nothing to do with living in pain and punishing myself. I was striving to create beauty, but I felt as if my work could only be good if I was addressing a big topic that is important to all mankind. Or at least I would need to do something provocative (yes, I created a collage with hundreds of penises on it :)) or that I would need to create work because of my family history.
Still this perception of art and creative living is haunting me.
However after graduating from art-school I decided to live up to my own values around art and creativity.
I decided that I won't believe that I need to do anything because people expect art to be a certain way. I decided that a creative life can be a real joy, that it can be free and rich (rich in special moments and yes rich in money). I decided that I would live my life with a positive, active and free view of being an artist and living a creative lifestyle. I decided that I will be financially independent!
So here I am now! Living up to my own values. Still feeling a little lonely with this positive perception of creative living and creating art.
However I finally found another woman publicly talking (actually writing) about the positivity and joyfulness of being a creative and living a creative lifestyle.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book about 'the Big Magic' and I am loving it!
She wrote about a positive way of creative living and creating art. She gives practical tips on how to get through the different phases of creating. As well as giving some insights into her personal path of creative living.
Even though I wasn't a big fan of her books in general, I certainly love this book!
It's a must read for every creative!
So let me share my favorite sections out of the book 'Big Magic' with you. I hope after reading them you can't wait, and go and read it!
'Let inspiration lead you wherever it wants to lead you. Keep in mind that for most of history people just made things, and they didn’t make such a big freaking deal out of it.
We make things because we like making things.
We pursue the interesting and the novel because we like the interesting and the novel.' (page 88)
'Recognize this reality – (...)
If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad.
If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it.
And what if people absolutely hate what you've created?
What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud?
Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art.
Then stubbornly continue making yours. ' (page 125)
'I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it's just terrified.
Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, “ I am not good enough and I will never be good enough.”' (page 167)
'We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it.' (page 169)
I just love her honesty!
So let me share one last tiny tip from the book with you that could help you in your daily creative practice.
Every time you feel like you can't create anything, because some criticism or failure hurt you. Or just because you feel drained and uninspired.
Do something else, something that brings you back in the state of flow.
Do some gardening, try out a new medium or technique. Play an instrument, whatever it is just do it and let yourself commit fully to this little passion.
Remember the only purpose of this practice is that you have fun and feel the flow.
Then eventually after forgetting about your actual creative work, the passion, the ideas, the flow will come back and you will start creating in your chosen medium again!
(If you want to read Elizabeth Gilbert's version of this tip go to page 253.)
If you want to hear her talk a about the concepts of the book and more check out this interview Marie Forleo did with Elizabeth Gilbert.
I enjoyed the interview and the book a lot and hope you do too!
I would love to understand your perspective of being a creative and living a creative lifestyle! Let me know in the comments! I will read and reply to the comments, so don't be shy ;)