So we've talked about fear before, and how it can get in the way of our creative dreams & goals.
Today I'm going to chat some more about it, using this quote by the English landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner as a jumping off point...
So yes, fear can significantly get in the way of our best creative work. But let's take a good, hard look at that word "fear", and really try to get a handle on what it means in the context of making something with our hands & hearts.
I've been seeing the word "resistance" pop up a lot lately, and to me in the context of creativity, that's exactly the energy that fear awakens in us. That "pushing away" energy that happens sometimes when we're thinking about creating in a way that's outside of our comfort zone.
This resistance can be conveniently cloaked in excuses, such as...
"I don't have time."
"The supplies I need cost too much money."
"I'm not sure if that's what I want to make."
"I don't have a place in my house to work."
"But what's the point, nothing is selling?"
etc. etc. etc.
These are convenient little lies we tell ourselves & others when resistance to something our hands & hearts want to make kicks in. The resistance is simply a fancier word for fear. Of what you might ask?
Fear of embarrassment.
Fear of failure.
Fear of "being different".
Fear of feeling stupid.
Fear of not being good enough.
etc. etc. etc.
We all go thru this - yes even those of us who have gotten to a certain level in our chosen mediums. Yes, for pete's sake - me too! How do think I know this stuff, huh? ;-)
The reason I want you to see fear in the area of creativity as resistance, or you might say, something that LEADS to resistance, is this ... the creative energy around us is always looking for someone to dance with, and resistance is just not it's thing.
Let's say you were back at a high school dance & resisted (another words, literally pushed away) someone who asks you to dance - what do you think they're gonna do? Do you think they're going to stick around & get their hearts broken after you've made it clear they're not welcome, or do you think they're just gonna move on?
Well of course they're just gonna move on ... and that my friend is also what the creative spirit will do. It'll find someone else more willing to dance. And then you'll be standing there all alone in your cute little dress or (for guys) sexy jeans with absolutely nothing on that dance card (or nowadays, staring at your phone all night).
So how do we not be so fearful & thus resistant, when creativity taps us on that proverbial shoulder?
First we need to become more aware of the ways we're resisting a new creative adventure in our lives. Try to identify some of the excuses we're using to "push away" doing something we long to try, but at the same time are a little intimidated by. Awareness is key.
... and then we simply take creativity's hand & dance.
One step at a time.
It may just be a few timid steps at first, but trust me - creativity is patient, extreeeemely patient. But it DOES need to know you've got just a small sliver of your heart open to it.
And I'll let you in on another little secret ... creativity is asking YOU to dance because it has already decided you're up for it. The creative spirit is super smart. It knows when it's found the right fit for what it wants to try. And that's why it's tapping YOU on the shoulder, and saying ... hey baby let's go dance!!!
All you need to do is trust it a bit.
So when the master painter of light, J.M.W. Turner says real creativity begins where fear ends - well you just gotta believe him.
Now go put those magical & creative dancing shoes on, and tango your little friggin' heart out!
It matters so darn much.
So what does the painting below have to do with this week's topic? Absolutely nothing!!! I'm just trying to sell it ;-)
Snow Shadows ©
14.5" x 18" watercolor & gouache
on 300 lb. Arches cotton rag paper
And as always, I would love to know your thoughts on this or any other creative matter you want to talk about! Leave your comment below, and let's chat art & creativity...