Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't You Just Hate It When Something Ruins Your Flow?

Creativity Boot Camp suggested thinking about 'Creative Buzz-Kills' today, things that disturb me when I'm working, things that halt my creativity in it's tracks, that make me feel like I'm not creative, artistic or even doing anything worthwhile.  And, since I'm here, I thought I'd write about a few things that stop me from reaching my full potential and how I plan to overcome them.

Creative Buzz-Kill #1 - My Self Doubt
I'm never sure if I'm good enough.  I get so excited to start creating, making big plans about starting a business and working for myself, doing what it is that I love every day.  But there's always that nagging voice, telling me it's impossible, I don't know enough, I'm not creative enough, I couldn't handle it.  It's really a fear of failure and trying to avoid it at all costs, as though I'm setting myself up for a fall and it's kinder to myself to just back away now.  But really, truly, I know in my heart that whatever creative endeavours I pursue, however great or small my success may be, I won't have failed.  I'll be brave, I'll be adventurous, I'll take calculated risks and allow myself to be out there, to try it, to really be an artist and create.  I'm not going to let that nagging doubt foil my plans to follow my heart.

Creative Buzz-Kill #2 - My Parents
My parents are wonderful, laid-back, caring people who love me.  They always said that they'd support me, no matter what it is I decided to do with my career.  They neglected to mention the "as long as it's a proper job" part of that promise.  I once mentioned to my mother that I liked performance art and linked her to some of the work my course lecturer had created.  It was beautiful, extraordinary and unusual.  I don't think my Mum, who describes herself as 'open-minded', has ever been so shocked, bewildered and dismissive of something.  Blogging is "a waste of time" to my parents, it's "boring" and, essentially, pointless.  Creating things?  Well, that's okay if we need Christmas or birthday cards/gifts, but if not...What's the point?  I've stopped mentioning my creative ambitions to my parents as the negative feedback I get really hits home.  I just want them to be proud of me, but I also want to be happy in my work.  For quite some time, I felt like I was letting them down by not wanting a "proper" job (for years, I'd wanted to be a Renaissance lecturer at a university) and being, in their eyes, slightly weird.  Now, I want to be happy with my choices and to do that, I need to follow what I believe is the best direction for me and not live by anyone else's standards or expectations.  And that's exactly what I'm doing to do.

Creative Buzz-Kill #3 - Lack Of Personal Space
I don't currently have a bedroom.  I also don't have a space I can work without interruption or distraction.  Most of my craft materials are packed away in boxes, under the stairs or in the loft.  It drives me absolutely *nuts*.  I use the dining table to work at but I have to pack up for dinner/homework/laundry, I can't leave anything out for fear it will be moved/damaged (by people or cats) and it's impossible to work at a steady, comfortable pace when people are in and out, kittens want cuddles and I'm never sure when I'll have to shift everything at a moment's notice.  Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to help this situation at the moment so I figured - Keep It Simple (for now!) Work with a few chosen creative items *parchment & origami paper, blank card, wire, beads*, use them in unfamiliar ways, fully explore and expand the creativity I have within these options and enjoy discovering everything I can do.  Everything I need in order to create, I have within my reach.  I'm going to live happy knowing that one day, soon, I will have my craft space and, soon after that, *hopefully* my studio.  Patience is a virtue!

It feels really great to talk about that!  I'm glad I was able to focus on a few of the things that impede my creativity and figure out ways to manage them.
What kind of things dampen your creativity?  How do you go about dealing with them?


  1. I too suffer from creative buzz kills. From my big screen tv, playstation, friends etc. I always seem to get distracted easily and because of that I struggle to get work done from time to time. My ultimate buzz kill is probably my own self doubt and that Im not good enough. I don't know sometimes I just feel that I'm not good enough to do what I want to do which leads to me procrastinate and then it leads to me not getting it done. But like you said you just have to do it and be brave. So when I'm feeling like I'm not good enough, I just suck it up and think about my goal and why I am doing this. Being creative is hard work but so satisfying. Can't let anything get in the way and just do it. Now I'm inspired to create :)...

  2. Mine are probably lack of time and lack of space.

    Time, because I'm very detail-oriented and perfectionistic, so creating something takes me a really long time, because every stitch needs to be perfect. It takes forever, but I don't want things to look sloppy, and I like the way my end results look.

    Space, because we live in a very small apartment, we also have no bedroom like you, everything is in our living room. Even though I don't have to worry about cats and my husband moving or damaging my work, I don't have place to really go creatively nuts and spread all my materials and just go. Someday I want a studio with several tables, where I can just leave stuff mid-creation and work on several things at the same time.

    But the challenge is to do what makes you happy and work around your limitations! We can do it!

  3. Boo! I left a comment on here yesterday, but it didn't go through! Ahhh! I'm sad..It was kind of long..I hate when that happens! Anyway..just wanted to say thanks for following! And I can't wait to see what else you cook up..Saw a bit of the jewelry you made in your new post.. It's cute!

    Janette, the Jongleur