In this final blog about ‘Wired to create’ by @Scott B. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire (2015), I am going to follow their concept that artists or creatives should accept that they think differently because thinking outside of the box is a positive trait. Doing something that is different from what is traditionally acceptable is thinking differently.
Kaufman and Gregoire give the example of @Steve Jobs and his marketing strategies such as ‘change the world for the better’, as an example of thinking differently. Challenging the status quo. Henri Matisse was known for pushing the art world from post impressionism to modernism. He said that creativity takes courage.
Following your own path takes courage. Many artists did this; @Picasso, @Van Gogh, @Rodin, @Georgia O’Keeffe and many many more. There are a lot of examples of artists being rejected. Dr. Seus rejected 99 times. The first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times. Creators create again and again and again. Thomas Edison had a 33% rejection rate for his inventions. Shakespeare had several failures as did Bethoven but the point is that they did not stop. They continued creating. According to Kaufman and Gregoire creative people learn to see failure as a stepping stone to success. They keep going and going like the famous energiser bunny.
Creativity is the natural result of risk taking says Kaufman and Gregoire. Artists are risk takers. We must not fear making mistakes. According to @Sir Ken Robinson, we, as a population, are loosing the creative trait because it is being educated out of us in the school system. Sir Ken Robinson argues that we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. If you want to know more about this, you can watch:
How do we become more creative? We can embrace our ‘messiness’ – our unique way of embracing the world. Creativity is not only about creative work but also about living creatively. Perception of a task can make it a problem or a challenge. Whether you think a drawing or a painting is a failure is largely a matter of perception. But there’s no getting away from the effect the feeling of having produced a failure has on you.You can become demoralised. You doubt your ability. Perhaps you start to wonder if you really have it in you to be an artist. Don’t go there!
Here are some web sites or articles that can help you:
Reframing your failures
If you can view the pieces you do from the beginning as just another part of your learning process, another step along your path, it becomes much easier to stay focused on improving, to let go and move on to the next one.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, I know. It’s not like you can change your approach to your work overnight. However, every time you have a failure, instead of seeing it as the end of something, see it as the middle of a longer project.
For me, my approach to what I do has changed gradually over the years. At the moment, although I draw every day, I don’t try to produce any finished pieces at all. I’m purely focused on practice, keeping my regular drawing practice habit going above all else. Funnily enough, some of what I produce now is more beautiful (in my humble opinion) than what I produced when I was trying to create beautiful, finished pieces.
Yes, lots of what I produce isn’t beautiful. Lots of it is throw away, just trying things out. Or even, on my most difficult days, just drawing so that I can say to myself that I turned up and did my practice.If I had any advice, I would just say ‘show up, work, don’t evaluate, work some more and try again when an idea isn’t your favorite. If you keep working you will find your favorite but if you stop, you will not.
I hope this helps you.
Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca
I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/
For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:
All photography and artwork by Doris Charest
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Till next time …