Thursday, 20 April 2017

Thoughts on Being Creative

I really, really meant to write a post last month. I really did. But before I knew it the month was over. Guess that's what happens when you write your last post right at the start of the month ^^;

I do, however, have an Instagram account now. You'll find it here at blackhorsebeth. I post photos of my models there, and I generally upload a bit more frequently, since I don't have to write out a long article for each photo. Give it a follow if you'd like :)

Before I start this post I just wanted to thank Horse Tender Studio for her wonderful support and encouragement following my last post (hugs back).
Anyway, this time I wanted to talk to you about creativity. Specifically, how to go about being creative.

My depression is a huge drain on my creative energy. I can't even begin to count how many times I've wanted, desperately, to do something creative, only for my depression to get in the way and stop me, sometimes after I've already started. It's incredibly frustrating. 

That said, I know that many other people without depression also experience frustration when they try to be creative, so this post is for everyone, regardless of circumstances or illness.

 So, let's get started.

First piece of advice: always keep a notepad handy! 

I'm terrible at remembering a long list of things I have to do, so if an idea or inspiration pops into my head, I find it vital to jot it down immediately. Otherwise, I'll have forgotten it in a couple of hours, and its so frustrating to sit there desperately trying to remember what it was you thought of, only for your brain to come up blank.
Secondly: a good environment is essential.

Your mind should be on your creative project, not on what's going on around you. Look for somewhere comfortable, well-lit, with few distractions. A good chair or stool will help to reduce stiffness and backache, and proper lighting will cut down on eye strain. Try to find a location where you feel creative, where your mind is conditioned to work. I find that if I try to write whilst sitting on my bed, I get tired and sleepy very fast. But my desk is where I do my art, so my mind is much more receptive to work in that location. It's part of the reason many artists have a studio.
Third: good equipment is invaluable.

Good doesn't necessarily have to mean expensive. Often very common supplies can be good quality. But trying to work with rubbish supplies is just infuriating, and time wasting. You want to make the best use of your creative energies, not waste them trying to make awful equipment do what you want. Invest in good quality equipment and materials, and spend your energy where it counts.
So, that's the practical stuff, but what about the emotive side to being creative?

Since the depression makes my brain very receptive to negativity in the first place, I can often find it discouraging and demotivating to see the amazing work of other artists, especially those younger than me. So, to try to combat those feelings, I've compiled a list of motivational and encouraging quotes from other creative people that have helped me. (Why is it in purple? Because purple is inspiring :) )

"You're never going to be as good as you want to be, so learn to be happy with how good you are"

"You're never too good to get better"

"Your tastes will always outstrip your talent - don't be discouraged if what you see in your head doesn't translate exactly into your work"

"Try to avoid slipping into a 'gold rush' mentality - where you're never satisfied with what you're doing or what you've got right now"

"Take the time to celebrate every victory, no matter how small"

"Don't look at other people's' work and feel disheartened - remember, everyone has their own different strengths and weaknesses"

"Everyone - even the very best - had to start somewhere"

"Learn to see critique as help to improve, rather than criticism"

"If you have to force the art, it's time to take a break"

"'First Time Customisers' doesn't necessarily mean 'First Time Artists'"

The following quotes come from a creative individual on Youtube - Craig Benzine, a.k.a. WeezyWaiter. Here's a link to the video

"Think of all your work as an experiment, not your masterpiece"

"Quantity and quality aren't mutually exclusive, but the more you make the better your work will become."

"Set yourself limits and schedules"

"Don't necessarily wait for inspiration - creativity will take effort. Inspiration will come to you when you're ready for it, when you're already creating and your mind is open to new ideas"

"Nothing is original - Everything is based on something else, something that's already been done before. Nothing you make will be totally brand new, so don't let the thought that "It's already been done before" stop you"
Ok, I think that's enough for now. I hope this helps some of you, and I'm hoping it'll help me as well. 

See you next month (if I can remember, this time ^^; )

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