How To Embrace The Creative Process (Even When Things Seem Messy And Hopeless)
Confession time: My artworks (almost) all look like shit in the beginning.
And here‘s why I‘m okay with that.
I used to approach the creation process like this:
With a vision in my mind I would start drawing...
Telling myself: „OK. This is how this is supposed to go. This is my idea and this is what the end result will be. I better not mess up!!“...
How well do you think things go if you approach the creative process like that?
I‘d get mad at myself sooo easily.
Because of that one „wrong“ line in the concept sketch...
Because of the anatomy still being kinda off...
Because I thought the process was taking „too long“...
I told myself all of these stories..
about why my art was not good enough;
about how I wasn‘t skilled enough;
about how maybe, I should just stop.
Yes, at one point, I lost the joy of even creating in the first place.
The frustration of not being able to live up to my expectations just kept me from it!
But we know that clearly....
Something has changed.
(Otherwise I wouldn’t be creating so much, right?
The creation process is much different for me, now!
It‘s no longer about living up to some expectations I have in my mind.
I now create for the sake of creating.
I create to express myself; NOT to impress someone else.
I let go off judgement and stopped holding on to false ideas of what I thought I SHOULD create.
And you know what?
That changed everything.
It lead me to rediscover the beauty of the creation process itself;
the freedom you feel while swinging around your paint brush and fully absorbing yourself in the present moment.
But what changed for me!?
How did I reclaim my creative freedom and leave my doubtful and critical self behind?
Well, actually, it's simple.
I gradually started shifting my mindset..
by reminding myself again and again.. of what ACTUALLY matters to me.
Because at one point I realized: I had to choose.
Ok, either I give up my passion because my inner mean girl is taking over....
Or I learn to actually get chill about this, again.
Obviously, no one wants their inner mean girl to rule them (do you?)
So this is what I did.
Whenever I noticed my self-critical mean girl voice creep in...
I reminded myself:
„Woah! Look what is happening again!
Do you really want to go there?“
I basically changed my inner dialogue...
By gently moving into a different direction:
„Hey, why don‘t you just relax a bit?
Loosen up. Have fun with this. This is really not supposed to be stressful. Breeeaaathe girl!“
Obviously, this wasn’t easy. This is not some kind of overnight quick fix.
It took a looot of conscious effort to notice and redirect my thinking...
I had to repeat this many times, until my mindset started shifting.
But as I relaxed more and more into it...
I started truly embracing the process.
I developed a sense of „I CAN DO THIS!“.
A confidence in getting messy and having my hands covered with paint.
An intuition that started speaking louder and clearer..
That told me „add this!“ and „remove that!“.
Nope, now I no longer hold back from adding butterfly wings, or gemstones or alllll kinds of stuff if I feel like it.
Or completely changing the concept of a drawing (something I would have NEVER in a million years trusted myself to do, before!)
I now know that THAT IS the whole beauty of the creative process!!!
A beautiful, ever-changing evolution of a shitty pencil sketch that magically turns into a detailed art piece.
The magical process of getting to play,
letting your imagination go crazy..
Using paint to freely express your thoughts and feelings on a blank canvas.
I no longer judge – neither myself nor my art.
I make my creative process about EASE, about feeling FREE, about AUTHENTIC self-expression.
I now embrace every stage of the process;
because I know that it’s NECESARRY for me to move to the next.
I can’t expect myself to have a rough sketch, paint over it with thick oil color and have it look perfect and polished right away.
NO! I have to work my way up.
From messiness, to finding form.
From putting on thin layers of color and gradually build up texture, etc. etc.
This is all part of the process.
So the lighter you can be about it... the more SATISFIED you will be.
Not only about the result;
but during the process. ❤️