I wanted to write about a subject that affects all creators on any level. It brought me to the moment when the motivation and inspiration wave slows down or perhaps stops completely. Sometimes for a few hours, several days or even months. Oftentimes the lack of motivation and inspiration goes hand in hand. Because if you have inspiration it will spark off your motivation to create. Or if you have motivation it will push you to find the inspiration. Unfortunately, these moments often become our worst enemies. Instead of accepting the drought, it is easier to slip into the hole of comparing ourselves and inevitably think that “I am not good enough”.
I think that we all sometimes wish there was a miraculous cure to this dip, but there isn’t. Truth is that the power to accept these moments lies only within ourselves. Because we are not robots. It’s humanly impossible to always create at the highest of our potential regardless of profession.
I don’t know about you, but in case of a dip I tend to fall into the habit of overwhelming myself with inspirational pictures to try to “push out” my creativity. The problem is that at some point I cross the line and the images start to attack my confidence of my own creations. I can easy think “Oh I still have a long way to go before I reach that level”. At this point, I become completely irrational. Because it is natural that artists will share their work when they feel “on top of it”, which is why the backside of being a creator is rarely shown in public. Thus what was intended to spark off my inspiration and motivation instead put a full stop to my creativity. Even though I started this article by targeting creators, these are also issues that can be true for everyone anywhere.
What to do then…
First of all, you cannot help yourself get out of the negative spiral unless you recognise that you are stuck there. I try to regain my logic reasoning to see that every artist whom I admire have also been in the same situation as me. It often helps to look back at the birth of a hunger to create. Because at that moment, when we first discover a form of expressing our creativity we just feel happy to create. We rather think “wow that’s super cool what he/she did – I want to try it out”, instead of “Oh I don’t think I am good enough to do that…”.
I think that we develop a sense of perfectionism with the years as the expectations on our work increases both from ourselves and our surrounding. It is more acceptable to experiment and fail when we are still children and learning. But truth is, as a creator of any sort you will find yourself experimenting and learning throughout your career. Being an artist is not a quick-fix or something you become just by doing an art degree. To be a creator is a lifestyle of continuous exploration and of doing and re-doing.
The point I want to make is that everyone who enters a creative field, has to try to accept that there will be slower times. By acceptance, you can build a protecting shield around yourself, through which you don’t let any negativity pass. When you find this comfort zone, you can continue to try things without fear of making a mistake and instead focus on the joy of being in the process. The more we grow, the more the end result seem to matter, which makes us lose track of what’s really essential: The procedure of creation.
Be more than good enough.
Finally it comes down to one thing: learn to stay young in our mind while still growing. The definite point is not whether someone has more talent than another, rather it is the passion and effort that counts. To have talent doesn’t mean that you will be the winner in the end, it just gives a minimum head-start. It is the passion that makes us real creators and willing to turn art into our lifestyle. Instead of looking at other’s work through a comparison lens, look at it with humility and appreciation. Because someone else’s work will never be like your own regardless of what your mind tricks you to think.
Try to not worry too much about the final result. Instead focus on where you are in the creative process at this point and see how you can make it the best it can be. Lastly, decrease your self-installed pressure and allow yourself to be more free in your creations, do more mistakes and enjoy the process and I guarantee that it will lead you to your own miracle.