Creativity And Solitude: How To Overcome Creative Isolation And Share Your Work

Creativity

Creativity is often a solitary process, but sharing it isn’t. How can creative work impact the world if it is never shared? How do creatives learn to step out of isolation and onto the stage to show our work?

Much of the creative process happens behind closed doors. Creativity happens in the mind, in private. Just like the caterpillar in a solitary cocoon, creativity needs this period of incubation and development to fully flower. However, the caterpillar will never reach its full potential of it stays in its cocoon. Generally, creative people are comfortable with isolation. The problem occurs when it is time to step onstage and share the fruits of our creative endeavors. Most creative people want to share their work and make their impact on the world, but many people are uncomfortable putting themselves and their work on display for the world to see. So, why is it so scary and difficult to overcome this creative solitude to share our creations?

No one sits and watches me paint or write all day. Besides the fact that this would likely be completely boring (as my husband says to every invitation to keep me company in my studio), it is also potentially distracting to me. However the reverse side of the coin is that complete fulfillment from creativity does not come exclusively from the act of creation, but is consummated in the act of sharing.

Like many artists I’m scared to draw back the curtain and unveil my progress, but this is a necessary step in the creative process. I recognize that sharing my work, as difficult as it is, brings me as much joy as creating the work. Referring back to the caterpillar emerging from a cocoon, this is a vulnerable position, but it is also critical to development. The new butterfly develops strength and capacity to fly as it fights to emerge from solitary confinement. So, how do we as artists develop this same strength and fortitude to overcome the habit of self-inflicted solitary confinement when it comes to sharing our work? The simplest answer is to just do it, but so often I’m unable to make myself. I hide in my comfort zone. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was holding me back. I want to share my work, but I get so afraid to do it.

An epiphany occurred to me when a friend suggested that I disable comments from others on a social media page on order to avoid this fear. My gut reaction to this suggestion was that doing so would cut me off from all the feedback of others. The compliments and even the occasional constructive and honest critique. Then I struggled to justify myself as I thought about why I wanted feedback but was still saying I was scared to share my work. All of a sudden it hit me that my biggest problem wasn’t what others thought- though that can be scary too. But rather my obstacle was my own perfectionism. I wasn’t so much afraid that someone would tell me my work was bad as I was of knowing it was bad myself, or thinking that it wasn’t yet good enough to share. But waiting for all my work to be perfect and to measure up to my often-ridiculous standards of perfectionism, I was hiding behind closed doors and doing myself a disservice by not sharing it, even if it is still as of yet either unfinished or less than perfect. More importantly, pinpointing precisely what my problem was, helped me to begin to take steps to overcome it.

I’ve gone through this process of learning to share my work with my paintings and my art. I’m experienced enough to know how good I am and also how good I’m not. I know where I excel and where I lack. What skills are assets and where I still need work and diligent practice. I’m generally familiar with how my work is received, and it’s easy to put my painting on display instead of feeling in the spotlight myself. However, writing is still something I do largely behind closed doors. And it’s scary again to step onto the stage. But throughout this process of discovering what I was really afraid of has helped me to see my audience as encouraging and supportive friends who will help me overcome my self-destructive perfectionism. And each time I must draw back the creative curtain, I get stronger and it gets easier. Sharing my creativity is always worth the risk.

Are you afraid to step onstage? Do you know what is holding you back?

Creativity Changes The World

Creativity

Everything that exists in this world does so because someone was creative. Creativity is that powerful.

Unfortunately too many people prescribe to the limiting believe that creativity has something exclusively to do with drawing ability or innate talent. This is the Myth of Creativity. Don’t believe it!

While being an artist is largely a creative endeavor and the capacity to be creative is something a person is born with, thankfully it is a capacity that lives with in all human beings, not just artists. It is a divine endowment to all God’s children. It is not something dependent on a person’s religious beliefs either.
The truth is, everyone is creative in some capacity or another. Creativity can be developed. Like all talents, it is a skill that can be, cultivated, enlarged and honed. Creativity is no more or less than the ability to think in new and different ways.

Everything is created spiritually before it can be created physically. It’s the execution or production of those ideas that requires the development of additional skills. For example, anyone can think of something like a flying car, but without the knowledge and understanding of a variety of different fields such as engineering, mathematics, aerodynamics, welding and fabrication, and a plethora of others I’m sure I’m missing, it would be another endeavor altogether to build such an invention.

This is why children are so creative. There are no limits to their imaginations. Children create spiritually, with no inhibitions. It is the development of skills that allows us to create physically. That is why adults are far more creatively skeptical. Adults recognize this discrepancy or the lack of skill.

Some creative endeavors are best executed as a collaborative effort. This kind of cooperation combines the talent, knowledge and skill of multiple individuals into a greater whole.

Creativity is such an integral part of our human identity that we marvel at signs of creativity in animals. Like the orangutan that uses a stick as a tool to extricate termites from their colony. Or the collaborative efforts of an ant colony to build and to overcome obstacles.

Creativity is as varied as the world is populous. There is always room for more ideas, new ideas. What’s your big idea? Have you developed the skills to execute it?

Think of what the world would be like with out the creativity of Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Motzart, Monet, Davinci or a plethora of others. What will the world lack without your creative contribution?

Watercolor Painting

Creativity: Motherhood vs. Art

Creativity, Motherhood

I met a woman recently who commented that she had never pursued her art as fully as she’d have liked because her mother had discouraged her with the message that she couldn’t make any money doing art; that it wasn’t practical.
My heart broke for her. I could see her passion as well as feel the hurt and hesitation that crippled her inner artist. My immediate desire was to help, to encourage and try to counter the damage that had been done. I told her it is never too late, that she is already an artist.

I was simultaneously grateful for such supportive parents of my own who have always encourage and praised my creative endeavors.

This beautiful woman, is the mother of six children.

In addition to being horrified that she was discouraged from being an artist, my mind also immediately thought of all the times I’ve heard motherhood put down as an un-lofty or unworthy endeavor. Motherhood certainly doesn’t make any money- less money even than being an artist! While I hope she has not suffered similarly for her choices about motherhood as she was discouraged about pursuing art, in our day and age, I’m not optimistic. I’ve been exposed to these horrible ideas all too often myself to be naive enough to think that another has been sheltered from them.

It represents the sad state of our society today that two of the most worthwhile creative endeavors are demeaned so horribly. I cannot think of a higher more divine mode of creativity than that of creating human life. And I don’t know a single artist who doesn’t seek to influence the world in some way with their art. Is there any greater, more accessible method of influencing the world than through the next generation? These lofty goals should be praised! Not discouraged. Especially in a society that claims a woman is capable and free enough to pursue whatever she wants.

Creativity is a divine endowment. A unique and exclusive gift from deity to humankind. Creativity ought to be celebrated and re-enthroned as the virtue it is.

Creativity transforms lives, whether through a painting, a song, a story, an entrepreneurial endeavor, a delicious meal, or simply, noble motherhood.

Don’t Buy Luxury, Create it!

Luxurious Living

Contrary to popular belief, luxury in life need not be bought, it can be created. The truly luxurious things in life, seldom require money at all.

As an artist in the blogosphere, what is my message? Well, not surprisingly, my message is about creativity. The world needs more creativity. Why? Because creativity solves problems. Creativity enriches life. Creativity brings joy and satisfaction to both the creator and those with whom the creation is shared. And because a creative life is a luxurious life. (You can read my Artist Statement here.)

Let me explain. Most of the time luxury is associated with money. And perhaps there is some truth to that idea. But that is not what I’m talking about. Creativity makes life better. Creativity makes the ordinary extraordinary. Creativity makes the old new again. Creativity envisions, inspires, motivates and produces. But it doesn’t end there. That’s the magic of creativity. As the old adage says, creativity can never be used up because the more you use, the more you have. Creativity is the ultimate natural resource.

And here’s the secret: Everyone has their own limitless supply, a creative well which will never run dry. It is a well which can be drawn from endlessly, any time, anywhere. Perhaps your creative well is rusted from neglect. Luckily, the pump can always be primed.

  • My motto is “Live Luxuriously, Be Creative.”
  • My message is that luxury has little to do with money and everything to do with being creative.
  • My mission is to inspire and teach others to enrich their own lives by unleashing their creative powers.

Since you’re here on my website, you’ve undoubtedly seen my tagline: “Living Luxuriously as a Starving Artist.” I can attest to the fulfillment that comes with doing what you love, even if it’s not viewed as practical. It is certainly a luxury.

If you are creative like me, I have no doubt you have already experienced this, and you know that nothing gets the creative juices flowing faster than being inspired by someone else’s creativity. I look forward to connecting and collaborating.

If you are skeptic, let me prove it to you. I can promise you that once you open the creative flood gates, your life will never be the same again. I’m not necessarily saying it’s easy. Creativity is work. There’s an old saying: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. This is false. It is a subliminal message that work is a nasty, evil conspiracy that makes our lives miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment meant by the message. Believe me, there are plenty of tasks that are not fun, that I just plain do not enjoy doing, but that are still a part of life. But that’s not what I’m talking about either. Work, the right king of work (and with the proper mindset I might add), can be richly rewarding, but it is still work with all the blood sweat and tears implied by the idea of work. However, creative work is a work that is fulfilling. It is a work that is never drudgery even when the immediate task at hand is unpleasant. Because when we live creatively we have a whole new mindset. Work becomes about accomplishing goals. Work is about creating something that didn’t exist before. It is about production. And that too is a luxurious way to live.

The new, the extraordinary, that which brings pleasure and fulfillment, all these are luxury. Where creativity is found in abundance, luxury inevitably follows. I’m excited to share more about how creativity can enrich life. Additionally I’ll share my own creative experiences, both successes and failures, in the hopes of getting your own creative juices flowing. Here’s to a luxuriously creative life!

What are the obstacles to creativity in your life? Share in the comments and let’s conquer them together.