‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist, once he grows up.’. A famous quote by Pablo Picasso.
As a child, you see the world in a magical way. But as we get older, we start to lose that sense of wonder. Your pencils and paintbrushes are taken away and replaced by boring school books, you are taught in uninspiring classrooms about what is ‘important’ and what’s not. And so the magic slowly disappears.
When I was 4, I wanted to become a painter. My dad told me I shouldn’t because you won’t make any money as a painter. I believed him.
When I was 12, I wanted to become an actress. I took theatre classes until several grown-ups told me again to choose a more ‘secure’ path. I believed them. When I was 14, I wanted to become a writer. Again I was told it would be ‘responsible’ to choose something else.
This is how you start to believe your dreams are ‘wrong’ or ‘impossible’. We are taught to believe that negative is realistic and positive is unrealistic.
Of course, it was my own choice to listen to them. But it is safe to say, I did not feel encouraged in exploring my creative side as a career path growing up. And as a result, I slowly let go of that part of me. And I think this is what happens to a lot of people as they grow up.
Many cultural beliefs are toxic to art. Some examples of beliefs we have about artists is that they are seen as: lonely, selfish, broke, irresponsible, unhappy, self-destructive, a little crazy. These beliefs come from parents, teachers, stories, movies, books, religion, friends. But they are simply beliefs, not facts.
You can be an artist and be happy and financially successful. Creativity turns people into more happy, lively and compassionate people. So why would you not explore that side of yourself?
Tips on getting your creativity flowing
Check out the podcast Magic Lessons by Liz Gilbert. Here she talks with a wide range of people about the creative process. She talks about how to stay authentic, how creativity does not need to be labelled as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. How you can let go of perfection and how creativity can become fun instead. Elizabeth talks with various artists and shares advice with people on how to overcome their creative blocks: https://magiclessons.libsyn.com/
A friend of mine suggested the book ‘The artist’s way’ by Julia Cameron. This book is for everyone who wishes to be more creative but feels unable to. Whether you want to create music, paint, write, dance, act, sing. It does not matter. This book is a 12-week course, where Julia offers tips, assignments and useful information to access your creativity and overcome your blocks.