Why aren’t you creative? Check your thoughts. I work with people in places where they don’t think – oohh I’m going to do art today. At a local hospital and am at several adult day centers. When I approach people, the majority of comments are quick and consist of, “I’m not creative because: I can’t draw a straight line, I don’t know what to do, I haven’t done anything since kindergarten, and I don’t have the time.”
Looking beyond these knee jerk reactions, I can see that there are preconceived thoughts that hold us back from understanding the creative process. People think too big and too perfect when art is brought up. Art that’s hanging on a gallery wall is not what most people can achieve – it’s too big and too perfect. Those artists have pledged their lives digging into their authentic artistic style and it takes years to get proficient. We don’t have that kind of pressure – isn’t that cool? We can do art for the pleasure of it. Straight lines are not required and we can use stick people if we want. Anything goes as we play with different colors and styles to find what fits us.
When you think of a project, what are the things you don’t think you can do (yet)? What are some parts that you can do? I’m learning more about watercolors and I didn’t start out painting a landscape. I started mixing colors and using different papers to see what happens. I love texture so that’s where I started. The key to keeping projects fun is to start where you’re comfortable and then slowly step outside your comfort zone.
Break up your projects into smaller pieces and take it as slow as you need to. Art is the place you can be authentic, take it at your pace, and learn to be gentle with yourself. Nothing bad is going to happen if we make a “mistake” because we learn from those. If you haven’t done any art since elementary school, it’s going to take some practice finding what you like to do and cultivating your style.