Art is for everyone, it’s not for the talented, the gifted, it’s for everyone, all abilities.
You’re probably scoffing at me as I say this. “Yea, I can’t even draw a stick figure right” or “sure I can paint nice things or copy someone else, but I am not creative in the slightest” But I want to tell you that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s time to let go and unleash your creative freedom.
Why don’t we allow ourselves to create freely? Why do we squander our creative processes?
“I can teach you to draw, but how did you forget? Kids do all the things adults use to do but forget when they get old. Is this why kids are happier?” Jojo, Age 11 @Fidgets.and.fries
As children we create freely, we are little packages of flowing creative energy and joy. Sometime in our childhood to adulthood we learn that creativity is for the gifted, or our creativity is not good enough as our peers. We create limiting beliefs around our creativity that we hold onto and live by, stopping us from our creative possibilities.
Art is for all of us because there are no rules, you can literally do whatever you want. Someone might tell you there are rules, but the secret sauce is there’s not, there are helpful guidelines for learning, absolutely, but no rules. Art is so vast and so freeing that there are literally endless possibilities. And besides, the best artwork was created by breaking the “rules” set up in the first place.
Some helpful guidelines to creating your art and believing that everyone is an artist.
- Create with reckless abandon like a child. Children (unless they unfortunately learn limitations early) do not have a scarcity mindset, have you ever heard a child sing or draw a picture? Everything they do is the best they’ve ever done it and it’s always getting better, they never let fear stop them, they are creating because they love it, it brings them joy, they are learning, exploring, creating. No one is out to get them, their art is theirs, their voices will be heard, their art will be celebrated, regardless of what they create, their work, their art, is amazing because it was created.
- Creativity is a never-ending flow of inspiration. Creativity is never going to end, it’s been around from the beginning of time, it IS humanity and a scarcity mindset is just squandering the creative processes you hold. The only way to stop it, is to not use it.
- It doesn’t matter what you do, so do whatever makes you happy. Someone won’t like your artwork, someone else will. Someone will say have something to say about your artwork, “pottery/ knitting/ sewing/ paper cut-outs, etc. is not art”, “stained glass is a dying artform and unnecessary in our time period”, “the internet is taking over art, and it’s useless”, “anyone can just throw paint at a canvas”. Your art is not valued by others, your art is because it was created and that is enough, some work is just appreciated more, and honestly, the more appreciated, the more criticized. So just create and let your art be because it was created.
- Try everything. The way to finding your art is trying whatever you can get your hands on, when I started teaching my inclusive community art classes, I wanted to provide the most value and experience for my students and I did that by trying everything, copying other peoples artwork, trying new techniques, using new materials. When we are constantly learning there is a lot less pressure on you too, you have the creative freedom to “mess up” to try again and play. As that is practiced, it becomes a playful mindset that creativity thrives in.
- Art is for every-body. Art is the most accessible thing we have, which is exactly why I created my inclusive community art classes. Creating art is just like learning how to read, write, ride a bike, it’s something that we can learn even if it doesn’t “come naturally” to us. Seeing with a creative eye can be practiced. Art can be created by anyone because of its freedom and lack of restrictions. Adapt your project to your body and mind. Need structure? Awesome, do a step by step tutorial or use photographs to copy your art. Can’t see? Cool, use texture, clay, tissue paper, texture mediums for acrylic paint; feel your art. Your hands shake while you draw? Own it, find a flow and let go of that control. Can’t read or write or speak? I bet you have a lot to say, use your art to tell your story. Art is about finding what you like and making it your own through exploration and play.
“Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame.” – Brené Brown
Let your creativity be your guide into joy. If you need a permission slip to be creative, here it is, just create. You’re not exempt, I don’t need to see your art to validate it, own it, love it, your art is, you are an artist.
Go and play.