This age has brought a lot of opportunities, creative space online, and gathering for professionals to new budding artists. Anyone can be anything. The most sought feeling is the belongingness in a communal idea or state: Being part of a community with a certain interest, making a new community, being a “first” at something, being an anonymous, and everything else that should fall under the category of ” gathering of 2 or more individuals”. As part of the sea of the online-savvy, new tech-nerds, continually searching for greater things and opportunities, sometimes we get all the eye-candy in this fast-paced, full-access of social media realms. More often that not, these thoughts and observations have crossed my mind:
1.) We sometimes get lost on our “WHY” which is the true motive of why we do things and that connect our habits, thoughts, and interests while on cloud 9 on someone else’s journey.
2.) We lack clarity in knowing our own thoughts and how to accept ourselves about our own deficiencies and situation.
And all those things that we can think of…
and to be honest, being part of this competitive day and age, yet with open doors, feel invigorating and exciting for almost everything and anything: collaborative work, new information, and sticking stranger-to-stranger encounters while lurking in the different parts of the blogosphere and different platforms which is part of the great perks of being a social media active. Of course, as all things come and go, the sound of the muse and positivity may be silenced by fear every once in awhile. To be honest, I’m still part of the population that might get the feeling of indecisiveness rooting from the low self-esteem remembered from the past.
In another light, when I get to attend conferences and events, I aspire to be who have actually shown their full, raw, self and imperfect process for everyone to inspire and let not others feel intimidated with the work ( like seriously, how do you even do that? ).
I applaud these individuals who appear to push us appreciate the progress and process that goes into it rather than putting a frown on the large gap in comparing thy self to him/her.
A combined mindset from a set of different tips from one of my favourite bloggers, Martine de Luna, and one of my favourite girl bosses, Sophia Amoruso,
“ Remember to take time off the busy realms of the internet, to focus on own progress rather that excessively lurk in the web (Martine de Luna) + success without fulfilment is failure (Tony Robbins)= not knowing whether the grass is greener on the other side because you didn’t bother to excessively let your eyes wander anyway .”
What is actually hindering us? What makes us able but oppressed by our own peers? I’ve gathered answers for the questions I find caught in my head and I’ve handpicked answers from close friends, strangers, and even favorite artists, that were kind enough to give time to answer my set of questions. Read some confessions answering my 2 questions below that you might be parallel with your thoughts:
1. What would be your weakness as an artist/creator? (can be physical, mental or anything in between)
I wouldn’t exactly call mine a weakness. It’s more of a struggle.
I struggle with allowing myself to fully surrender to the process of creating and ridding myself of my own judgment towards my work
sometimes, and these cause a lot of resistance and self-doubt which can sabotage the chances of me making some relevant progress in what I’m creating. Years of writing and making digital art however have taught me that simultaneously criticising and creating only gets you nowhere. One has to learn to simply commit to the creative action and put aside critical thinking for later.
In terms of skill, I don’t have the mad talent and extensive patience for drawing or painting, not now at least. I see this as a weakness because it can be very limiting at times and weighs some pressure on me granted that the proverbial artist is expected to be good at these things. But it’s something I do hope to make time to practice someday. I still want to learn how to draw well, really.
2. What hinders you from creating/making? If nothing hinders you, why is that so?
Making art is something I can’t help but do. I guess even if something or someone tried to impede that — and believe me, there had been many who did — I would still be writing or illustrating. It’s become my way of operating. It’s quite hard to explain this to anyone who hasn’t tapped into their creativity yet. Creativity is a birthright we have all been given and are meant to exercise. It’s as natural as birds being given wings – they use it to fly. Us humans have minds we always keep comparing to the immensity of the universe, so we use it to imagine and synthesise — or at least we’re supposed to. I saw a quote once that perfectly annotates this idea. It said, “The question isn’t why are some people creative but why the hell the rest isn’t?”
I wish I had ten more lives to fit in everything that I want to do! Sometimes there’s an endless list of tasks & dream projects to work on, I don’t know where to start or get a bit overwhelmed with everything and just stop working altogether. Now that I think of it, nothing hinders me from creating. Some factors just include my mood, time, and present determination and situation.
What I consider my weakness would be my hearing loss. I’m suffering from severe to profound hearing loss and this greatly affects my communication skills with people especially when discussing plans and ideas with my clients. I have a hard time talking face to face with my clients and would sometimes have someone else to “interpret” discussions relayed to me. I believe what hinders me, like other artists, would be lack of inspiration.
I sometimes have these blank moments where I don’t feel anything or cannot think of anything and without any emotional or mindful inputs I lose my imagination and my ability to create.
Blame hesitation and doubt. My weakness is myself. I may not create anymore because of myself.But I push myself to create in order to battle with my demons. I always fall short of discipline and the courage to continue no matter what the society dictates and no matter what my inner demons drive me away to. I ponder relentlessly on my next move instead of going with the flow and creating another piece. I consider myself as a late bloomer; running after the lost time yet I procrastinate until the last minute of deadline, until the last second of the chance. I often feel lost, insufficient, and unworthy.
My immediate senses hinder me; my finger that keeps on clicking on countless of links and hopping from one tab to the other, and my eyes that overwhelm themselves through every captivating visual and interesting article on the internet. These senses lose the right track from my original plans for the day, thus leaving me unaccomplished in a pit of frustration and self-hate. I have limited attention span. Everything is competing with my attention, until I fully depart from the idea of creation.
An empty word document, a work undone, a half-ass effort, an unedited piece, raw and distant from perfection — these are the images of my creation in my perception. I feel insufficient. I have failed to reach my maximum potential because I lack focus and discipline.
Not to mention, the daily ritual of doubting and hating myself that pulls me down to the graveyard of dead ideas and lifeless courage.
Let us worsen my condition once more; I failed to mention my hobby to gaze at someone’s masterpieces and someone’s level one hundred, while comparing myself to that person.
“I’m heading nowhere,” this is the poison of non-creation. This is my poison.
It’s common that you’ll get attention for showing your work to others. it also plays a major key that could get yousomewhere. My major weakness as an artist concerns this. I lovewatching/reading series that is currently popular (or not), I love drawing something about it, I love showing my work to others who enjoy the same thing.However, I’ve lost sight of what I want to create for myself. I’m not motivated to write/draw the stories I’ve longed to tell. I’m too happy with the distractions; I want to keep distracted.
Sometimes I snapped out of it but sooner I’ll find myself in the same limbo again. As an artist, my major weakness is embracing the esctasy of this loop.
Still, I keep an open mind about this. For me, i think the most important thing is that I’m producing something for me or for others and I’m happy. Maybe those times i snapped out of it would be necessary in the future.I still don’t know what’s gonna happen so it’s better to be optimistic of what I can do for myself now.
It takes me time to think of what to write, especially (and ironically) when I have so much to say on a certain topic. I usually have to pace myself when writing or else all my thoughts start spinning around in my head and I can’t get myself to make them cohesive. I also haven’t really learned to say no when it comes to accepting assignments because I don’t like wasting opportunities, so there are some times that I spread myself too thin.
In light with weakness , a tool I love to express through writing the thoughts to counteract my irrational and confusing feelings, sometimes plan out very important decisions, jot ideas for future projects, or simply whip something out of whatever comes to mind.
One of the things I want to share are one of the very helpful things to keep the fire burning through one of the workshops from a year ago with Sir Juan Ekis with Teatro Tomasino. After speaking about the technical details and the points of writing a script, he gave his own version of commandments based on being generally a creative in any field. Moreover, I’m using this guide to write down thoughts and laying out of ideas of my other creative outlets; writing in general, starting with what I have.
Below are his 10 said commandments that will keep the ball rolling:
1.) Do not think.
At many times, we may come to a situation where common sense and overanalysis should not coexist. Many times, we are bound between the latter and more or less, be stripped the genuine feeling or sincerity of the moment or the thought.
2.) Do not think, just write.
To write endlessly, connecting a word with one random word that will eventually make sense is full of possibilities. A connection of thoughts thought of in a snap will make the most interesting stories and ideas.
3.) Keep a notebook.
For an artist a sketch pad, for a writer a notebook, for musicians a workbook. To jot down the most raw ideas will be compiled, not fully considering the “end point” or the intended final output, we should all understand that it may come to help in a drought or to fill in future gaps and blanks to complete an uncanny impression. I’ve been keeping dream journals, my personal sketchbook ( you have probably noticed a black book I carry almost anywhere most of the time) and a yearly journal to keep me on track. Do whatever works for you.
4.) Delay thinking.
Most of the time, over thinking or overdoing things removes the spontaneity or the essence of fun and escape in a work. I’m probably guilty of this the most since I tend to keep myself uptight on schedules (even on my personal work) that it gets my creative juices out of the process and making myself thinking in a “one-time-big-time” phase removes the possibility of growth.
5.) Keep a routine.
This helps in creating a solid habit that keeps you up and running on days that you seem to be on a drought or even on the end of overflowing ideas. This seems very much applicable to my academic year ( I usually spend the weekends to work on my writings, finish at least an artwork, and get stuffed with short readings on my phone I can handle during travel to school and between breaks), then, I roughly break the routine by customizing it to how I want my day to go, still with a 1 important goal a day, but still open to spontaneity of whatever.
6.) Let a trusted friend read it.
Strip off all the excessive drama and probably false judgement, a good friend, with a balance of objective comments with the trust you give him/her is a great tool to get honest feedback (and additional awesome suggestions). To my good friends who are reading this and read the output of my excess .pages to .pdf conversion, thank you.
7.) Keep it for a while.
Let the output sit. This is what I usually do with personal project after getting them done. After a while, I realize some things need revision or great improvement, so I probably do them again, or do something similar. Repetition = improvement.
8.) Edit cold.
Let the feelings pass and do the process, for the sake of improvement, which sometimes will burn us out (unless you really have the motivation and drive to do the “nasty” parts: revision.
9.) Read novels.
Opens doors. A great way to pass time. I love new ideas and non-existent worlds. Novels + Games + Music + Emotions + Trends = inspiration for my art in that case.
Do new things. The ones that never even crossed your mind. For my personal case, this is the one I need to work on. Need to feed off from my experiences and do more things that matter to me.
When the “millennial” art scene and world at large is so diverse, it will always pay keep in tune and true to yourself and roots. As I write this blog post, I say hello to my fears– fears that I might not fully erase, but will keep to the back of my mind, still doing things fearlessly, but with an intention greater than the goal. As of the moment, I’m conquering something I’d like to share very soon.
I hope everyone is keeping an open dialogue with themselves often. Checking yourself up is the most important– just like you’d treasure those conversations with anyone else. These thoughts and conversation, written in a piece of paper waiting to be turned to something else that the uttered.
I’d like to end this post with this quote I made from 2 songs I got on shuffle, just one after the another, making sense:
In a world where everybody wants to rule the world, including us, are we becoming or are we what we want to be?
-FOSTER THE PEOPLE X TEARS FOR FEARS
Not so sure? Write it down. Confess to yourself down to the bones with honesty.
Take it away, Neil Gaiman.
Love and light.
S.S. signing out.
Here are some free backgrounds that I made that are free for use for inspirational and reminder purposes:
Download them here: