People ask me from time to time whether I feel I was more creative as a kid.
To some the answer is surprising, until I explain why.
What I do feel is that I felt less constrained or critical. But my creative output was not purposeful.
Growing up there were some people who discourage me and my creative expressions so I stopped sharing it. It became something I did for me, not something I showed to others.
While this allowed me to get really in touch with myself and what it was I truly cared about, I lacked some critical feedback for what I could do better or differently.
In my teens I found the courage to start sharing again and despite being knocked down from time to time, I’d built myself up to be secure enough in my expression that I continued to do it.
That’s a point that a lot of people find is hard to get to. Especially people who confuse their creative expression to be an extension of who they are.
If there’s one single lesson anyone reading this should take home it’s this:
You are not your art. You are seperate from it.
It is your work and it does not define who you are as a human being. When someone critiques your art, it’s the art that is receiving critique, not you.
If the critique is constructive then take it, if it’s not and the person is just there to complain and not provide anything of substance or value, feel free to ignore it.
Your self-worth doesn’t come from people accepting or rejecting your art. It comes from you loving and respecting yourself.
Now, creativity can, and perhaps should, be enjoyed for its own sake. The question each of us needs to ask is why we’re doing it.
If you’re making art for your own sake it’s great. If you want to share it then you might want to look at how you can express yourself in a way that conveys what it is you’re trying to express.
Ask yourself whether it’s:
- Useful. “Does it fulfill a purpose?”
- Unique. “Is it different enough from what I’ve experienced before?”
Any creative output might be very useful but not very unique, it could also be very unique but not very useful. Also, note that these are highly subjective experiences. What feels strange and alien to one person might feel like the comfort of home to another.
Striking the balance between the two will give you a better shot at conveying your ideas to others.
While I’m more critical of my own work than I was when I was young, what I’ve arrived at today is just another way of looking at creativity and being creative.
It feels way more fun and rewarding now than it ever has!
How about you? Were you more creative as a kid?
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!