Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Harnessing Your Creative Self

“But the heart of my story is that the world opened up for me once I decided to embrace who I am—unapologetically. My story demonstrates that there’s no better time in history to have a dream and be able to reach an audience with your art. Or just be as weird as you want to be and not have to be ashamed. That lesson’s just as legit.”
― Felicia Day, You're Never Weird on the Internet

This is a topic I have been thinking on quite a bit lately and cemented even further whilst reading Felicia Day's Autobiography "You're Never Weird On The Internet, almost". Creativity has always come easily to me. I have created stuff as long as I can remember. Not always fancy, as a child I would assemble little projects in the school holidays, paint plaster figurines, make jewellery boxes from paddle-pop sticks and paint them up. I was obsessed with school projects back in the days before computers as it meant getting out the font book & creating a title page with beautifully traced fancy fonts. I went through a drawing stage in my teen years and I got pretty good. I experimented with charcoal and artliner and really loved re-creating faces (No idea why but drawing faces was my thing...until I moved on to Lion King Characters that is). I took up art class in later high school but soon discovered getting work critiqued and not praised was far less exciting than just creating for fun (maybe my parents set me up for a fall there & I am actually like one of those sad cases you see on shows like American Idol who grew up with false expectations of their singing skills).

Obsessively creating has followed me all through my life. Now in my early thirties I am constantly starting and sometimes even finishing projects. I built up my own cake decorating business which I ran for five years. I am a reformed scrapbooker. I decided at one point to learn to crochet and failed, that is way harder than it looks. I wanted to learn to sew and realised it was far more technical than I realised and chucked it in halfway through a dress. My amazing husband follows me on some of these projects and we both succeed and fail together.

Clearly my current projects are cooking and blogging. The internet is an amazing tool for creativity. I have released so many ideas and thoughts into the ether and occasionally I connect with people who are on the same wavelength as me. As most bloggers know there is no money in blogging for the majority of us, it is a hobby just like knitting is a hobby.

Not all creative outlets are without monetary reward. There was money in cakes and I made quite a bit of it over the years but in the end, much like Felicia Day, I again suffered with the weight of judgement. When charging considerable money for what is essentially an artwork open to artistic interpretation the self placed stress of providing a product open to this judgement is weighty.

It seems these days so many people want to turn a profit for their time and work be it blogging, writing, cooking etc, understandably we all need to make a living. In my age and significant wisdom (tongue in cheek) I can now appreciate the value of creating for creativities sake. Making cakes for money for so many years has given me the perspective that when you create with no monetary exchange you are free to follow your whims, create anything your heart desires with no restrictions or expectations.

I can put anything I choose on this blog, like this mostly irrelevant post itself. You know why I can do that...because it is all mine. My space, my concept, my time, my art, my outlet. It's all me! Freedom from the need make money (as I have a real 9-5 job) gives you just that, freedom. Embrace it, create for creativity's sake and love it.

Who knows what my creative future will hold. My friend Nina has inspired me that real people can write and publish a book, something I have always been intrigued by and think I will pursue in the future. Maybe I'll take up dancing, just kidding if you ever saw my lack of rhythm you would laugh too. Maybe I will resurrect my drawing, which may require some work as after nearly twenty years I have lost the skill. The possibilities are like a mountain waiting to be summited and I will keep climbing that mountain and so should you.

I would love to hear from you, where do you release your creative energies? Do you cook, paint, dance, draw or something more unique. Put your ideas in the comments below.

Here I am with my creative cake projects. They are far more photogenic than many of my other endeavours.

Originally posted on Tuesday, 5 January 2016 by


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