Two Creative Rules That I Use to Keep Creativity Alive

Photo by Una Laurencic from Pexels
Every artist, I think, finds himself or herself teetering on the brink of doubt.  I am no different, but I have two things that keeps the flame alive.

First, let's lay the background.  When I started painting years ago, I dd it to take up a portion of my time.  I guess I could say that I was a hobbyist,  I enjoyed it and found it mentally and emotionally stimulating.  I would paint for hours even late into the night.  I really would lose myself.  It was my way of connecting with that person inside.  Things began to change when I looked at painting as a profession (my second career).

When I started to look at painting as a way of life, doubt and fear started to haunt me.  First of all, it's not like a "job" where you get paid for hours that you worked.  Secondly, you have to be able to create a sellable item (painting) to build an inventory of goods.

Over the years, I learned to do things that would help me to keep the fires burning in my creative workflow.  You can call them rules for creatives.

Rule One:  You are practicing when you are painting.  Ever time you paint, you practice.

Rule Two:  You can always paint over it.

Rule number one is a mental state that makes a big difference in motivating your inner "creative self".  By mentally reminding yourself that everything you do in life is nothing more or less then practices, your expectations will stay in check.  I'm talking about how we feel about something that we created.  Just thinking about the word "Masterpiece" has certain expectations.  By thinking about your art as practice, you'll continue "to practice" without too much heartache.

Rule number two is just as important as number one, and it's simplicity makes it so relevant.  I remember reading about an artist who has several paintings hidden in a closet collecting dust.  I'm sure the artist was reminded every day of his failures by keeping those paintings.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Why torment yourself with paintings that you feel didn't work out by keeping them?  Remember, those paintings are not failures but practices.  It just means you need to practice more.  Most important, take your practices that you don't like and paint over them.  Many famous artists did the same thing.  You can too. 

Do you have anything to add?  Please feel free to comment below.

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