Creativity Takes Courage

When we are young we are encouraged to play. We are encouraged to create, imagine, work with our hands, story tell and improvise. So why is it as we grow older we encourage these things less and less? I know I am not the first person to write about these challenges. As an artist, creative person and someone who now works with other artists, I am acutely aware of the huge gap we are facing in our education system, how we teach our own children and the pressures of society to live a certain way. This is why creativity takes courage.

When I was growing up and beginning to find my place in the world, I always knew I was an artist.

I always knew I wanted to create. I always KNEW. But what happens when you are a 14 year old about to enter high school? You begin to be bombarded by the thoughts and opinions of adults, who in your head are “right”. They’re grownups, of course they have the answers. I can now tell you as a 30-year-old adult, that this is a blatant lie. We do not have all the answers; in fact, some adults don’t even know the questions.

It is my hope that you do not waste 15 years of your life ho-humming to the tune of someone else’s song.

I spent over half my life listening to well-meaning friends and family tell me what they think I should do and letting their doubt become my doubt. I withheld from people closest to me projects I was passionate about for fear of being judged by them. Let me tell you something right now: just because you don’t do something the way someone else does it, doesn’t make it the wrong way.

If you are an artist, a performer, a dancer, an illustrator, a singer, a speaker, a storyteller, a writer, a creative person; you have everything you need right now to build your life and your career around what you love to do. All you need is the courage to begin and to learn and to grow. One of my favourite quotes is:

“If something in Nature isn’t growing, it’s dying”

-Preston Smiles

This is true for everything. If you are living life on autopilot, consciously or subconsciously believing you have all the answers; you are going to live a very long and painful life. I know, I have lived it. For years I stayed in a stagnant mindset either choosing to not grow OR wanting to learn but not believing that I actually could. How I viewed myself and the things I would say to myself directly influenced my production, my willingness to learn and make mistakes, the quality of my work and my self-worth.

Speaking of self-worth, how’s yours?

No really, how worthy are you feeling these days? Because it matters. How you see yourself and feel about yourself matters. And if you’re determined to live your life as your most authentic self, especially when you’re a creative person, you’re going to need to do a little soul searching. This is all about self-awareness. If you’re not aware of your core desires, how can you determine what you’re going to do in your life? It’s a serious question and surprisingly really difficult for most people to answer.

Being a creative person, living a creative life and living your truth is not for the faint of heart. That is why I say it takes real courage. But remember this: nothing in life is permanent, not a single thing. If you try something and fail, that’s amazing! Failure is an opportunity to grow and learn, ALWAYS. There is not a single failure where something can’t be learned.  Whether you choose to learn or not is up to you.

So go create something, right now!

And stay boundless.