You loved making art, you were good at it but you haven’t done it in a long time. Now you don’t know how to return to it and be an artist again.
Your life has changed since then. Maybe you have children or parents that are growing older and need your help. You had to take a safer job because you needed regular money. If you are lucky your job is still related to the arts but you’re not actually making art yourself.
You really want to be creative again but you don’t know where to start. You don’t have as much time as you used to have and you don’t have your studio anymore. So you think it’s not possible to be an artist again. You will have to continue trudging on like you are, slowly dying inside because you’re not being creative.
First – please be assured that you can definitely make art again. However:
- It is going to be different from how you did it before.
- You may have to compromise on the vision
- It is better to make art even if it is in a reduced way than to do nothing.
It is going to be different from how you did it before
Be open to producing your art in different ways. You probably don’t have as much time as you had before and if you are juggling lots of other priorities your mental energy may be stretched as well.
Accept that you will have to be creatively productive in smaller chunks of time. Your art is going to be like sneaking off to meet a lover. It will be wonderful in those stolen moments. You will wish you had more time to be with it but savour the time that you do get.
You may need to scale down your plans or compromise on your vision
In your current life it may not be possible to make the same kind of creations as before. Be inventive and figure out how to change or repurpose your vision so that it is something you can make now, with your current circumstances.
You may need to do some smaller projects, which can be easily put down and picked up as required. Doing things in smaller chunks is less daunting and is a great procrastination beater.
Forget about perfection as this is a sure fire way of holding you off from getting started. Accept that what you produce initially might not be as good as before. You will need to experiment to find your new creative stride and some of what you produce might be crap or embarrassing. Don’t worry about this. The name of the game is just to get you creating again. (Here is a blog I wrote last year about the importance of producing crap art)
It is better to be making art in this reduced way than to do nothing
The way you will need to work at the moment may not feel ideal and you might hanker after the old days when you had a better routine. However, it is better to do something creative than do nothing. Not being creative when you really want to be can be very damaging. It can lead to depression, illness or self-destructive behaviour.
Anyway, you have no idea where this might lead. In a year to two’s time your creative opportunities might look much better but the future won’t happen if you don’t get on and do something in the present.
Get creative contentment back in to your life now, just as you are. Decide that your current circumstances are perfect and feed this into your art. You’ll be a great example to everyone around you that you can be an artist any time, any place, anywhere. You never know, you might even encourage someone else to do the same. Then you will not only have changed your life but theirs too.
The world needs your art, your way of processing your emotions, your conclusions. Please give it to us.
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Every month I also share the ups and downs of my own creative journey – but only email subscribers get that insider view.