Category Archives: Creative Challenge

Why I’m Connecting with My Inner Artist

This week I’m embarking on Carrie Brummer’s Soulbrush Sessions – an art challenge to “Celebrate that thing deep down you already know: you’ve always been an artist.” Carrie’s Artist Strong website is also about cultivating creativity, and definitely resonates with me.

She’s even read my book pick of the month “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. You still have time to join me; I’ll be sharing my thoughts later in the month.

Now, I was interested in this challenge because while I identify with being a creative person, I have difficulty referring to myself as an artist. I have been trying to hone in on why this is, and my hesitation lies in these three factors:

  1. I’m not sure of my medium. I’m a dabbler; I like to try a lot of different things. Or maybe I should call myself a creative explorer. But then again, aren’t artists explorers too?
  2. I haven’t perfected a craft. As with my first point, because I am always jumping from one idea/challenge/medium to the next, I have become a jack of all trades and master of none.
  3. I don’t have a body of work. Artists have put in their time and honed their skills. I don’t necessarily believe that you need to have a formal education to call yourself an artist, but I do believe that you need to do the work – make, create, produce something. I definitely started on this path with my 30 day creative challenge in January, but don’t I need more than a handful of work to call myself an artist? Or am I an artist regardless?

These are some of the questions I am hoping to explore in this creative session. For 10 days she’ll send you a new creative challenge/prompt as well as inspiration and insights on embracing your inner artist.

Below you can see my collage from day one: a self portrait of my inner artist / goddess:

On it I wrote:

I am an artist in bloom.
I cutivate ideas,
I reach,
I fail,
I fall.
Scattered confetti;
Rearranged,
Renewed,
Opening.
In bloom.

My Inner Artist Collage

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The Benefits of Completing a 30 Day Creative Challenge

The Benefits of Completing a 30 Day Challenge
I can’t believe that the Creative Challenge is over. Would I do it again? Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely! I think it’s an opportunity for personal and artistic growth and here’s why:

It forces you to stop procrastinating.

No more waiting around for inspiration to strike. You need to prioritize and schedule time each day to create. Sometimes the struggle is in just beginning, and a 30 day challenge of any kind is good push to get moving, and to stick it for the long haul.

It allows you start small.

While 30 days might seem daunting, the daily commitment – and size of the output – was on a smaller scale. As with all habits, it is best to make small, incremental changes. Starting by making inchies (or twinchies) allowed us to start developing a meaningful habit, or ritual, of creating each day.

It’s a chance to explore your medium.

Do any graphic designers recall a course in which you had to sketch the same letter 100 different ways? Or something along those lines. A 30 day creative challenge is also an exercise in exploration. What were you able to learn about your proccess? Or working with your medium? In the 100-letter assignment, students learn that the first idea is not always the best idea; they start pushing themselves to think beyond the outlines of Garamond letter K. Maybe you’ll end somewhere different than where you started, or maybe you’ll perfect your process along the way.

You can give yourself permission to let go of perfect.

This is inline with the previous points – the benefit of completing a 30 day challenge is about the process, not about the production. You may not produce your best work during a challenge and that’s ok, because you’re learning how to produce your best work by:

  • connecting with your art;
  • developing a creative habit;
  • starting a daily ritual;
  • beginning, instead of waiting for inspiration; and
  • enjoying the work

I hope if you haven’t already, that you will begin a 30 day challenge of your own soon. I know I will continue to embrace my creative ritual.

Check back soon to see what creative adventure I’ll embark on next!

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