4 Suggestions for Discovering Your Passion for Artistic Pursuits
There’s something pretty cool and sexy about the idea of being an artist. In fact, the image of the artist is one of the great motifs that comes up again in… well… in art. Through film, TV, literature, and even just casual conversation and everyday aphorisms and sayings, we all carry an image somewhere in our mind of the creative figure — usually a bit tormented and hungry — working magic onto the canvas, or out of the textiles or clay before them.
Plenty of us have dreams of discovering and exploring our artistic sides, and in letting our inner worlds come out through the medium of creative expression. But all too often we put the endeavour off indefinitely, generally in no small part because of the fact that we don’t really know how to get started.
If that sounds like you — and if you’d like to take steps to change things — here are a few suggestions on how to discover your passion for artistic pursuits.
Try many different creative approaches; not everything will be right for everyone
The idea of being an artist isn’t the same as the reality of being an artist. Many of us carry romantic pictures around in our minds of us producing masterful paintings and truly coming alive at the canvas, only to find that when we actually do have the opportunity to paint — it’s not really for us.
The simple fact is that not all people enjoy, or take to, all forms of artistic expression. Of course, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to feel overwhelmed by joy, passion, and creative fervour the first time you try your hand at something. But if there’s just no spark at all, it’s likely a sign that your energies would be best spent elsewhere.
The solution is to try many different creative approaches and pursuits, and see what feels better to you. Get a glue gun and Tecbond glue sticks, and see what you can make with those. Have a go at drawing on a sketch pad. How does it feel? Try painting. Try pottery.
It’s likely that there’s something out there which will feel right for you.
Let go of your expectations and the need to judge yourself — just create
Many people actively sabotage their own ability to experience passion at their artistic pursuits, by being hypercritical, and letting their expectations and judgements stand in the way.
Maybe you’d really enjoy the experience of painting, or drawing, or crafting something, if it wasn’t for the fact that you kept thinking “this doesn’t look good, it’s supposed to look good. This is so embarrassing. I don’t want anyone to see this. I’m terrible…” and so on.
Art is a form of creative expression, and in order for it to work, you really need to be able to get out of your own head. Your technical skill will likely improve over time. For now, don’t worry about it. Just enjoy expressing yourself. Take pleasure and pride in the process itself, and let the end result be what it may.
Make time for your creative pursuits every day — treat them as a type of meditation
You’re more likely to discover and develop a passion and patience for artistic pursuits, if you make time for them every day, and treat them not as a chore but as a treat.
A good way to think about arts, crafts, and similar creative projects, is as a form of meditation — and you’ll likely find that the meditative effect is very real.
When you’re creating art, you’re entering a “flow state” of sorts, where you’re in motion, you’re not so caught up in ruminations and over-thinking, and you’re allowing yourself to be expressive. That, in turn, can help to dissolve and resolve various negative emotions and lead to a powerful sense of peace, calm, and centredness.
Make yourself a cup of tea. Maybe put on some calming music. Then get creating.
Slow the pace — treat your arts and crafts as a leisurely pursuit, not something you’ve got to get done as quickly as possible
One of the chief benefits of taking up artistic pursuits, is that they allow us to slow the pace of life and to enter a more connected and rhythmic mode of existence, for a time, at least.
All too often, people — especially people who are naturally ambitious and driven in their careers — will bring an “efficiency” and “productivity” mindset to their art. Art is not about being efficient. And by trying to be efficient, you’ll likely miss out on the benefits of creating art.
Slow the pace. Treat your arts and crafts as a leisurely pursuit, not as something you’ve got to get done as quickly as possible.