Keeping the Passion Alive
I’ll be the one to say it: creative women can get run down. Run down by everyone else’s expectations, by every distraction in the world, and by trying to do more, to keep up with everyone on your Instagram or Pinterest feeds. If you don’t yet know how this ends (yeah, right), let me tell you: you crash and burn. You crash because you’re exhausted, always striving in vain, and running yourself on empty. You burn because you’re playing the comparison game, never seeing yourself as enough, and failing to acknowledge the good that you do and have. And you know what happens next? You hang it up. You’ve lost all your passion, you’re tired of feeling like you’re not good enough, you’re unmotivated to keep creating, and frankly: you’re done with it all. So you wash your brushes and leave them in the sink or you toss your chains & pendants in a box and desire never to look at them again. Your creativity is squashed and you’re over it.
This is heartbreaking.
Let’s find a better way. Let’s find a way to keep creating, to keep loving this important and valuable work, to grow as women through the ways we create. I challenge you to consider the three suggestions I’ll lay out below. But first we need to be on the same page. We need to agree that art is more than just a meaningless past time, and is instead a beautiful reflection of who we are as created women, and something that fuels us to walk through the monotony of everyday life with joy and beauty on our minds. It matters.
Make time to create. As artists, there’s pressure to minimize the value of work time. We’re told that art is an “extra” in life, something that comes after “real jobs” and housekeeping and laundry and coffee dates and kid’s plays and sporting events, and…. and everything else. Taking time to make is vital for creative people. As much as we do need to prioritize laundry and grocery shopping, we need to prioritize the things that refuel us too. Make time and take time for your craft. Put it on the calendar. Get a babysitter. Wake up early or stay up late. Give yourself the grace and freedom to claim a little snippet of time for your work, and enjoy it. Guilt has no place in holding you back from fostering your creative spirit. Go for it.
Find simplicity in your work. Narrow things down; what are your favorite shapes, patterns, or recipes? Spend a season regrouping on the staples, the basics, the things that make you “you”. It’s ok (and dare I say wise and invigorating?) to narrow down your offerings to do fewer things, but do them well. Restructure your old favorites, create a concise collection that defines who you are as an artist and what your style is in your particular medium. This brings clarity of mind for those (like me) who are willingly pulled in a million directions, excited about every new possibility to create.
Create work you love. Avoid being pushed and pulled by the ever-changing demands of others, and instead be true to yourself as an artist. What do you love to make? What colors, shapes, and styles are aesthetically pleasing to you? Instead of trying to please every potential customer out there, be dedicated to your voice as an artist, and remain true to you. This doesn’t mean you don’t accept input or don’t pay attention to trends, but it does mean that you don’t force work that is not natural to you. Your quality of work is on the line, and when you create things you love personally, you have a heart investment. This is where you create your best work. It’s not worth it to sell yourself out to the masses if you lose all that makes you “you” in the process.
Your art may be baking gorgeous desserts, or redecorating your home with the changing seasons. It may be painting or photography or sewing, for me it’s handmade ceramics. Whatever your way, however large or small, however “official” or not, value it. Own it, grow with it, and be proud of it. Most of all, take time for it and enjoy it. Creating art is a gift, something meant to bring joy to the creator and the admirer, so treat it with care.
to see more of Rachel's work visit her website.